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.

Blackberry Cooler

Makes 4 drinks

  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • ⅔ cup sugar + ½ cup sugar, divided 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 mint leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (plus 4 lemon slices for garnish) 12 ounces good quality lemon-lime soda

Place the blackberries, ⅓ cup sugar, ginger and mint leaves in a food processor (or blender) and pulse about 10 times or until the mixture is consistently chopped; it should look like a textured applesauce. Set aside.

In a small pot, mix the ½ cup sugar with ½ cup water and simmer, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Chill the lemon syrup in the fridge for about an hour.

Fill 4 glasses with ice. Put a heaping spoonful of the berry mixture in the bottom of the glass. Divide the lemon mixture evenly among the four glasses and give the drink a stir.

Top each drink with a few ounces of the lemon-lime soda and garnish with a lemon slice. Serve immediately.


Banana Pudding

4 servings

  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup egg yolks (about 8 yolks) 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 ounce banana extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into cubes

To make the custard, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, milk and egg yolks in a pot set over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until it just begins to bubble, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn heat down slightly, and allow mixture to simmer, still stirring constantly, for 1 minute, then remove mixture from heat. Whisk in the extract, salt and butter.

Transfer the mixture to a hotel pan, cover tightly with foil and cook in 350˚ oven 20 minutes or until thick and beginning to set. Remove from the oven and puree the pudding with a stick or immersion blender or in a blender or food processor until completely smooth and no lumps remain. Transfer to another container and allow to cool in the freezer for at least 1 hour, stirring once.

To assemble, place 3-4 slices of fresh banana in the bottom of an 8oz mason jar. USE A PIPING BAG to cover the bananas and fill the mason jars about ¾ of the way full with pudding. Cover with plastic and allow to cool completely.