Grilled Shrimp with Cuban Mojo (Fuente de Camarones al Ajillo)
- 7 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup lime juice (from 4 to 5 limes)
- 1/4 cup orange juice (from 1 orange)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 limes, cut into small wedges
Prepare the mojo
Make a wet garlic paste by mashing the garlic cloves with salt in a mortar and pestle. If you do not have one, you can use a cup and the back of a wooden spoon; otherwise, simply sprinkle the garlic with the salt and use your knife to chop it very finely into a paste.Chop and add the cilantro. Note: It's cool to do all of this in a Magic Bulletnd skip the cooking step below.
Place the garlic paste in a small bowl and pour the lime juice and orange juice over it. Allow the mixture to sit for 20 minutes.
Place the olive oil in a small saucepan and set it over medium-high heat. (This can be done on your grill or on your stove.) When small bubbles begin to rise to the surface of the oil, carefully add the garlic and citrus mixture to the pan (the oil will sizzle a bit, so be careful that it does not splatter on you). Give the mixture a quick stir and allow to cook over medium-high heat for 1 minute before removing from the heat. Set aside.
Season and grill the shrimp
Place the shrimp in a large mixing bowl and drizzle the vegetable oil over them. Liberally season with salt and pepper and toss well. It's best to use your hands for this, as you want to make sure the oil and seasonings get inside the slits you made in the shrimp.
Heat your grill to high (550°F) and close the lid. Wait at least 15 minutes before lowering the heat to medium-high (450°F) and continuing. Oil the grill grates with a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel held with a long pair of tongs.
It is important to properly place the shrimp on the grill so that they cook quickly and evenly. Again, it is best to use your hands for this. Holding the shrimp by its tail, place the butterflied shrimp on the grill one by one, slit side down. Curl the tail down toward the head of the shrimp. Close the lid and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the flesh of the shrimp has turned white and is no longer translucent. You will not need to turn the shrimp over.
Serve the shrimp and mojo
Mound the grilled shrimp on a large platter and garnish with lime wedges. Serve with the garlicky mojo for your guests to use as a dipping sauce.
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