Hispanic Kitchen

Spice It Up!

They say only death and taxes are certain, I think change is too. Change is inevitable, it is necessary and, usually, beneficial. Change is how we know we're living and not just alive.

My day job deals with change and I can tell you that, more often than not, people are reluctant to it. I can understand their feelings. Change can be scary and challenging, but I think it is a good way to keep us thinking and moving, experimenting.

When The Hubbz and I were in Panama a few months ago, we ate lots and lots of really good food. One of our favorites was eating seafood in garlic sauce or al ajillo. You will usually see a white fish like corvina (similar to white sea bass) dressed with this kind of sauce. YUM! I've made my own al ajillo for years, but after our recent visit and dining fest, I've changed and tweaked the way I make it. Guess what? You get dibs too!

My New Al Ajillo (Garlic) Sauce

White onions, diced
Red bell pepper, diced
Garlic, crushed
Extra virgin olive oil
Sherry or white wine
Butter, cold
Italian parsley, finely chopped
Sea salt
White pepper
Fish fillets or shrimp


Salt & pepper the fish and set it aside. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the onions and bell pepper.

Cook these until softened before adding the crushed garlic.

Add the sherry or wine and deglaze the pan (remove the bits that caramelized at the bottom). Cook for about 3 minutes to allow the alcohol to burn out.

Add a few squares of cold butter and melt it into the sauce. This will help it thicken. Check the seasoning and adjust the salt & pepper as necessary.

Add the fillets or shrimp, allowing them to brown on one side before flipping it over. Add half of the parsley before flipping the seafood and the rest once you've flipped them.

Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Since I use an electric stove, I usually turn off the heat at this point and allow the fish to continue cooking in the steam caught inside the pan.


This is soooo good, I especially love it with white rice. For the full-color post, visit my blog Chef It Yourself.


Cookingly yours,

PS: This sauce is awesome with chicken too!

Other recipes by Anamaris:
Pescado a la Caribeña
Puerco en Salsa Verde (Pork in Green Sauce)
Sopa de Arroz con Pollo
A Tale of Two Rice Recipes
Cod in Creamy al Ajillo Sauce
Arroz con Coco (Coconut Rice)
Panamanian Pasta: Johnny Mazzetti
Sopa de Res con Arvejas (Split Pea and Beef Soup)
Yuca Delights: With Mojo or Spicy Mayo-Ketchup
Chuletas Guisadas (Stewed Pork Chops)

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Tags: Panama, ajillo, easy, fish, food, garlic, recipe, seafood


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Comment by Dali on August 27, 2010 at 4:51pm
Anamaris, this sounds delicious, I have to make this, hummm!
Comment by Norma Torres on August 10, 2010 at 9:04am
This is amazing and I did promise to make it.
Comment by Jorge on August 9, 2010 at 10:12pm
I love fish and I love garlic. That looks sooo good, Anamaris! Thanks so much for sharing!

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