Back in 1984 on a business trip to Puerto Rico I happened to stay at a resort along the north coast. While there I had a shrimp dish that I found particularly nice. It was a shrimp stew that was seasoned perfectly and served over white rice. Many years have gone by and I've never come across that dish in the USA mainland. Recently I thought about the stew and I decided to find a recipe and try making it. Thus, the recipe below is my first attempt and I will report back with results ... and likely a few changes as well.
Two of the ingredients listed below, sofrito and sazón, are common items found in hispanic grocery stores or ethnic foods sections of some supermarkets. Sofrito is a nice salsa used as a base in many hispanic dishes. It is easy to find at the supermarket though you can also make it easily if you want to look up a recipe on the Internet and acquire the various ingredients. Sazón is a seasoning composed of dry spices and typically sold in packets, boxes or plastic spice bottles. I have included the recipe for sazón below so you can make it instead of searching for it at the supermarket. All other listed ingredients are commonly found in any supermarket.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 tablespoons of sofrito
2 bay leaves
5 to 10 pimento stuffed green olives
1/4 pound of smoked ham (diced)
1 1/2 teaspoons of sazón
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) of stewed tomatoes
1 pound of raw shrimp (medium size, peeled and cleaned)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
4 cups of cooked white rice
Sazón Ingredients: (makes five tablespoons of sazón)
1 tablespoon of ground coriander
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 tablespoon of ground annatto seeds (or paprika)
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of salt
Make four cups of cooked white rice. Follow the directions for the type of rice you purchased. Keep the cooked rice covered and warm in a 180 degrees F warming oven.
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the sofrito, bay leaves, olives and ham. Saute over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the sazón, tomato sauce, and stewed tomatoes. Bring to a boil and them immediately reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add the shrimp and cook it at a simmer until it just turns pink, about 5 minutes.
Add the salt and pepper to taste and allow to simmer for 1 more minute.
Serve hot with the cooked white rice.