Camarones al Ajillo (Shrimp in Garlic Sauce)

1 lb raw shrimp (shell-on or peeled okay)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 heads garlic (about 20 cloves), minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp clarified butter or ghee
juice of 1/4 lemon (about 1 tbsp)
cilantro to garnish

1. In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper; for best results, marinate for at least 1 hour but up to overnight.

2. Warm the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and sauté until the shrimp is pink, curled, and starting to brown at the edges, about 4 minutes, tossing every minute.

3. Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro then serve immediately, atop Spanish Rice

*** Camarones a la Criollo: Prior to adding the shrimp in Step #2, make a sofrito by sautéing 1 finely-chopped onion, 1 finely-chopped green pepper, and 2 minced garlic cloves until softened, about 6 minutes. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup dry white wine (like vino seco) then stir in 1 cup tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, and 1/4 tsp ground cumin. Add the shrimp plus 1 cup Spanish olives and simmer until the shrimp is pink and curled, about 4 minutes, then proceed to Step #3.

*** Mexican-style Camarones al Ajillo: Add 1/2 tsp dried oregano and 1/4 tsp ground cumin to the shrimp marinade. 30 minutes before cooking, remove the seeds and stems from 1 dried guajillo chile pepper, then soak in warm water for 30 minutes. Strain then slice the chile into thin strips and add to the skillet with the shrimp during Step #2.

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