Camarones a la Criolla is a Puerto Rican dish that features shrimp cooked in a flavorful Creole-style sauce. The origin of this dish can be traced back to the cultural influences and culinary traditions that have shaped Puerto Rican cuisine.
As the sun dips below the horizon, casting a warm glow over the vibrant streets of Puerto Rico, the enticing aromas of a culinary masterpiece waft through the air. The sizzle of garlic meeting a hot pan, the melody of fresh herbs dancing in the breeze—it’s the smell of camarones a la criolla. This dish, a harmonious symphony of succulent shrimp bathed in a rich, Creole-inspired tomato sauce, is a culinary journey that beckons both the seasoned gastronome and the curious epicurean alike. It’s my favorite seafood recipe from Puerto Rico, and I’m so excited for you try this. Seriously, it’s so delish.
What Is Puerto Rican Salsa Criolla?
Puerto Rican cuisine is a blend of Indigenous Taíno, Spanish, African, and American influences. The term “Criolla” refers to the Creole style of cooking, which is a mix of various cultural elements. The Creole influence in Puerto Rican cuisine often involves the use of aromatic herbs, spices, and tomatoes in cooking. Puerto Rican Salsa Criolla adds a burst of freshness and flavor to a variety of dishes. It’s often used as a topping for grilled meats, seafood, or rice dishes, and it can be served alongside traditional Puerto Rican dishes like mofongo, tostones, or as a condiment for sandwiches and wraps.
What Ingredients Are Used To Make Camarones A La Criolla?
Camarones a la Criolla typically involves cooking shrimp in a tomato-based sauce with a variety of seasonings such as garlic, onions, bell peppers, cilantro, and other herbs and spices. The result is a flavorful and aromatic dish that showcases the diverse culinary heritage of Puerto Rico. The heart of this dish lies in its vibrant and aromatic ingredients. The star, of course, is the succulent shrimp, locally sourced from the island’s coastal waters. The Criolla sauce, a tantalizing mix of tomatoes, garlic, onions, bell peppers, cilantro, and an assortment of herbs and spices, elevates the shrimp to new heights of flavor. The combination of these fresh, local ingredients brings out the essence of Puerto Rican culinary excellence.
How To Make Puerto Rican Camarones A La Criolla?
Creating camarones a la criolla is an art form, and the process is as captivating as the dish itself. You begin by sautéing garlic, peppers, onions, and sofrito to build a flavor base. Next, we add tomatoes, white wine, tomato sauce, and spices and let everything simmer and meld, creating a rich sauce. Finally, the shrimp take center stage, bathing in the aromatic sauce until they’re perfectly cooked, tender, and infused with the essence of Puerto Rican culinary heritage.
What To Serve With Camarones A La Criolla?
Camarones a la Criolla is often served with a side of white rice, highlighting the staple grain in Puerto Rican cuisine. The pairing of the savory shrimp and the fluffy rice creates a symphony of flavors that dance on the taste buds. A spritz of fresh lemon juice or a sprinkle of chopped cilantro adds the finishing touch, enhancing the dish’s vibrancy. I also love serving this saucy dish with tostones, or a side of mofongo.
Camarones a la Criolla is more than just a meal; it’s a celebration of Puerto Rican culture, history, and the artistry of culinary fusion. With its tantalizing blend of flavors, this dish invites you to savor the essence of Puerto Rico on a plate. Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast of Latin American cuisine or a curious foodie looking to explore new tastes, Camarones a la Criolla promises a culinary journey that’s as rich and diverse as the island itself. So, embark on this flavorful adventure and let the taste of Puerto Rico transport you to a world of culinary delight. ¡Buen provecho!
Check out these other seafood recipes from Delish D’Lites
- Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Cod Fish)
- Baked Crab Empanadas (Empanadas de Cangrejo)
- Gazpacho (Puerto Rican Salt Cod Salad)
- Bacalaitos (Puerto Rican Salt Cod Fritters)
- Camarones Enchilados (Cuban Style Shrimp Creole)
- Ensalada de Pulpo (Octopus Salad)
Camarones A La Criolla
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ green bell pepper diced
- ½ red onion peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp sofrito
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes or 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
- 1 teaspoon sazon
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ dry white wine
- 8 oz canned tomato sauce
- ¼ cup alcaparrado pitted olives and capers
- ½ cup water
- 12 ounces large shrimp peeled and deveined (about 40-45 shrimp)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion and sofrito; cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 3-4 minutes.
Add garlic and tomatoes, cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the veggies are softened.
Add the adobo, sazon, oregano, cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add white wine and cook for 2 minutes to allow the alcohol to cook off. Add the tomato sauce
Slowly mix in water; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
Add shrimp; simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are opaque, 3 to 5 minutes.
Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve hot.