Change is good. Al Ajillo, revisited

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.

Cookingly yours,

PS: This sauce is awesome with chicken too!


15 thoughts on “Change is good. Al Ajillo, revisited

  1. Shame on you, A. That looks so darn good and it’s only 10am here and now I’m jonesing for some fish. And I brought beef for lunch. Not cool, yo.

    • I’m just paying it forward, hon. I’m looking for branzino after your post. And you know what’s crazy? I had never heard of it (in English, I’ve heard or merluza but never had it), since I read your post I’ve seen it in 3 or 4 cooking shows. LOL

  2. marcelina says:

    I love, love, love garlic. I eat fish al ajillo at my favorite restaurant every chance I get, but I have never prepared it myself, but this recipe looks so easy that, I’m going to do this for sure. Thank you Missy!!!…Again.

    • Thanks Abby, hope you’ll try it soon.

      Marcy, you HAVE to try this, fish is so fresh and plentiful back home. Grab some corvina and go to town, chica.

  3. cathincolor says:

    I have just recently found your blog and have been enjoying all of your recipes and I especially love your photos. It sure helps to see the meal that I will attempt to cook. This one makes my mouth water. Can’t wait to give this a try!

    • Cath, welcome to my little corner of the world. I’m happy to make you drool, but happier to hear you’ll try these recipes in your own kitchen. Do let me know when you do.

  4. lifeinarecipe says:

    What can I say but this awesome! A trip to the fish market is now in my future…thanks for sharing!

  5. Wow! I stumbled on this recipe and made it the other night. It was so delicious and super easy, we’re having it again tonight. Thank you!

  6. Joan-glad you liked the comments, I should try to remember them more often.

    Cindy- hurry, hurry. The fish is waiting. Let me know how it turns out

    Kimberly–I woman after my own heart. You don’t know how happy I am to hear you tried, succeeded and are trying it again. YAY! There’s a happy dance happening over here.

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