So summer was here for a day and then I think that the collective hurrah! of the city of Chicago scared it away. It’s been cold, rainy and daily hopes of me grilling anytime soon are dashed by the constant rain, hail and yuck that is our every day.
Enough about the weather. I suppose we were warned with that April shower/May flowers poem.
I hate poetry.
However, I don’t hate soups and stews and as such I’ve had ample reason to bust out some oldies and goodies. Example: the African pumpkin-tomato soup of yore. SO good and just like the first time I made it, I was sad when my spoon hit the end of the pot. I’ll be making it again soon and very soon (and updating my pictures to boot- I ate this pot too fast. Whoopsy.).
This soup/stew/whatever you want to call it was actually an afterthought. I had originally planned on making pato no tucupi– which is duck in some sort of Brazilian citrus sauce. I love duck and don’t make it…ever…so here was my chance. However, I could not find the special sauce. A sauce made with jambu leaves and manioc (cassava) tubers apparently found only in Brazil, and my beloved, trusty international market did not have it. Booo…
Apparently, if cooked improperly, that sauce is poisonous- and that fact alone makes me think it might be banned in the US for that reason. I’ve done no research to support this theory, but something makes me think that the import/export regulators don’t have faith in us to 1) cook it properly or 2) not use it to kill other people. Either way, they are probably right.
The duck off the table, I went for my second choice: Moqueca de Camarones, a shrimp stew. It was very reminiscent of the shrimp creole I made not that long ago (and loved). However, the parts that made it different (limes, lots of cilantro and coconut) made it so different and, to me, more reminiscent of Thai food than Belizean.
Though it’s very good on its own, I wanted to do so much more with this recipe. I almost added sausage and I almost added wine, but for this one, I figured I’d stay as true to the recipes I combined as I could. I’m sure there will be lots of sausage and wine to come, but for today, I abstained.
Often times served with rice, I just ate mine as a soup so that I could eat it with bread. Lots of bread. I have to pick my carbs. And I choose bread or cake > rice. So, carb load as you see fit.
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, cored and diced
- 1 red pepper, cored and diced
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup lite coconut milk
- rice, to serve
- 1 TB olive oil, for the pan
- In a bowl, place the shrimp, salt, pepper, garlic and lime juice and let marinate for about 20-30 minutes.
- In a large saucepan, add the olive oil, onion and peppers and cayenne, and let cook until soft, about 7-8 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and coconut milk, and give it a good stir. Add the shrimp mixture (juice and all), cover, and let cook about 10 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through and pink.
- Once ready to serve, stir in the cilantro. Serve atop rice or just as a soup by itself.
- The same recipe can be modified with fish.
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