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There are many versions of this coastal Mexican dish, but its defining characteristics are a bold use of garlic and a bright citrus flavor. Though traditional recipes may require roasting or slow-cooking whole heads of garlic, we first mellow the allium’s pungency by steeping it in lime juice for a few minutes. We then coax out its sweet, nutty notes by gently pan-frying it in a little oil. A knob of butter—also traditional—tossed in at the end balances the garlic and lime and creates a silky sauce that clings lightly to the shrimp. Rice is a classic accompaniment, but crusty bread is delicious, too.
pounds extra-large (21/25 per pound) shrimp, peeled (tails left on), deveined and patted dry
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
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