#MeatlessMonday Camarones a la Diabla Minus the Camarones

Vegan Camarones a la Diablabut with extra diabla and some vegan crab Match meat.  All of which makes really good

Camarones a la Diabla Minus the Camarones

So, there’s a lot going on with this post today.  In brief, what I wanted to do was keep the week of #MeatlessMonday recipes theme going on, so this recipe is absolutely 100% vegan.  It doesn’t get much more #MeatlessMonday than that.

Secondly, in case you don’t know what camarones a la diabla are, they are one of my absolute favorite Mexican dishes.  Translated literally it means shrimp of the the devil, or deviled shrimp, but they are a fabulously spicy shrimp dish I order a lot at Mexican places.  The shrimp are stewed in a spicy tomato sauce and served with warm tortillas, rice, and avocado.  So good.

Of course, there’s a problem, right?  Camarones are meat.  This is #MeatlessMonday (Wednesday edition.)  That means no camarones.  So that’s when I turned to my good friends at Match and their Uh-may-ZING vegan crab made from plant proteins.  So good.

In the end, I came up with something that was not bad for a first attempt at a Mexican dish.  It still needs some work, but I think I got pretty darn close.

Camarones a la Diabla Minus the Camarones Recipe

I like this recipe.  Tearing into it, I think I got real, real close to restaurant quality on my first try. I, however, did two things I would like to change in the future.  First, the peppers I used weren’t right.  The recipe I found called for serranos, arbols, and guajillo chilies.  I had serranos.   So I used some dried red Asian peppers in place of the arbols (since I think they actually are arbols) and a dried New Mexican chili for the guajillos.  That last part was a mistake.  Guajillos are smokey and my sauce is not smokey.  It’s still a little too tomatoey.   I wishI had used anchos (which I had some) instead.  But, live and learn.

I also am not fond of serranos in this dish.  They are awfully “green” in a dish I’d like to be smokey.

Mistake #2 was the size of the Match crab patties.  I made crab cake sized patties, which is dumb since they won’t fit on a tortilla.  Next time, I am going to do quarter-sized patties both because they’ll fit into a tortilla nicely and because they won’t restrict the flow of sauce around them.  In the end, a big part of the “a la diabla” is reducing the tomato sauce down. Since the patties were so big, that was hard.  Smaller patties all around next time.

You will need:

  • 3 guajillos
  • 5 arbols
  • 5 anchos
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 package Match crab meat
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce

Put the guajillos, arbols, and anchos in boiling water.  Turn the water off and let the chilies sit covered for 10 minutes.  Drain all but a few tablespoons of the water.  Remove the stems and then pour the water and chilies into a blender.  Blend until smooth.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add 6 tablespoons of olive oil.  While the oil is getting hot, roll the Match meat into 20-25 small patties.  Cook the patties in small batches for 1-2 minutes on each side.

Add the rest of the oil, the onions, and a healthy pinch of salt.  Cook the onions until translucent, about 8 minutes.  Then add the garlic.  Cook 30 seconds.

Add the tomato sauce and stir well.  Then add the chilies and mix them in.  Bring to a boil and let the sauce reduce for 5 minutes.  Add the crab patties and continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes or until thick.

Serve on tortillas with avocado and enjoy!

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