Camarones al Horno, or, Shrimp in the Oven really doesn’t say much as the title of the recipe. My sister in law named this one, "Shrimp You’d See on a Red Lobster Menu". I’d have to agree with her. Where in the world did this one come out of? I don’t think I’ve ever met a Cuban house that served this regularly.
We had my brother-in-law and some friends over for dinner one night during our week-long beach vacation in Sarasota. I went to the grocery store when the 4pm rain showers hit and the kids had been put down for their nap – a usual routine for our family as someone has something to go to the market for at least once a day. I really picked this recipe out of the air, and boy am I glad I did. What a gem.
The fish dude at Publix gave me the idea to go with frozen shrimp instead of fresh because I was on vacation and didn’t need to be deveining and shelling the shrimp (his idea). They were also cheaper. Less work, less money. I was convinced.
I defrosted the shrimp, patted them with paper and dusted them with salt and pepper. The recipe calls for the shrimp to be divided between six little Pyrex dishes, but since we were at a rented beach apartment and we were expecting over ten guests for dinner, I went with an aluminum pan and poured the shrimp right in. I poured some consommé (which I am almost 100% sure is beef broth) and white wine over the shrimp and let it sit all together while I went to make the crust.
Crust for the dish. Enter the thoughts of Red Lobster cheesy biscuits and shiny butter pools.
I melted down a stick of butter in a hot saucepan and added minced garlic. The recipe calls for the garlic to be added in and removed when golden, like when I make my Killer Rice, but I minced the garlic and left them in. When they browned up, I added bread crumbs until they were well coated with the butter garlic and then I added parsley. This crust is spread over the shrimp that were getting drunk in the white wine consommé juice.
When our guests arrived, I popped the pan in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is Red Lobster worthy. That gave us just enough time to peek outside and see the sunset.
I’m really curious to see if anyone has had it before and if they have any memories to share. I swear this has been one of my favorite dishes so far, in a non-Cuban sort of way.