Sunday, March 8, 2009

Kitchen Adventures -- Brazilian Shrimp Stew

While thinking of things to post about, I decided to document some of my kitchen adventures.  I enjoy cooking quite a bit, and a few years ago went from not being much of a cook to being pretty successful with simple recipes.  Tom is always a willing test subject, and happily eats just about everything I cook.  I made this last night, and he said it was one of the best things I've ever made -- high praise indeed, especially for such an easy recipe!

I usually take a look at a recipe, see what ingredients are needed, and take most of the rest as a suggestion and cook it the way I feel. This particular recipe, on the other hand, was prepared almost exactly as directed, with a few exceptions.  

I was at Trader Joe's the other day and saw some frozen langostinos, which I had never heard of before.  Billed as an "inexpensive" alternative to lobster they can be substituted for lobster, shrimp or crab in any recipe without any real modifications.  I bought a bag, came home and did some internet searches, looking for just the right recipe.  I came up with this one at and was off to the races . . . 

Brazilian Shrimp Stew

First, I assembled all of my ingredients.  In addition to the langostino substitution, I also used "lite" coconut milk in place of the hugely fat- and calorie-laden regular stuff, without any untoward effects.

Here's the langostinos in their lemon-garlic marinade.  They come from Trader Joe's precooked at $8.99 per pound (not exactly inexpensive . . . )  Right out of the bag, they taste like a cross between lobster and crab -- sweet, kinda buttery and with the texture of crab.  Tasty!

After I put up the marinade, I saute the onions and peppers, and here I puree the canned diced tomatoes.  I really like the extra flavor in the Hunt's Fire Roasted Tomatoes, and almost always use them when the recipe calls for the canned variety.

Here they are together with the chopped cilantro, cayenne and some salt.  After simmering for 15 minutes or so . . . 

. . . the sauce has thickened up quite nicely.

Then comes the addition of the coconut milk, which I would never have thought of myself.  After this, I add the langostinos and 4 more tablespoons (!!) of cilantro.  Here the recipe calls for dende (palm) oil, but I skipped that entirely.  Once the langostino is warmed through, we are DONE!

Served over white rice, this meal was truly delicious!  The flavor was amazing, and you could taste each individual ingredient in each bite, without everything getting muddle into "yeah, it's tomato sauce".  Lemon, garlic, tomato, cilantro, seafood.  Yum!

As far as the langostinos go, they were quite flavorful too.  I thought they were a little on the tough side, but Tom disagreed -- he loved them.  In the future, I'd like to try this with shrimp.  In any case, this was an excellent meal, delicious and super easy to prepare.  The recipe says it'll serve 6, but I think the yield is more like 3 -- and that's without leftovers.  Trust me, you'll want the leftovers.  Next time, I think I'll double it.

1 comment:

Runner Leana said...

Oh wow, that looks really tasty! I'm going to bookmark that recipe to keep in mind for another week. It sound delicious!