This is one of my dad’s favorite meals: It’s called picante de camarones, or spicy shrimp, and it’s a traditional Peruvian seafood dish imbued with racy ajÃ colorado, garlic, and onions. The sauce — a compilation of butter, white wine, heavy cream is what gives the shrimp their sexy luster and appeal.
Typically served over rice, picante de camaronesÂ can look strikingly similar to a CreoleÂ Ã©touffÃ©e with it’s bold flavors and shellfish allegiance. This Peruvian iteration however, almost always comes with a side of boiled potatoes and sliced, hard boiled eggs. Because just when you think you have enough of a good thing, we give you more. Peruvians areÂ gluttons for immoderation (but I think you already knew that).
I left the shells on to intensify the sauce as it cooked but if you’re opposed to peeling the skins while you eat and can’t harbor the thought of licking all that glorious shrimp juice dripping down your fingers at the table, then…I suppose you can disrobe them prior but that’s like really un-fun and I think I’d have to disown you for a minute.
At it’s best, this should be served and devoured as soon as the shrimp turn a bright vermilion and the sauce a luscious pond of spicy, creamy broth. Grab a mess of paper towels, drink a glass of crisp white. Get dirty dirty.
Rinse the shrimp under cool running water and leave to drain.
Grab your butter out of the fridge and put 2 tablespoons of it into a large fry pan. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon into a small bowl and let it come to room temperature and soften. When you’re able to easily smash it with a fork, mix in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour until a loose, crumbly dough forms. You’ve made a beurre maniÃ©! Set this aside, you’ll use it to thicken and finish the sauce later.
Return to your fry pan with the butter in it and turn up the heat to medium-high. Once the butter has melted, toss in the slivered onions and let this soften and cook down for a bit, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the chopped garlic, ajÃ colorado, and salt and pepper to taste. Give everything a stir and continue to cook until the garlic is fragrant and theÂ ajÃ coloradoÂ has coated the onion mixture, about 2-3 minutes, depending if yourÂ ajÃ colorado is frozen or not.
Pour in the white wine and water and let this come to a bubble for a minute, to cook off the alcohol and reduce slightly. Tumble in the shrimp, give it a toss to coat, and then put a lid on it, reducing the heat to medium, and cooking until the shrimp have just turned a bright red, approx 5-6 minutes.
Dribble in the cream, give it a stir and let it warm through for a few seconds. Lastly, add the beurre maniÃ©, the butter-flour mixture you made earlier, to the sauce, using a small whisk to incorporate it in, weaving in and around the shrimp and onions, until the sauce has thickened slightly and is velvety smooth, about a couple minutes to enrich properly.
Sprinkle in some freshly chopped cilantro, give it another toss and serve at once over perfectly puffed white rice, boiled taters and hard boiled eggs.
// Serves 2 hungry lovers
I want to be at an outdoor table slurping these down. No need to disown me…I’m down with shrimp shells. Shrimpy says Hola is hilarious.
shrimp plus a butter, wine, and cream sauce?! yeah, I’ll try that… i’ll also be sure to disrobe them after they cook, I don’t think I could bear to be disowned by you 🙂
That looks and sounds heavenly!
I so want to make this. I make a similar Portuguese dish, that is one of Lenny’s favorite things to make. I love the addition of cream … will have to give that a try.
What’s the name of the Portuguese dish? I’m very interested!
I can make these! I have the aji colorado…life is GRAND. Theresa
Theresa, girl you crack me up! YAY! Tell me how it turns out. And please, please tell me you leave their skivvies on!!
This recipe looks crazy amazing delicious! Thank you so much for sharing it!
Kristen, you’re very welcome! Delicious crazy food needs to be shared. 🙂
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I made this last night – it is to die for. We had a similar dish in Spain (gambas al pil pil), but I may have to say this was better! Thanks!
Hey Christina! Oh, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Did you use aji colorado or substitute for something else? 🙂
Thanks for your spicy creamy offering.
You’re very welcome! What’s not to love about shrimp in a spicy creamy sauce? 🙂 Hope you tried the recipe!
I have not made this yet but it will be on the menu this weekend!
I have to ask – do you have a recipe for ceviche? I would love to make some for my wife that has a true Peruvian leche de tigre!! Can you help me out?