There is this very lovely small grocer in Fremantle, Australia called Kakulas Sister where shoppers need to squeeze through aisles that are stacked high with almost any international food that one could ever be looking for. A strong coffee scent hits you when you walk in and I try and practice buyer's restraint as I weave through the vinegars, honey, rich yogurts and cheeses, meats, barrels filled with grains, rice and flours, bags of dried chiles hang from the ceilings and little pastries lined up next to the register.
My last trip there I spotted a Pan de Queso mix, a Brazilian cheese bread, and bought it thinking I'd make some sort of South American meal. I had actually eaten these years ago when Guestblogger Alita's family had a Brazilian foreign exchange student who made them for everyone. I knew M would love them and they really are a fun, tasty little bread - chewy, cheesy and slightly exotic.
I paged through my cookbooks wondering what to make with them and came across a tasty-sounding stew that is apparently quite traditional in Brazil. I had some shrimp in the freezer and supplemented what I had with some dark chicken meat. The shrimp and chicken are bathed in a tomato coconut sauce and seasoned with a hearty dose of lemon juice and peppers.
I cooked the stew and baked the bread on a sunny Sunday. We took our plates out onto the balcony for a leisurely lunch and about 10 minutes later we laughed at how quickly we had cleaned our plates. M and I agreed that this was one of our new favorite meals.
For 4 Servings:
- 1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into small pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno, stemmed and minced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 15 ounces whole tomatoes in juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
In a large ziploc bag combine the shrimp, chicken, garlic, jalapeno, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Seal, pressing the air out, and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Puree the tomatoes in a blender until smooth and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato puree and another 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Stir in the shrimp, chicken, and all of the marinade allowing to simmer until the meats are just cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with the chives and serve with steamed white rice and the warm pan de queso.