Rio Grande do Norte, the land of the shrimp eaters (Potiguars). One of the great things about shrimp is that they cook in a such a short time. This means that when time constraints don't allow a roast or a stew to be considered as a main course, a shrimp dish makes a perfect centerpiece for a dinner whether it's a family meal during the workweek or an elegant dinner party on the weekend. Although shrimp is high in cholesterol, it is also high in protein and very low in fat, so as long as there are no particular concerns about cholesterol consumption, it makes an excellent choice as a meal's main protein.
Like the previous recipe for Shimp with Mango, this dish combines shrimp with fruit - this time lime, which highlights the flavor of the shellfish and adds a refreshing acidity to the dish. I like to add a bit more fresh lime juice to the finished dish just before serving to really make the dish "sing."
RECIPE - Shrimp with Lime Sauce (Camarão com Molho de Limão)
3 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup water
1 small chili pepper (malagueta, serrano, jalapeño), seeded and minced
1 tsp. salt
1 lb (500 gr) ready-to-cook shrimp (de-headed, peeled and deveined)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup butter
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. annatto powder (sweet paprika can be substituted)
1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine the lime juice, chopped hot pepper and cold water. Add the shrimp and let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature. Drain the shrimp, reserving the soaking liquid.
Put the flour in a large plastic or paper bag, and dredge the shrimp in the flour, a few at a time. Shake the shrimps to remove excess flour and reserve.
Heat a large, heavy saucepan over medium high heat, then add the butter and olive oil. Melt the butter, but don't let it brown. Reduce heat to medium. Fry half of the shrimp for one minute, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, then remove them with a strainer and reserve. Repeat with the second half of the shrimp, frying for one minute then reserving.
Add the soaking liquid to the pan in which the shrimp were fried. Add the annatto powder or paprika and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the parsley, the cilantro, the red pepper and the reserved shrimp. Cook for a few minutes, mixing all ingredients thorough and heating the dish through. Remove from heat and place in serving bowl. (Add 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice and stir again, if desired.)
Serve with white rice and a green salad.
Recipe translated and adapted from Cozinha Regional Brazileira by Abril Editora