Peruvian Shrimp Chowder (Chupe de Camarones)

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Today is Pieter’s birthday. He wanted to stay in and requested this Peruvian soup he remembers from when we were in Lima. I am very happy to oblige since of course I want to make him something that he really enjoys, but also a mini proud moment since of everything he wanted, he requested something from my home country. This soup is a sort of bisque. This version can be made anywhere. It is just very important to get whole shrimp (with shells and heads) since they are the base for this soup. Served with some lime wedges and it’s heaven in a bowl.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

750g whole medium shrimp (peeled and deveined, reserve the shells and heads)

½ red onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

½ cup tomato puree

2 teaspoons of tomato paste

3 Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped (or any other kind for mashing, you want it to give consistency to the soup)

Handful of rice

2 liters of seafood stock (I boiled 1 crab, 300 gr of vongole, 1 diced carrot, 2 stalks of celery and 1 leek)

2 tablespoons of butter

½ cup of white wine or Pisco

Salt

Olive oil

¼ cup of peas

¼ cup of broad beans

½ cup of corn kernels

200ml cream

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

150gr feta, crumbled

½ bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

Extras:

3 eggs, fried

Lime wedges for serving

 

To make the stock, just boil the crab with the vongole, carrot, celery and chopped leek for about 20-30 minutes, Then drain and reserve the stock.

To prepare the shrimp sauce, first peel the shrimp and then remove the veins. Reserve the shells and heads. Put the clean shrimp tails in a bowl and reserve in the fridge. (if you want you can reserve 3 whole shrimps and cook them with the shells and then reserve them for decorating the plate)

In a medium pan and over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil. Then add the shells, heads and white wine. Cook until the wine has reduced. Put the shells in a blender; add some salt and about 3 cups of the seafood stock. Blend until smooth and then sift the mixture. Reserve it.

In a large pot, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add the garlic and tomato paste. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the tomato puree. Add the remaining of the seafood stock and the shrimp sauce. Add the potatoes, a handful of rice and some salt. Let it simmer on medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes.

Add the peas, broad beans, corn kernels and shrimp tails to the soup. Let it cook for about 3 minutes and then add the cream.  Add the oregano, half of the chopped coriander and taste for salt.

Pour the soup into 3 bowls and sprinkle with some feta and more coriander. Place a fried egg on top of each bowl and serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

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Spring Polenta with Peas, Shrimp & Asparagus

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The weather is always indecisive in spring. We had a few good days where it was very warm. One where we could actually be outside without wearing a jacket. Then the temperature dropped again and I was back wearing my winter jacket. And yesterday we had hail. So in the spirit of sunny but cold days I made this spring polenta. Still comforting but with more veggies. I wanted to also top it with some Parmesan shavings but I only realized I had forgotten it after I finished shooting. So add some if you like. We have been going nuts buying plants and seeds in preparation for our new apartment since it has a garden. We will only be moving in summer but we are already growing some plants in our balcony and my prop room has become a green house. We grew this green basil ourselves and cannot wait for all our other plants to grow.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the shrimp:

250gr of shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of salt

Pinch of celery salt

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ a lemon

For the asparagus:

150grs of thin asparagus, thinly sliced except for the tips (If you get the thick asparagus just cook them longer)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of garlic powder

For the pea polenta:

¾ cup of coarse yellow cornmeal

2 cups of frozen peas

3 1/2 cups of boiling vegetable stock or water

250ml of cream

Salt

Pinch of celery salt

Pinch of garlic powder

Extras:

Handful of micro basil (I used green and purple)

Juice of ½ a lemon

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Edible flowers (optional)

 

Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the asparagus, a pinch of salt and garlic powder. Saute them for about 2 minutes. Set them aside.

In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the shrimp, garlic powder, celery salt, and salt. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the shrimp are pink. The time will depend on the size of your shrimp, mine were small. Then add the lemon juice and zest. Cook for an extra minute while tossing. Set it aside.

For the polenta, place the frozen peas in the jar of the blender and add the boiling stock or water. Let it sit for 30 seconds so that the peas get blenched and then blend until smooth. Pass it through a fine mesh sieve.

Pour the pea stock (reserve ¼ of a cup of the pea stock), cream, salt, celery salt, and garlic powder into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it starts simmering, slowing sprinkle the cornmeal while whisking. Whisk on medium-low heat for about 8 minutes until it becomes creamy and it is fully cooked. It is important to keep whisking to avoid lumps from forming.

Once the polenta is cooked, add the remaining ¼ of a cup of the pea stock if it needs to loosen up a bit. Taste for salt.

In a small bowl, mix the micro basil with the lemon juice, olive oil and salt.

Serve the polenta with the asparagus, shrimp, dressed micro basil and edible flowers.

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Shrimp Wonton Soup

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I could live off dumplings. These are also nice fried. You can just fry them in a pan till golden without having to use too much oil. This soup is super simple to make, this time I added choy sum but you can add any veggies that you like.

This recipe makes 12 large wontons and serves 2-3 people.

Ingredients:

For the shrimp wontons:

250gr of shrimp, (peeled and deveined)

½ cup of finely chop Napa cabbage (green part only)

1 tablespoon of chopped ginger

1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of chopped chives

12 wonton wrappers

For the soup:

8 cups of stock of your choice

1 small piece of ginger

3 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 spring onion, chopped

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

The white part of the Napa cabbage left over from making the wontons

Extra:

1 small bunch of choy sum, cleaned and leaves separated

Soy sauce for serving

Spring onion for serving

Chili oil for serving

 

 

Mince the shrimp and then mix it with the rest of the ingredients for the filling.

Have a small bowl with cold water ready, use it to seal the edges of the wontons.

Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of the wrapper. Dip your finger in the cold water and draw a line over the edges of the wrapper. Then fold it in half, forming a triangle. Press to seal it with your fingers, make sure there are no air bubbles. Then grab the two opposite corners and press to seal them together. Repeat for all.

To make the soup, just simmer the stock for 10 minutes with the ginger, sesame oil, spring onion, soy sauce, Napa cabbage and rice wine vinegar. Then remove the piece of ginger.

In a different pot, boil some water. Once the water is boiling, cook the wontons in batches. This will take about 5 minutes per batch. Once they start floating, they are cooked. The only reason to cook the wontons in a different pot is because if you cook them in the soup, they will cloud the stock because of the starch in the wrappers. If you don’t mind it, you can just boil them in the same pot as the stock.

Then add the choy sum to the soup and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes.

Serve with some soy sauce, chili oil and spring onions on the side.

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Thai Red Curry with Shrimp & Sugar Snaps Peas

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This flavorsome meal with store bought curry is perfect for a weeknight. Easy and ready in under 30 minutes. I added sugar snap peas to have an extra crunchy texture in the curry.

This recipe serves 3 small bowls or 2 large ones.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 ½ tablespoons of minced ginger

1 lemongrass, (white part only) finely chopped

50grs of red curry paste

1 ½ teaspoons of brown sugar or palm sugar

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

600ml of coconut milk

1 sweet pepper, finely chopped

250grs of shrimp, cleaned and deveined

Juice of ½ a lime

For the sugar snaps:

150grs of sugar snaps

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Salt

Extras:

Cooked white rice

Coriander leaves

Lime wedges

 

Pour one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the sugar snap peas and cook them for about 1 minute, while stirring. Add salt and set them aside.

In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Cook for about 1 minute until it becomes fragrant. Then add the sugar, curry paste and fish sauce. Cook for another minute while stirring. Then add the coconut milk, mix it well and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat until it thickens.

Then add the sweet peppers and shrimps. Cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. This will take about 3 to5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the sugar snap peas and the juice of half a lime. Mix well.

Serve with white rice, coriander leaves and lime wedges.

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Coconut Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

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I’ve had shrimp on mine mind for the last week and finally decided to incorporate them into a taco recipe. Coconut and panko crusted shrimp with a pan-roasted pineapple salsa. So good and fresh, it was hard to stop eating them before taking pictures.

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This recipe is for 12 tacos:

Ingredients:

12 small tortillas

For the shrimp:

300grs of shrimp, peeled

1 cup of all-purpose flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup of panko

1 cup of shredded dried coconut, unsweetened

1 tablespoon of salt

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of garlic powder

1 ½ cups of vegetable oil for pan-frying the shrimp

For the pineapple salsa:

½ of a pineapple, chopped into small pieces

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of cayenne

1 tablespoon of sugar

Salt

Pepper

1 small red onion, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

3 tablespoons of chopped coriander

Chopped chili to taste

 

To make the pineapple salsa, place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Then add the pineapple, cayenne, sugar, some salt and pepper. Cook it until it caramelizes, this will take about 7 minutes. Stir from time to time. Once the pineapple is done, transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down.

In the meanwhile, start preparing the shrimp. Separate the ingredients for the coating. Place the flour in one bowl. Have the beaten eggs in another bowl. And in the last bowl mix the panko, coconut, salt, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder. First coat each shrimp in the flour, then the egg and finally in the panko/coconut mixture.

Pour the vegetable oil into a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, start frying the shrimp in batches. They will take about 2 minutes per side, just make sure that the oil is not too hot, otherwise they will get brown without being cooked through. Place the fried shrimp on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the oil. Have a taste and sprinkle them with some salt if you wish.

Once the shrimp are done, the pineapple should already have cooled down. So mix the pineapple with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, red onion, lime juice, coriander, salt and pepper. Mix well.

To serve, warm up the tortillas in a pan and serve it with the shrimp and pineapple salsa. Enjoy!

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Shrimp Quinotto

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This is another way to use quinoa, making it into a risotto dish. It is creamy and carries all the flavor of the shrimp. It is similar to  the Peruvian Shrimp soup. This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

2 cups of quinoa

½ kilo whole shrimp

2 tablespoons of butter

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 ½ cups of white wine

4 cups of chicken stock

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

100gr of bacon strips, sliced

200gr of mushrooms, sliced

200gr cream

50gr grated Parmesan

Handful of parsley, chopped

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

 

First cook the quinoa. Rinse it under cold water and then boil for 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.

To prepare the shrimp sauce, first peel the shrimp and then remove the veins. Reserve the shells and heads. Put the clean shrimp tails in a bowl and set aside in the fridge. (If you want you can reserve 3 whole shrimps, or more,  and cook them with the shells and then reserve them for decorating the plate)

In a medium pan and over medium-high heat, add one tablespoon of butter and olive oil. Then add the shells, heads and ½ cup of white wine. Cook until the wine has reduced. Put the shells in a blender; add some salt and 2 cups of the stock. Blend until smooth and then sift the mixture. Set aside.

In a large pan, over medium high heat, add one tablespoon of butter and one of olive oil. Sautee the mushrooms until they are browned on both sides. Then add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper.  Transfer the mushrooms and shrimp to a bowl and set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan, and cook the onions for a few minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste and bacon. Once the bacon is cooked, add the shrimp sauce and white wine. Let it reduce a bit and then add the cooked quinoa. Stir to combine and add slowly the last 2 cups of stock. Stir until most of the liquid has reduced.  Then add the cream, Parmesan mushrooms and shrimp.  Stir for a few minutes and then taste for salt.  Serve onto 3 plates. Place the whole shrimps that you reserved on top and sprinkle some parsley.

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