Garlicky Linguine with Seared Shrimp, Chipotle and Queso Anejo

image_1 by you.

When I saw the Mojo de Ajo episode of Mexico: One Plate at a Time I knew I had to make it. Rick Bayless calls it liquid gold and made several recipes with it on the show. His daughter even used it on popcorn!

This recipe is especially good as I always have shrimp, pasta and chiptles in adobo available.  I made the mojo a couple of weeks ago. It was a bit time consuming to peel four heads of garlic. No matter how good my aim is skins always end up on the floor. After that you just slow roast the garlic in olive oil and add lime juice. Your house will smell wonderful!

The shrimp dish has amazing depth of flavor and was not too spicy for my pepper averting boyfriend. And once you have the mojo made this couldn't be easier.

I've posted both recipes below.

Slow Roasted Garlic Mojo

Mojo de Ajo
Makes about 3 cups mojo de ajo (made with 2 cups of oil)
Recipe from Season 7  Mexico - One Plate at a Time


4 large heads garlic
       OR 10 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) peeled garlic cloves
2 or 3 cups fruity olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh lime juice


Heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Break the heads of garlic apart, then mash each clove (a fist against the side of a knife is what I do) to release the clove from its papery skin; if using already-peeled garlic, scoop the cloves into a heavy plastic bag and use a rolling pin to mash them slightly. 

Stir together the garlic, oil and salt in an 8x8-inch baking pan (make sure all the garlic is submerged), slide it into the oven and bake until the garlic is soft and lightly brown, about 45 to 55 minutes. 

Add the lime juice and return to the oven for 20 minutes for the garlic to absorb the lime and turn golden brown.  (If you’re using the larger quantity of oil, ladle off 1 cup—no garlic cloves—and store it in a cool dry place for use in salad dressing or sautéing.) 

Using an old-fashioned potato masher or large fork, mash the garlic into a coarse puree.  Pour the mixture into a wide-mouth storage container and refrigerate it until you’re ready to enjoy some deliciousness. The mojo will last for up to three months as long as the garlic stays submerged under the oil.


Garlicky Linguine with Seared Shrimp, Chipotle and Queso Anejo

Pasta al Mojo de Ajo con Camarones, Chipotle y Queso Anejo
Serves 8 as a first course, 4 to 6 as a main dish
Recipe from Season 7  Mexico - One Plate at a Time


2/3 cup Slow-Cooked Garlic Mojo (stir before measuring)
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and (if you wish) deveined
1 to 3 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, seeded and finely chopped
1 pound dried linguine
2 or 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped watercress, parsley or cilantro
3/4 cup grated Mexican queso anejo, Parmesan or Romano


Fill a very large (6- to 8-quart) pot about 2/3 full of water.  Add 2 tablespoons salt, cover and bring to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, spoon 2 tablespoons of the oil from the mojo into a very large (12-inch) skillet.  Set over medium-high heat.  Pat the shrimp dry, sprinkle with salt and, when the oil is hot, lay them in the skillet.  Cook until the shrimp just lose their translucency in the center, about 1 minute per side. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the chopped chile(s) and the rest of the mojo. 

Slide the pasta into the boiling water, stir, then let boil until the pasta is as done as you like—usually about 6 minutes for al dente linguine. 

Remove 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then pour the pasta into a colander set in a sink. Return the pasta and the 1/2 cup water to the pot.  Scrape in the shrimp mixture, sprinkle with the chopped watercress, parsley or cilantro, toss together and divide among warm plates.  Sprinkle with the grated cheese and serve without hesitation.


Margaret said...

This is seriously good! I can't wait to try the mojo on other things, but it is perfect for shrimp and pasta. Thanks for sharing!