Ranch-style Shrimp - Camarones Rancheros
One version or another of this dish is a staple up and down Mexico’s pacific coast, and the following is one of the easiest and best. Instead of fresh tomatoes the recipe calls for diced, canned fire-roasted tomatoes. (Tomatoes are one of the few foods that are believed to be better for you when canned than fresh, because during the canning process beneficial lycopene is released from the plant cell walls). The amount of chiles given makes a dish that is medium hot, so use more or less depending on your taste. Also, be careful when adding salt because the tomatoes may have enough for the entire dish.
To quickly make a mild fish broth, simmer the shells and tails of the shrimp for about 15 minutes in 1 ¼ cups chicken broth combined with ¾ cup clam juice, or you could use plain chicken broth. Please note that it takes about 1 ½ pounds of frozen, unpeeled shrimp to make 1 pound after thawing and peeling.
As an entrée, the dish goes well with rice, but I like it served with only hot corn tortillas. It is also delicious in soft tacos.
1/3 cup olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 cups finely chopped white onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped serrano chiles
2 (14 ½ ounce cans) fire roasted, chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon leaf oregano
2 cups fish and/or chicken broth (see above)
Salt, to taste
1 pound shrimp (21 – 25 per pound is a good size) weighed after thawing and peeling
Infuse the cooking oil with garlic. In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the garlic and cook until it just begins to brown then discard it.
Saute the onions. Add the onions and serrano to the skillet and sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to turn golden brown. Do not allow them to fully brown as they can overpower the delicate shrimp.
Finish the dish. Add the tomatoes, oregano, and broth to the skillet, bring to a boil, and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to hold together and is no longer runny, 20 – 30 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring often, until they are just cooked through.
Per serving: 360 calories, 21 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 20 g total fat (3 g saturated), 145 mg cholesterol, 6 grams fiter, 13 grams sugar, 559 mg sodium