Shrimp HEADS!!!

Fair warning to all blog readers, this post contains fish heads!! 

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[/span4][span8] The cookbook the recipe came from is called “Ceviche” and is by Martin Morales. Ceviche is a Peruvian cookbook, the only Peruvian cookbook I own btw.
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makings of a chili paste
makings of a chili paste
[/span4][span8] The recipe I had tagged was for Arroz con Mariscos, seafood rice. This recipe was a multiple stepper – meaning I also had to make a fish stock, chili paste and Peruvian rice. I already had some fish stock in my freezer which I made for a pre-blog project recipe, so I used that – first step done! The second step, the chili paste, I made a few days before. To make the paste I heated oil in a skillet over medium heat and I added 3.5 ounces of fresh deseeded chili peppers and 1/2 of finely chopped onion. That cooked on low heat for 10 minutes. Then 2 crushed cloves of garlic were added and I continued to cook for 5 minutes longer.
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chili paste
chili paste
[/span4][span8] The contents of the skillet then went into my food processor and I processed until it was a paste.
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step 3 done, let's get to the actual recipe!
step 3 done, let’s get to the actual recipe!
[/span4][span8] The third step, the rice I made right before starting the actual recipe. I heated 2 TB of canola oil in a pot and added 2 cloves of crushed garlic, I let that cook for a minute. Then I added 7 ounces of long grain rice. I gave that a stir and let it cook for 2 minutes. I added 1 1/4 cup of water, 1/2 tsp of salt and a pinch of cumin. I let it come to a boil and then I reduced heat to low, covered and let it simmer for 10 minutes (or until all the liquid has been absorbed). Then I removed it from the heat, fluffed with a fork, and returned the lid and let it stand until I was ready for it.
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this is what a bowl of freshly pulled off shrimp heads shells looks like.
this is what a bowl of freshly pulled off shrimp heads and shells looks like.
[/span4][span8] I had to search out shrimp with head so I could pull their heads off along with their shells.
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check out those beady little eyes!
check out those beady little eyes!
[/span4][span8] I heated some olive oil in large skillet over high heat and added those shrimp heads and shells and let them cook until they turned pink. Then I added some dry white wine, that that simmer, and added some fish stock. I covered it and turned the heat to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
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[/span4][span8] I strained the head and shells from the liquid, reserved the liquid and discarded the heads and shells. Into the skillet I heated more oil and cooked an onion and red pepper until the onion was translucent. Then I added crushed garlic (by this point I figured out Peru loves crushed garlic) and I let that cook another minute.
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shrimp head juice!!
shrimp head juice!!
[/span4][span8] I then stirred in some of the chili paste I made along with some paprika, oregano and diced tomato. Once the veggies were all coated in the spices I added the reserved shrimp head “juice”, sweet white wine (the recipe actually called for Pisco, a white brandy made from grapes…I had no source for getting Pisco so I took it upon myself to sub for a sweet white wine), two bay leaves and salt and pepper. That was brought to a boil and then reduced to a simmer for 5 minutes.
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[/span4][span8] I then added shrimp (the ones I had beheaded) and calamari rings. I cooked until the shrimp was pink and starting to curl. Then I added the rice, stirred, cooked about a minute longer, added chopped cilantro and served.
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Then Verdict:  Yum!  Very flavorful and delicious.  It was a decent amount of work but because everyone enjoyed it I will probably make it again. And Matt and I were lucky enough to have Al stop by for dinner.  Al said it was really good, and then re-emphasized that is was really good – which is a raving review for Al!  If you want to try it out, grab the recipe here.

Al and his favorite spoon!
Al and his favorite spoon!