Mark and I had dinner a few weeks ago at a popular local Mexican restaurant, known for its authentic cuisine, generous margaritas, and excellent food. The service was desultory; I think our server may have been the owner’s relative. I had shrimp in a tequila sauce that was amazing, and had to try and re-create it. I tried it in the oven first, but not enough of the alcohol cooked off. Adding the tequila to the pan and then lighting it on fire got rid of the alcohol, but kept that lovely tequila taste. It also made for a very dramatic presentation!
1 lb. raw shrimp, the largest you can find, peeled and deveined (I used 13-15 count)
2 tablespoons canola or corn oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 to 5 cloves of garlic, peeled, smashed and finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/4 cup tequila (I used the cheap store brand, came out fine)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt, to taste
Handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 limes cut in wedges
In a large sauté pan (large enough to hold the shrimp in one layer), heat the oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Remove the pan from the heat, call everyone in to watch, and add the tequila to the pan. Very carefully, using a long match or grill lighter, flame the tequila. Enjoy the oohs and aahs. Return the pan to heat. After the flames have subsided, whisk in the butter and cook until melted and incorporated, stirring constantly. Taste the sauce and add salt if desired. Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, until shrimp is pink, opaque and slightly curled.
Remove the shrimp to a serving platter, spoon the sauce over it and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve with lime wedges for garnish.
Please let me know if you like it!