Two of the most popular dishes in Brazil's Bahia state are bobo camarones (shrimp in yuca cream sauce) and moqueca (seafood coconut stew). This recipe combines both. Coconut milk flavors the sauce, while mashed yuca adds creaminess. Dendê oil (bright orange palm oil) is usually stirred in at the end to lend the sauce color, but I've used annatto oil instead.
8 ounces fresh or frozen yuca (cassava), thawed
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons annatto (achiote) seeds
1 large onion, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise (2 1/4 cups)
1 red bell pepper, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise (1 cup)
3 cups diced seeded peeled tomato
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 tablespoon chopped seeded Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
How to Make It
Peel yuca, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes to measure 1 1/4 cups. Place yuca in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 25 minutes or until tender. Drain yuca in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Return yuca and reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid to pan; mash with a potato masher until smooth. Discard any tough fibers.
Place garlic on a cutting board; mash to a paste by dragging and pressing broad side of knife over garlic several times. Combine garlic, shrimp, lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Stir in annatto seeds, and cook 5 minutes or until oil turns deep orange in color, shaking pan frequently. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Discard annatto seeds, reserving oil in pan.
Heat pan over medium heat until annatto oil is hot. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 6 minutes or until tender. Add tomato; cook 10 minutes or until tomato breaks down, stirring occasionally. Mash mixture with a wooden spoon. Add shrimp with marinade, coconut milk, and Scotch bonnet. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in reserved mashed yuca, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon cilantro; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Spoon shrimp mixture into shallow bowls; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro, and serve with lime wedges.