Aguachile de Camarón con Durazno (Shrimp and Peach Aguachile)

Recipe by Christian Irabién, Chef at Aparo, opening this fall in DC's historic Mount Pleasant neighborhood. Photography by Jennifer Chase.

Shrimp and peach aguachile.

Shrimp and peach aguachile.

Serves 6

1 and 1/4 pounds 16/20 shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 oranges, halved
1 lime, halved
2 limes, zested and juiced
2 serrano peppers, stemmed and halved
4 serrano peppers, sliced in thin rings
1 bunch cilantro
2 seedless cucumbers, peeled and seeded (reserve) 
1 1/2 cups mint leaves, packed
2 avocados
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons dry oregano
1 yellow onion
6 garlic cloves
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3 ripe peaches, sliced 1/4" thick

In a stock pot, add 4 quarts of water, 1 cup salt, bay leaves, 2 sprigs of cilantro, garlic, oregano, 2 halved serranos, 2 halved limes and oranges (squeeze juice into water and drop fruit in) and ½ cup of the mint leaves.

Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Allow to steep for 10 minutes.

Prepare an ice bath for the shrimp when they come out of the hot water.

Strain and discard all solids from the stock pot, and place the liquid back into the pot and return it to a boil, reduce to simmer. Add the shrimp and cook at a low simmer for about 1 to 2 minutes until they turn red and begin to curl. Remove immediately and submerge in ice bath to cool and stop the cooking process.

In a blender add 1 and 1/4 peeled cucumbers, half of the seeds, half of the peels, 1 peach, olive oil, lime juice, zest, remaining mint leaves, half of the cilantro, one of the sliced serranos (add more if you want more spice!) and salt to taste. Blend until smooth.

Strain the liquid and discard solids. Slice the rest of the cucumber in 1/4 inch slices. Cut the avacados into small dice.

In a mixing bowl, mix the shrimp, cucumber-oil mix, red onions, remaining peaches, and avocados, season well with salt and pepper and mix evenly

Serve cold on a chilled platter. Garnish with cilantro leaves, mint leaves, and red onion slices.


Christian Irabien is a Mexican native who has led teams in renowned kitchens, receiving accolades for his Executive Chef role at Calavera in Oakland, Ca. and Jose Andrés’Oyamel in Washington, DC. Christian has been an integral part of the rising DC restaurant scene, collaborating with non-profits, restaurants, food banks and farms in the area as an active participant for better working conditions and wages for restaurant workers; while also strongly advocating for a better local food system. His restaurant, Amparo, will open later this fall at 3110 Mount Pleasant St NW in the historic Mount Pleasant neighborhood of D.C.

Shrimp & Grits with Braised Collards & Smoked Tomato Broth

Serves 4


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup coarse stone ground white grits
  • ¼ cup butter Salt to taste

Bring water and milk to a boil in a medium heavy-bottomed pot. Once boiling, whisk in grits. Lower heat to a simmer and continue stirring periodically (every 3-5 minutes) for the first 25 minutes to ensure that the grits don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. After 25 minutes, you can whisk a bit less frequently, but still often. Grits are done when they’re totally thick with a soft, tender mouthfeel. Consistency should be uniform. If more liquid is necessary during cooking, use water, not milk. Once done, kill the heat and add butter and whisk until incorporated. Season with salt to taste.


Smoked Tomato Broth

  • ½ yellow onion, peeled and rough chopped 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon hickory smoked powder
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1  28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2  sprigs each parsley, fresh oregano, rosemary (stems removed from rosemary)
  • ½ can tomato paste

In a medium pot, sweat the onions and red pepper flakes in olive oil until soft; onions should be translucent and not brown. Add smoked powder. Deglaze with wine and allow to reduce by half. Add the tomatoes, their juices and the herbs to the pot. Simmer 25 minutes then whisk in the tomato paste. Cook an additional 10 minutes then season to taste with salt, black pepper and olive oil.


Blanched Collard Greens

  •  2 pounds fresh collard greens, stems removed and leaves rough chopped

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add a few pinches of salt then add the chopped collards. Have a large bowl of ice water standing by. After 90 seconds, using a hand strainer, remove the collards from the boiling water and transfer immediately to the ice water to shock them. Once the collards have cooled, use your hands to squeeze the excess water from the collards and set the greens aside.

Other Ingredients

  • 16 large gulf white shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails attached Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper



In a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan, heat 4 tbs olive oil until shimmering hot. Add the shrimp carefully; do not over-crowd. There should be a bit of space between each shrimp. When you’ve placed all 16 shrimp in the pan, season with salt and pepper while the shrimp cooks.

After 2-3 minutes, the shrimp will begin to look opaque. Turn each shrimp carefully and season the other side. Cook for 1 minute then add the butter. Cook an additional minute and add the white wine and lemon juice to the pan. Immediately add 2 cups of the smoky tomato broth (reserve the rest for another use). Toss in the greens, stir to combine and cover; allow the dish to simmer for 2 minutes.


In the bottom of four shallow serving dishes, place about 1 cup of grits. Top each dish with four shrimp, a small mound of collards and a spoonful of sauce. Top with fresh herbs and serve immediately.