I love camarones enchilados or creole-style shrimp. Growing up, it was the perfect every day dish thrown together at the last minute. On a good day, we had it with fluffy white race and maduros. On a rushed day, frozen shrimp and Cuban crackers. It was one of the first things I’d tried to make on my own, but there was always something missing. I looked at a few different versions pulling different elements from each. What really made the difference though was Alex Garcia’s recommendation from In a Cuban Kitchen to add the shrimp at the very end, allowing the flavors in the sauce to develop without over cooking the shrimp. Spicy but sweet and well worth the time.
Camarones Enchilados/Creole Shrimp
2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, cored and chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ketchup
1 large roasted red pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and lemon pepper to taste
In a large glass bowl, combine the shrimp, lime juice, salt and pepper. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Drain the shrimp and reserve the lime juice.
Heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the green pepper, onion, and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, wine, bay leaf, ketchup, and the reserved lime juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Add pimientos and shrimp and simmer, covered until they’re fully cooked, about 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the parsley, cilantro and Tabasco sauce.
Makes 4-6 servings.