Six o’clock fix: bathe with shrimp Portuguese style

Cookbook author Ana Patuleia Ortins recommends serving shrimp with its broth as a sauce.

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Shrimp is a luxury food, whether you buy a pre-made ring of small, cooked, shelled shrimp, or invest in larger shrimp and cook it yourself. Portuguese cookbook author Ana Patuleia Ortins suggests the way her father cooked large shrimp in a live broth, to serve as an appetizer or main dish. She suggests making the broth into a sauce to complete the dish.


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In Portuguese Home Cooking (Interlink / Thomas Allen, $ 45), Ortins, who lives in Peabody, Mass., Writes traditional recipes from his family’s Alto Alentejo region in southern Portugal. Other shrimp recipes in his beautifully illustrated book include shrimp with curry flavored sauce served over rice, a shrimp and white bean soup, shrimp-stuffed puff pastry hors d’oeuvres, and cilantro garlic grilled shrimp. Other advantages of this excellent book are its variety of rabbit and sausage recipes.

Shrimp Portuguese

For 4 people

1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 large ripe tomato, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped or 1 cup (250 ml) cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 bay leaf


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3 garlic cloves, crushed

1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup (125 ml) white wine

1 tablespoon (15 ml) finely chopped fresh coriander

2 pounds (1 kg) of fresh shrimp, in the shell

1/2 tsp (2 ml) coarse kosher salt or to taste

2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté the onion until lightly browned. Add the tomato, bay leaf, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until mixture is smooth and tomatoes are partially dissolved, about 15 minutes.

Add the wine, cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce the heat to medium-low, toss in the cilantro, shrimp, and salt, cover tightly, and simmer for three minutes, or until the shrimp are tender. (Overcooking will toughen the shrimp.)

Transfer the shrimp with a slotted spoon to a serving plate and cover. Melt the butter in the broth, then strain or puree the broth.

Serve the shrimp with broth as a sauce, providing plenty of napkins.

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