Arepa de Camarón

You really never know what’s coming next–most of the time, I don’t either. Last week, you saw a Nigerian-fusion burger, and this week it’s back to Colombian cuisine. This one is easy! Very few ingredients, and no real surprises here…except one thing on my end.

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See, it’s been a while since I’ve made these, and I forgot that the press we would use to flatten the dough broke. So– this time the arepas are..rustic. Bonus points for the mason style fingerprints in the dough. That’s how you know it’s real. In hindsight, I could’ve used two baking sheets to flatten the dough, but that idea popped into my head later.

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So, i formed them by hand, and got the right thickness (basically flat because I wasn’t trying to stuff them) and got a semi-consistent size. Close enough!

I cooked the shrimp with salt and garlic, took them out of the pan to prevent over-cooking. Then I tossed in tomatoes, capers, more garlic, and some fresh herbs. Deglaze with lime juice whenever things start to stick. That’s it…really.

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So then, where’s the curveball this week? I decided that I wanted caramelized onions, but didn’t want to wait for them to slow cook in the oven. I added them to a cold cast-iron pan with olive oil, and raised the temperature slowly. Whenever I noticed them starting to sauté, I’d stir it, and adjust the heat. You want to bring out the sugars in the onion, and get them slightly brown. It took about twenty minutes, and I didn’t get a picture of the last stage, but this was from halfway. It’s slow, but as long as you avoid burning and sticking it’s easy.

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All that’s left is the sliced avocado. You’re gonna want a few of these.

Let’s cook.

You’ll need:

2 lb Peeled Shrimp

2 Cups Tomato, diced

1 Onion, sliced thinly

1 Avocado

1 Lime

1/4 Cup Cilantro/Parsley, chopped

1 Tbs Garlic, minced

2 Cups Corn Masa

2 Cups Warm Water

1 Cup Cotija Cheese

3 Tbs Olive Oil

1 Tbs Capers

1 Tbs Cumin

1 Tbs Paprika

1 Tbs Dried Rosemary

1 Tbs Dried Thyme

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Season and sear the shrimp on medium-high until fully cooked. Deglaze with lime juice, then set aside.
  2. Sauté tomatoes, garlic, and capers in olive oil, season to taste, then finish with herbs.
  3. In a separate pan, transfer the onion slices, then season with salt, and add olive oil. Slowly raise the heat to medium–stir as needed. Adjust the heat if needed to prevent burning, and continue to stir until the onions take on a uniform light-brown color. Set aside.
  4. Combine masa flour, water, salt, and cotija cheese, and mix into a soft dough. Separate into golf ball-sized portions, and flatten to your desired thickness. Drizzle with oil, then bake or fry until golden.
  5. Plate and serve with extra lime and herbs.

Done.

 

Shrimp, tomato, caramelized onions,  avocado

 

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