Portuguese Baked Stuffed Shrimp – Camarao Recheado

 

Merry Christmas Everyone! Here’s a special recipe for you.

Recipe #48 Taste Portugal 101 Easy recipes cookbook

 Portuguese Baked Stuffed Shrimp

 

Warning!!! This baked stuffed shrimp will drive shrimp lovers crazy! What makes this a Portuguese recipe? The papo secos of course! They’re perfect to make this stuffing because they have great texture and taste which makes a perfect match with the shrimp.

The dish was a very popular menu item at my brother’s Portuguese/American restaurant many years ago. I’ve adapted it through the years and I make for special occasions and holidays such as Easter and Christmas.

The recipe has a lot of steps, but once you make it and see how easy it is, you’ll never through away your old Papo Secos again! Just freeze the rolls  in plastic freezer bags.

The stuffing is very versatile so you can use it to stuff fish, chicken, or even mushrooms (see the photos below). Make a double batch of the stuffing and freeze it in freezer safe plastic bags or bowls.

These shrimp take only 15-20 minutes to bake so it’s an elegant and easy dish to prepare to impress your guests. Serve with Portuguese Rice of course!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 pounds extra large shrimp (about 10-12 per pound) (peeled & deveined)

3 papo seco rolls (preferably day old)

15 Ritz crackers or any brand of buttery crackers

1 package garlic flavored croutons

1/2 cup celery (finely minced)

1/2 cup onion (finely minced)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) of melted butter

1 pound of small or medium raw shrimp (peeled & deveined)

1/4 cup of white wine

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 small chicken bouillon cube

2 tablespoons parsley (finely chopped)

Instructions:

Step 1. Peel both sizes of shrimp into separate bowls and reserve the shells. Cook the shells in 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt for about 8 minutes. Strain the broth into a big bowl and let it cool. Throw away the shells.

Step 2. In a small skillet, saute the onion and celery with olive oil for 5 minutes until translucent on medium low heat. Remove the onions and celery with a slotted spoon leaving some of olive oil in the pan. Set the onion mix aside to cool.

Step 3. In the same skillet, add the small shrimp, bouillon cube, garlic, salt and paprika and cook for 1 minute until the shrimp turns slightly pink. Add the wine and cook for another 3 minutes for the wine to reduce. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the shrimp cool while you prepare the bread stuffing.

 

Step 4. Chop the Papo Seco bread (or any crusty day old bread) into small chunks and place into the bowl with the shrimp broth.

Let the bread sit for about 10 minutes to absorb the broth. Mash the bread with your fingers or a fork until it very dissolved with no big chunks left. The bread should be the constancy of a wet dough like batter. If you find the bread too dry add a little more water.

 

Step 5. Crumble the crackers with your hands into the bread. Add the cooked onions and celery and mix the stuffing very well. The stuffing will be wet, but if you find it runny add more finely diced bread or crackers.

Add the cooled shrimp and parsley into the stuffing and mix well. Taste and add more salt if desired. Set aside while you prep the shrimp for stuffing.

 

 The stuffing will have a soft dough consistency and a golden delicious color like this photo.

 

Step 6. Prep the large shrimp for stuffing by gently slicing at the curved end in the butterfly cut. The stuffing goes into the center leaving the tail curved over.

Grease a cooking tray and place each shrimp butterfly up in the pan. Scoop 1 tablespoon or more of the stuffing into the center of the shrimp.

Step 7. Place the croutons in a Ziploc plastic bag. Close tightly making sure no air is left inside. Crumble the croutons into very fine bread crumb like crumbs. This should yield about 1 and 1/2 cups. Don’t be stingy with the croutons. Pile them on the shrimp since they cook up crispy and flavorful.

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon over each shrimp and then add a little melted butter over each one.

***Note you can place the shrimp assembled on a sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap and cook the next day.***

Step 8. Cook in a 375 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes until the shrimp is pink and golden brown.

Remove from the oven. You can leave them in the oven on very low heat to keep them warm before serving or to reheat them.

Be careful since they may become dry if the heat is too high or you leave them in the oven to long. Drizzle more melted butter on top before serving.

 

Make stuffed mushrooms with any leftover stuffing.  Wash and dry the mushrooms and remove the caps.

Place them in a buttered baking dish, fill with the stuffing, croutons and butter.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until cooked. Heat a can of cream of mushroom soup or shrimp soup and gently spoon around the mushrooms when cooked.

 

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