Tahoe recipe: Shrimp a la Diabla — a la Quincy, Calif.
TRUCKEE, Calif. — A couple weeks ago I decided to take Simone Appetit on the road, kind of get all Guy Fieri, minus the hair. I mean, I still have hair, just not like his.
I ended up in Quincy, which is a charming town in Plumas County, home of the High Sierra Music Festival, a great little movie theater, fantastic thrift stores and some nifty restaurants.
Remember, I was doing the Guy Fieri thing, so I was looking for a diner. What I stumbled upon was Restaurant Express Coffee Shop on East Main Street.
What attracted me to this establishment was the sign in the front touting American, Mexican and Chinese fare. Usually when I see a restaurant offering a menu of three different ethnic foods I think cans, packaged mixes and jars, because how could they do it all?
Happy to say they can. Owner Lucio Macias cooks it all up from scratch. All of it – the french fries, the sweet and sour sauce, the potato apple salad, the burritos and everything served up in a classic diner setting.
I had the shrimp a la diabla which starts with a homemade (of course) enchilada sauce that proprietor Macais spices up just enough. Delicious.
I tried to recreate it last week, and while it is not exactly like the dish I had at Express Coffee Shop, it is pretty tasty. I started with my favorite enchilada sauce El Pato which you can usually find at your local grocer.
Next on my Express Coffee Shop visit: the chow mein, followed by a banana split.
Shrimp a la Diabla ingredients:
1/2 of a 28 ounce can El Pato enchilada sauce
2 arbol dried chiles
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, chopped very fine
1 tsp. olive oil
16 fresh or frozen tiger shrimp, or any large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tbls. sour cream
2 lime wedges
Heat up a large skillet until hot. Toast your chilies until they are slightly blackened. Remove and let cool. Once cool, cut off the stems and discard, then mince until very fine.
Now to the skillet add oil get it hot. Add the shrimp and saute both sides until seared, about 30 seconds. Now add your enchilada sauce and sour cream. Cook for about two minutes, remove from heat an serve with refried beans, corn tortillas and the lime wedges.
Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee-Tahoe home. She welcomes your recipes, kitchen “must-haves” and food news at firstname.lastname@example.org.