shrimp pirão

by Heguiberto on March 15, 2010

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Pirão is a savory porridge very popular in Brazilian cooking. It’s made with untoasted manioc flour, also called cassava or yucca flour. In San Francisco you can find it in the Misson district at Latino food markets. I got mine there.

shrimp pirão with palm heart and cherry tomato salad

We ate pirão several times while in Brazil last month. It’s often served with Brazilian fish stew, like we had at Perequim or at PART.ALTO. I can never have enough of it.

Last Sunday our dear friends John, Alexandra and Christian, invited us over for a Brazilian themed dinner party held at John’s glamorous place. The menu was extensive and delicious. It was pot luck so everyone cooked something. John even made some caipirinhas that were heavenly good. My contribution to the party was a salad of palm hearts with sugar plum grape tomatoes and parsley as well as shrimp pirão.

Shrimp Pirão

3-4 tbsp raw manioc flour
5 cups water or vegetable broth
1 lb shrimp cut in small pieces
4 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot minced
1½ tbsp colorau (use achiote if colorau not available)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 bunch chopped cilantro

Dissolve manioc flour in a cup of cold water or vegetable broth. Bring remaining water or broth to a boil. Reduce temp to low. Meanwhile add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, shallot, and one tablespoon of colorau to a hot pan. Stir. The colorau will tint everything red. Add shrimp, salt and fresh pepper to the colorau mixture. Cook for another minute then transfer to a warm bowl. Using the same pan add remaining colorau and olive oil and cook for another minute or so. Add hot water or vegetable broth. Give the manioc mix a good wisk and pour it into the hot liquid. Stir to thicken in seconds. Add shrimp mixture and cilantro. Adjust flavors with more salt and pepper. Serve over rice.

enjoying a caipirinha with a friend while I slave in the kitchen making shrimp pirão

manioc flour is the key ingredient for this dish

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