For me, a bounty of fresh shrimp, simple as it sounds, is one of the most conflict-inducing bare canvases of the kitchen. I tend to overcomplicate it. Mexican cuisine, however, seems to have struck the perfect balance: A quick blast in hot oil with plenty of garlic to bring out the shrimp’s savory characteristics and complement its brininess. Best of all, this recipe is fast, easy, and can be served as an hors d’oeuvre, appetizer, on top of a salad, or as main course with rice or tossed with pasta. They also make killer tacos.
Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat dry.
Using the back of your chef’s knife, smash the garlic cloves, then add small pinches of the salt at a time and continue crushing until you have a paste.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and sauté the garlic paste, stirring constantly to prevent burning, for a few minutes.
Increase heat to medium high, add the shrimp and toss to coat with garlic. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes or until pink and just opaque, then add the lime juice and pepper, toss again, and serve.