Cazuela de Camarones (Shrimp in Spicy Tomato Sauce), photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Cazuela de Camarones (Shrimp in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
A fresh and easy Mexican-inspired shrimp meal for two or appetizers for four! Satisfy your cravings for Mexican shrimp cocktail with this warm version of cazuela de camarones.

For this cazuela de camarones, I put together a warm version of my Mexican shrimp cocktail, with a few adjustments here and there. I find myself preparing an easy fish or shrimp recipe as one of my quick weeknight meals, especially on a Friday night. I usually designate Friday for a more special dinner with my husband. I like it to be a little more special than just a sandwich or a quick pizza.

The main thing to remember, if you want to prepare this meal quickly, is to buy fresh shrimp or, if using frozen, defrost it in the refrigerator one day before. I love it as a quick meal for two, but it's also great to serve as an appetizer. Slice up the shrimp into smaller pieces before seasoning and cooking if serving four or more people.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shrimp use large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 2 large Roma tomato chopped
  • 1-2 red Fresno chile peppers seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (powder) .
  • 1/2 red onion sliced into strips
  • 1-2 chile serrano sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano crushed
  • 1 large lime juiced, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce Valentina or Tapatio
  • 1 large avocadoes sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped

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Directions

  1. Using a paper towel, blot off excess moisture from shrimp. Season the clean shrimp with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside.
  2. Preheat medium skillet or pot to medium heat. In Mexico they would use a cazuela de barro, a clay material used to make Mexican pottery. For this recipe, I used a medium caldero pot. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. While the pot heats up, add the tomatoes, the Fresno chile, 2 teaspoons caldo de pollo (powder), consomé or chicken bouillon, and 1/3 cup of water. In Mexico, the caldo de pollo (bouillon) is used to add a little more flavor and seasoning to sauces and salsas. I especially like using the red chiles to give the sauce that bright red color. Blend on high until smooth, and set aside.
  4. To the hot oil, add the onions and serrano pepper. Season lightly with salt and pepper and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute, stirring so that the garlic doesn't burn. Add the sauce from the blender. Add 1/4 cup of water to blender and swirl to pick up any sauce left in blender. Add to the pot.
  5. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the oregano, lime juice, Ketchup and hot sauce. Continue cooking until the sauce becomes slightly darker and slightly thicker. Taste for salt. Fold in the shrimp to the simmering sauce, making sure it’s immersed in sauce. Cook for 1 minute. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 to 6 minutes. Before serving, add avocado slices and cilantro. Serve with extra lime, hot sauce, chips or saltine crackers.

Chef Notes

For an extra-special touch, add in a few other varieties of  finely chopped seafood, such as scallops, squid or crab. Garnish and serve in mini tortilla cups or shot glasses for a special appetizer.

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