Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Shrimp in Garlic Sauce

By Paul Briand

This story and recipe caught my eye recently while poking through some news stories from the Associated Press.

Gloria Estefan, pictured at right, is best known for her music, of course. So it's interesting to see how she extends her interests beyond the studio and stage by publishing a cookbook.

Estefan and her husband Emilio own restaurants -- Larios on the Beach and Bongo’s Cuban Cafe -- in Miami Beach, Orlando and Mexico.

"We have a big hardcore following of the Cuban food, and we were getting so many questions from people that go to our restaurants, asking us ’How do you make this?’ and "How do you do that?’" Gloria Estefan said to the Associated Press. "We knew we had to come up with something."

What they came up with is a cookbook: "Estefan Kitchen".

One of the recipes is Shrimp in Garlic Sauce, a scampi really that they call Camarones al Ajillo. The Cuban twist here is the cumin.

1/4 cup olive oil
20 extra-large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine
Pinch salt
Pinch dried oregano
Pinch cumin powder
4 sprigs fresh parsley

1. In a large skillet over medium, heat the olive oil until fragrant,
2. Add the shrimp and garlic and saute until the shrimp starts to turn pink, about 4 to 5 minutes,
3. Use tongs to turn the shrimp once during cooking,
4.Reduce the heat to low, then add the wine, salt, oregano and cumin,
5. Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes,
6.Use tongs to transfer the shrimp to serving bowls, then pour the sauce over the shrimp,
7. Garnish with parsley.
Serves two.

The cookbook is dedicated to older Estefan family members with a long cooking tradition.

According to the AP story, Estefan’s great-grandfather served as the chef for two Cuban presidents, while her paternal grandfather managed one of the first Cuban restaurants in Miami. Meanwhile, her grandmother, Consuelo Garcia, shortly after arriving from Cuba in the 1960s started a business serving homemade pan con lechon (roasted pork) sandwiches, ham croquettes and tamales to little leaguers at a Miami park in Miami.
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