I LOVE THIS RECIPE! Camarones a la Diabla is a true gem. If you’ve never had it, let me explain its glory.
Camarones a la Diabla, The Breakdown:
It is a Mexican dish that consists of two main components: a smokey red sauce with shrimp. Simple! A sauce is made. This sauce might remind you of an enchilada sauce. It’s red and flavorful and in this case, a little smoky. This sauce recipe makes quite a bit and part of me wanted to halve it but I actually ended up using it for three other dinners last week.
1st dinner: I made this dish you see pictured. 2nd dinner: I tossed it with roasted eggplant and vegetables and ate it with quinoa. 3rd dinner: I made this again. 4th dinner: Josh used it to braise some flank steak (using one of our favorite kitchen gadgets) AND then we put it in tacos for Friday taco night and it was boooomb.
Last Friday I bought a $13 movie ticket, along with a small bag of $6 popcorn, and joyfully watched the new Jon Favreau movie, The Chef. I loved it! Sure, there were problems with the movie, like the relationship between him and Sofia Vergara (seems a little unrealistic) but whatever, I took the ride.
Not to give too much of the movie away but part of it was shot in South Florida, where I grew up the majority of my life and it made me miss home in a way I never do. I miss my family, but I rarely miss Florida. My meh-ness toward Florida can usually be summed up with one word: humidity.
Despite the excessive moisture in the air, Miami does have a vibrancy and energy that I really do love. And I love all the Latin people (and food) in South Florida. It made me want the food of my peeps. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been obsessed with this Peruvian Aji.
If you go into a Peruvian restaurant, most likely it’ll be on every single table. We eat it with everything. The ingredients can be tough to find. There’s usually a bit of black mint and fresh aji amarillos peppers in the sauce. So, in order to make it as assessible, I altered the recipe below to be as United States-friendly as possible.
Aji amarillo paste might be the toughest ingredient to find, though if you live near a Latin American market, it’ll most likely be there. It’s also online. If you can’t get a hold of it, you can always add a bit more jalapeño.
OMG! It’s Monday. I feel like before we dive into sugar and eggs and cream, I should make you watch this video of this bear waving, because it’ll really set a tone for the rest of this blog post (and for the rest of your week). Let’s make this Classic Flan!
Alright, I’ll wait…
Now that you’ve had a nice little laugh, and thought to yourself, How did that bear wave like that?! it’s time to talk about flan!!
I Grew Up Hating Flan!
This is because the majority of flan served in latin restaurants, throughout South Florida, is really really eggy, not super smooth and overly sweet. I always skipped flan and just ate more rice.
Even my great aunt’s recipe–which is considered to be a family treasure–is not my favorite. I really wish I was giving you some recipe that was a family heirloom or whatever, but sometimes it’s just not the case. Instead, this recipe is mash-up of a Jose Andrés recipe (who had similar flan memories as myself!) and this old Bon Appetit recipe I’ve made a few dozen times. The ratios in this recipe are pretty flawless, really–it’s only the technique that I’ve tweaked here and there. This flan isn’t too eggy. Not too sweet. And the custard is incredibly smooth. Totally dreamy!