Sunday, February 5, 2012

Potaje de Garbanzos Con Camarones (Garbanzo and Shrimp Stew)

If you've read this blog before you know I love all sorts of legumes, I love them cooked on their own, stewed with meat, with other vegetables, etc. However I have never had them cooked with seafood but saw in many other Spanish blogs that a lot of Spaniards combined garbanzo beans as well as white beans with seafood (such as with salted cod, shrimp, clams, squid, etc.)

I saw it as very odd since I never grew up eating that combination of ingredients (grew up eating lots of Spanish and Cuban bean stews but never with seafood usually with just pork, beef and sausage though some Cubans make the Garbanzos with salted cod for lent)

Well one day I bumped into a recipe that appealed to me at a blog called "Los Tragaldabas" that recipe combined Garbanzos with Shrimp cooked in a machine called "thermomix" which I'm not familiar with, anywho I looked over the recipe and adapted it a little bit to my style and using my regular pots and pans as opposed
to machine known as "thermomix"... and let me tell you I'm glad I made it, it was a hit in my house, it's lighter than the typical bean stews I make at home with pork and beef, a good alternative when you want something lighter than the previously mentioned, healthy, low in fat, high in fiber, satisfying and of course really warm and comforting in this weather :) Give it a try you'll be pleasantly surprised. I know I was.


-1/2 lbs. dried garbanzo beans (washed well, drained, then soaked overnight in water)
-1 1/2 lbs. shrimp (cleaned, de-veined, and shells removed, reserve shell to make shrimp stock)
-extra-virgin olive oil
-1/2 a large onion finely chopped
-1/2 a large bell pepper finely chopped (any color or a mix of red and green)
-3 cloves garlic finely minced
-2 fresh ripe tomatoes finely chopped (tomato sauce will work here too if you don't have fresh tomatoes)
-salt to taste
-1 bay leaves
-1/2 tsp saffron ground up, or "Colorante"/ "Bijol" or achiote to give it a golden tinge (optional)

Before you put everything together directions
(1) Start off by draining garbanzos you soaked over night, and bringing to a boil in new water, once boiling lower heat to medium low, cover for about 1 1/2- 2 hours until as tender as you like. Turn off heat and reserve.

(2) Now when peeling the shrimp this is completely optional but I will get the thick red liquid from it's head, and reserve it in a bowl, I fry this in the oil with the aromatics it gives it a good seafood flavor but you can skip this if it freaks you out. If you don't mind harvest that red orange liquid and set aside and reserve
(3) Use the reserved shrimp shells to make a stock, by covering the shells with water, bringing to a boil with 1 bay leaf for 10- 15 minutes, skimming off any impurities on top, strain the stock and reserve to make the rest of the dish.

Directions for putting everything together:
(1) Heat a large deep pan with extra-virgin olive oil and sautee onions, bell pepper, and garlic until fragrant 5- 8 minutes over medium high heat. Add the red orangish shrimp thing
Add chopped tomato and sautee another 5 minutes.
(2) Add drained cooked garbanzo beans, shrimp stock (enough shrimp stock to barely cover the garbanzos, salt to taste, saffron or bijol or other coloring (optional) bring to a strong boil, and let simmer about 5 minutes.

(3) After boiling 5 minutes add peeled cleaned shrimp, stir well, when shrimp change color to pink turn off heat.
(4) Garnish with parsley or cilantro if you'd like :) I served it over white rice with a salad. You can serve it in a deep bowl as well with bread and a salad if you don't want to eat rice.

(1) I made this dish from scratch, BUT if you feel it's too much hassle to prep the shrimp, making the shrimp stock, and cooking the garbanzos from scratch you can use 2 8 oz. cans of garbanzo beans drained, water in place of the shrimp stock but add a cube of shrimp bouillon or fish bouillon powder, and buy the shrimp already peeled.

(2) I didn't use any spices with this dish because I wanted to have a fairly clean taste, but my mother told me to add either 1/2 a teaspoon of ground cumin or 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked Spanish paprika for her taste because she said it needed a little something extra. Oregano would be good too. Next time I'll probably do that :)