Raúl Musibay: In Castro's Cuba, unless you lived on the coast or were a fisherman by trade, you didn't get to eat a lot of fish. It just wasn't available!
Glenn Lindgren: Yet Cubans have always had a passion for seafood. In the United States, Cuban Americans finally found access to all of the seafood they could ever hope for.
Jorge Castillo: Lobster, crab, and shrimp are big favorites.
Raúl Musibay: This Cuban classic blends the delicious flavor of yellow rice with the delicate taste of shrimp. Don't overcook the shrimp!
The perfect marriage of plump, tasty shrimp and tangy, yellow-hued rice.
INGREDIENTS:2 pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied (save shells)
Sauté the onion, red pepper, and green pepper in olive oil in a large sauté pan until the onion is translucent. Add the chopped garlic and cook an additional minute, stirring frequently.
Remove the simmering shrimp shells from the heat and strain out all of the shells. Take 3 cups of this shrimp broth and pour into a large covered pot. Add chicken broth, the cooked onions and green pepper, the rice, tomatoes, Bijol, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until rice is fully cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed -- about 30 to 45 minutes.
Now this is an important step. Find something else to do for about 20 minutes or so. Let the dog out, clean your boat, order some Cuban food ingredients online, or catch up on your reading. The important thing is to do something productive. We bet you're thinking a nap would be great right now. Think again. Unless you have a very reliable alarm clock or someone else to watch the rice, forget it.
By the time you return to the kitchen the rice is well on its way, and for the past 20 minutes you have successfully resisted the impulse to open the lid and take a peek! Don't blow it now! LEAVE THE RICE ALONE!
While the rice continues cooking, sauté the bacon in a large frying pan. Reduce heat to medium low and let the fat render out of the bacon, about 10 minutes. Once the fat is released, remove the bacon, increase temperature to high, and add the peeled shrimp to the hot bacon fat. Season the shrimp lightly with salt, pepper, and a little cumin. Sauté the shrimp, flipping once after a minute or so, until they turn pink, about 3 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK! Remove shrimp from pan and set aside someplace where they will keep warm, but NOT continue cooking.
Okay, now you can check the rice. Open the lid and fluff the rice up with a fork. Add the peas to the rice and carefully fold the cooked shrimp (throw in the bacon too if you so desire, and we so desire to do this most of the time) into the cooked rice and heat for about 3 additional minutes -- just long enough to make sure everything is hot. Serve immediately.
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