An Entree typical of the Spanish Caribbean
Arroz con coco y camarones (Coconut Rice with Shrimp)This light and fluffy rice dish is flavored with coconut milk and an essence derived from the shells of shrimp.
1 lb. fresh shrimp with shells, or 1 1/4 lb. fresh shrimp with shells and heads
2 cups water
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups fresh or canned coconut milk
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, well rinsed
Preparation: Cut backs of shrimp to devein, leaving shells and heads intact. In large stockpot add water and salt, set over high heat, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low-medium and drop in shrimp. Simmer 2 minutes or until shrimp have turned pink, then remove pot from heat. With slotted spoon, scoop out shrimp and set aside to cool; reserve broth in pot.
Once shrimp are cool, peel away shells with tails and heads and set aside. In blender or food processor add shells, heads, and tails and 1 cup broth. Pulse or process several seconds until shells are broken up and create a milky liquid.
Strain shell mixture through cheesecloth or sieve, making sure you squeeze out all of the juice, and then pour juice into remaining broth in stockpot. Set pot over high heat, stir in coconut milk, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes to reduce liquid slightly.
Add rice and continue simmering over medium heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook 30 to 35 minutes, using large spoon to push rice grains away from sides and bottom of pot once or twice during cooking (do not stir). Dish is done when rice is fluffy and all liquid has been absorbed. Makes 4 servings.