More Garlic, Please


In Pacific Grove, California, there is an amazing little joint called Peppers Mexicali Cafe.  Anyone who has ever seen Turner & Hooch has seen both Pacific Grove and the exterior of the amazing little cafe of which I speak.  This year is their twentieth anniversary of being in business, and they finally got a liquor license.

Back when I was a local, it became a favorite hang-out for Ex-Mrs. Sarcastro, myself, and our circle of friends.  One afternoon, the Ex and decided to drink every bottle of Rolling Rock they had in the place.  It was our favorite beer at the time, and it helped wash down the pickled garlic cloves and tortilla chips that were served complimentary at the bar, as was the custom at the time.

Our favorite dish, was the Garlic Prawns.  After several rounds at the bar, as was our custom at the time, we would adjourn to the dining room and order the Garlic Prawns.  We were ten feet tall and vampire proof by the end of the meal.  The dish was simple, yet rich and so goddamn good, we had to have it, despite the social opprobrium and gastric consequences.  It was made of huge shrimp (also known as prawns) in a cream sauce with several cloves of sliced garlic, and I think some chopped onion.  It came with black beans and rice, as well as flour tortillas for mopping it up or making little tacos with it.

I haven’t had it for several years.   Then it hit me the other night, like a bolt of inspirado.  I could make Garlic Prawns! It could take years and cost millions of lives, but it would be worth it.  Luckily, I got it right the first time.  Here’s what you need:

First, get someone else to make the black beans and rice.  Don’t let side dishes trifle with your culinary genius. Hell, get the stuff to go from Calypso.  It will save you time.  Or, better yet, sucker your girlfriend ask someone else to make that part of the meal.

Next, take one package of Sea Pak Frozen Shrimp Scampi, while preparing it according to the box, slip in a little chopped onion, like less than half a Vidalia and three or four cloves of sliced garlic.  Let that cook until the shrimp is almost thawed, but not cooked.  Then add about 4 liquid ounces of heavy cream and a tablespoon or two of grated parmesan cheese.  Stir it well so that it blends with the scampi and reduce heat to simmer so as not to scorch the cream or cause the butter sauce to separate.  Toss in some salt and pepper to taste.  Let that simmer for a few minutes until the sauce is thick.  Then, cut off the heat and let it cool enough to serve, maybe a minute.  Serve it with the rice, black beans and some soft taco sized flour tortillas.

Savor it in all of its creamy garlicky goodness.  Drink a few beers while you are at it.  You won’t be disappointed. 


7 Responses to “More Garlic, Please”

  1. Klevabich Says:

    Aye carumba, this sounds delicious. And I’m betting that one could also start with prawns sauteed in butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Ooh, and you could throw the garlic in right at the beginning for maximum garlic goodness. But first, order some of those fart-absorbing underwear thingies.

  2. Sarcastro Says:

    Sure KB, you could go about it that way. With the frozen scampi it makes it easier for the novice to try.I’m pretty sure that this is a fat-free meal, that conforms to South Beach, Weight Watchers, Atkins or any other diet plan, as far as anyone knows.

  3. sgazzetti Says:

    Greeeat Chreeest, laddie, the Garlic Prawns! I’d forgotten all about them. The pickled garlic and Peppers Cafe in general, lazy beer & garlic fueled days with the Exes there, never. In fact even in this bland-food land, until recently I was able to buy jars of pickled garlic, this German brand that was identical to the stuff we used to consume by the peck on Sunday afternoons. Then they caught on, realized I liked it, and pulled it from the shelves. Bastards.

  4. Sarcastro Says:

    Didn’t we attempt to pickle our own garlic at some point?I forgot to hyper link you. Shit.

  5. Sarcastro's Sugar Momma Says:

    "Sucker your girlfriend"??? "Ask someone else"??? Perhaps you were suckered by being offered nothing more than black beans and rice for dinner.

  6. peptodismal Says:

    For a small fee, I’ll send you my garlic, curry, cream cheese stuffed mega-shrimp in garlic, curry, butter sauce recipe, Oxymorons optional.

  7. Vicki Monti Says:

    Hey! I know this is an old post, but here is a working link for SeaPak’s frozen shrimp scampi – – in case anyone’s interested.

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