Aguachiles to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Every year from September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month, where we honor the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans and their culture. At Parkhurst, we recognize this special month with recipes that celebrate this heritage. Carthage College General Manager Esmeralda Barajas not only shares her family recipe for Aguachiles, but also the story behind it.

Aguachiles from Esmeralda Barajas, General Manager at Carthage College

10 Limes (for everything to marinate in, until the citrus cooks the shrimp)
2 Serrano Chiles (finely chopped for the heat or slices without seeds for more mild taste)
Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1 lb Large Shrimp – Peeled, deveined and butterflied
1/2 Chopped Red Onion
3 Chopped avocado
1 Chopped cucumber

Slice the shrimp in half (lengthwise) and remove any veins or tails. Place in a shallow serving dish. Add remaining ingredients around the shrimp and pour lime juice over everything – the lime juice will cook the shrimp, turning them slightly pink. Turn shrimp over as needed to cook both sides in the lime juice – this will take about 20-30 minutes. Refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. Serve cold.

A Note From Esmeralda:
Aguachiles is one of the recipes that will always be included in my family traditions. My great, great grandmother Amalia would wrap her newborn Juan around her waist and push a cart through her town selling Tamales and Aguachiles until she sold out every day. As her son got older, he of course took over her business and let his mother rest at home. Juan eventually got married, and Amalia and Juan’s wife Socorro carried on with their street cart filled with Aguachiles.

Every family trip to Mexico I had as a child, my grandmother Juanita would tell us this story as we walked through the town, into the plaza, where there would be a vendor selling Aguachiles out of a cart.