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I am of Cuban nationality and one of my favorite Cuban dishes is Enchilado de Camarones (stewed creole shrimp). This dish is usually served over freshly made sticky white rice and avocado salad. It’s also easy and quick to make, ready in less than 30 minutes, the perfect dish for the upcoming season of Lent.
I like to cook and I like to learn new things. I like to cook when I get home from work, but sometimes I get home late and need to make a quick meal. I like to make Enchilado de Camarones because in less than 30 minutes, I can make both the rice and the shrimp. I use some shortcuts for the shrimp, like instead of tomatoes and tomato paste, I use Clamato, a drink made of tomato juice, flavored with spices and clam broth. I love the taste it brings to the dish. A classic Enchilado de Camarones also has white wine, but I nix the wine during Lent. You can’t even tell the difference!
Enchilado de Camarones
(Cuban-Style Shrimp Stew)
1 1/2 lbs fresh jumbo shrimp (peeled and deveined)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 garlic gloves (minced)
1/2 cup large onion (chopped)
1 cup Clamato juice
1 1/2 tspn ground cumin
1/4 tspn cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt and black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp cilantro (minced)
This dish starts with making your sauce first. In a pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter. Add the onions and garlic and saute until softened. Add the Clamato juice, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, black pepper and sugar and bring to a boil. Add shrimp.
Stir and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, covered. After 10 minutes, add cilantro and cook another five minutes.
Remove from heat and serve over warm, fluffy white rice.
Told you it was easy and quick. Honestly, it’s a great dish and brings back so many childhood memories of my grandmother making this for us. I remember going grocery shopping with her after school for the ingredients and walking home. We would talk the whole time and she would tell me stories about growing up in Cuba. She would also talk about how her family would take Lent very seriously and would follow the no meat on Fridays rule. They would eat Enchilado de Camarones or an Enchilado de Pescado on Fridays and she passed the tradition on to us. I remembered her while I was shopping for the ingredients for this dish at Walmart over the weekend.
One day, I hope to pass down this recipe to my children and then they pass it on to theirs. What is that one dish that you and your family always make during Lent?