26 February 2011

Arroz con camarones (Costa Rican paella)

This is a classic South American dish, called different names in different countries.

2 lbs raw shrimp, deveined
2 tsp cumin
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs canola or sunflower oil
2 cups uncooked rice (I used valencia rice)
3 tbs butter/ oil
1 red onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, peeled and seeded, diced
3 tbs parsley, finely chopped, plus more to garnish
½ cup of white wine
Salt and pepper

Marinate the shrimp with salt, pepper, 1 tsp of cumin, let it marinate for an hour.
Bring 3-4 cups of water to boil in a large pot, add the shrimp and boil for about 2 minutes. Do not overcook or the shrimp will be chewy. Remove the shrimp from the water and reserve the water they cooked in to prepare the rice.

Chop up 1/2 the shrimp into small pieces and leave the other 1/2 whole.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or pot, add the minced garlic, cook for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add the bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, parsley, salt, pepper, and remaining 1 tsp of cumin. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
Add the white wine to the vegetable mix and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, until the onions and peppers are tender. At this point, add the rice to the garlic and vegetable mix, and mix well until the rice is coated with oil. Add double the cups of water as compared to the rice. Use the water that was used to boil the shrimp. Bring to boil and reduce heat to low. Cover with a lid and allow rice to cook slowly, monitoring for water and adding a little as needed. When the rice is about 1/2 cooked, add the chopped shrimp to the cooking rice mix. Once done, add the remaining shrimp during the last minutes and mix well. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.Sprinkle with chopped parsley and garnish with shrimp with tails on.

Serve with avocado slices, tomato and onion salad, lime slices.

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