Brazilian-style Shrimp Soup/Stew... with onion, peppers, tomatoes and rice. Not too long ago, a reader(Yung) recently commented on my Spanish Marmitako dish and shared with me her tip for adding some coconut milk to the stew to make it creamy. I loved her suggestion, as variations to the dishes I post are always, always welcome... I really enjoy hearing from all my readers when they have a tip or suggestion, it makes me learn as well:). In any case, the comment had instantly reminded me of a Brazilian dish which uses coconut milk ... and it's somewhat similar to the Marmitako I made recently. So I thank Yung for her suggestion... because I made the Brazilian dish not too long after :)!
I thought to share this Brazilian-style dish as well... only because it's quite simple to prepare and it can come together in no time at all. If you have a few ingredients you can make a dish that's quite healthy, filling.... and it's gluten-free as well. The only thing that made this dish more of Brazilian-style, (emphasize the style) is that I substituted the usual coconut milk for cashew milk. Now, you can easily sub in the coconut milk if you like... I just didn't have it on hand, as I don't normally buy canned coconut milk( but I'm wanting to one day... for the mere fact of making some whipped coconut frosting:)). The coconut milk will definitely make the soup more creamy than the cashew milk... but it's good with the cashew milk as well.
Now, I always like to quickly brine my frozen seafood, but you can easily skip the brining if you like... just season the shrimp with a bit of salt/pepper and proceed with the recipe. While I used only a couple of garlic cloves, you can definitely increase amount if you like more garlic. This dish was a welcome meal on a cold rainy day. Hope you enjoy...
Note: The soup will thicken as it sits... the rice will absorb some of the liquid... and will make a stew-like dish.
Tip: The soup can easily be eaten without the acidity... it will taste more like a seafood chowder... but the lemon juice brightens the dish and makes it taste "alive" .
You will need: inspired by Epicurious
Cashew Milk : need only 1 cup for this dish, this amount makes more than enough, so opt to freeze the rest... or use some coconut milk instead... or you can even scale down the recipe.
1 cup raw cashew pieces
3 cups water
5 cups water
2 TBS kosher salt
1 pound medium (26 count) frozen raw shrimp
1 onion chopped fine
1 bell pepper chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, grated (can use more if you like)
2 TBS chill olive oil (can use regular)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup long grain rice
1 1/2 cups crushed canned tomatoes (I used whole in juice and processed)
4 cups water
1 cup cashew milk from above, or use coconut milk
1 lb brined shrimp from above, cut in pieces if too big
1-2 TBS lemon juice or to taste ( I used meyer lemon, can also use lime)
chopped green onion/ parsley/cilantro, etc.
drizzle of olive oil
Make cashew milk... this step can be skipped if using coconut milk.
1. Soak cashews in water while getting everything ready. Can soak overnight or soak for a few hours.... if not in a hurry:).
2. In a blender( I used my Vitamix ), place soaked cashew, add water and blend until smooth and milky in texture... a couple of minutes or so.
3. Remove 1 cup and set aside... freeze the rest in small batches (or use in other dishes, smoothies, etc).
Brine Shrimp: Can be skipped as well, though brining makes the shrimp taste great as well as makes them plump and juicy. If you don't want to brine, season shrimp with a bit of salt and pepper and set aside.
1. Dissolve salt in water, add frozen shrimp(with shell on) and allow to sit in brine for about 30 minutes or so... the shrimp will defrost almost completely, if it is still frozen, you can start to clean the shrimp, removing shell and deveining... by the end of the cleaning, the shrimp should have defrosted completely. Set aside.
Note: if using deveined shrimp that has already been cleaned, allow to sit in the brine no longer than 20 minutes as the brine will penetrate the shrimp much quicker.
2. Process the canned tomatoes to a puree.... I used a large 28 oz can and had leftover, but you can use a smaller can. Remove puree and set aside 1 1/2 cups.
3. Chop onion, and bell pepper.
4. Heat oil in a soup pot on medium heat. Add chopped onion, chopped bell pepper and garlic. Stir to combine and season with about 1 tsp kosher salt.
5. Saute vegetables for 10-15 minutes... stirring often so as not to burn. Lower heat if necessary.
6. Add rice and saute for another minute or so. Then stir in crushed tomato.
7. Add about 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover with lid lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes or so.... or until rice is almost done. Yo don't want the rice to be too mushy.
8. Add milk (cashew or coconut) and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Note: The picture shows I added the milk and shrimp at the same time, I plumb forgot as I was taking the pictures to add the milk first... but do add milk first:).
9. Add shrimp and cook for another minute or so, then turn heat off... the residual heat will continue to cook the shrimp.
10. Add lemon juice(or lime) to taste and top with fresh green onion and/or parsley/cilantro.