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Baked Shrimp with Savory Meringue (Camarão à Marta Rocha)

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Savory meringue tops this traditonal Brazilian shrimp dish, created and named after Marta Rocha, Brazilian Miss Universe runner-up. Popular on the menu of sophisticated restaurants on the 50's, 60's and 70's (it was a time when the Brazilian cooks would try to mimic the French Chefs), this retro dish is now hard to find anywhere, since Brazilian cuisine is highlighting more its own resources, thankfully! But when I was a little girl growing up in Curitiba, my parents would take us to a restaurant called Restaurante Iguacu (only at very special ocassions). We used to feel very important eating such "sophisticated" meal. I hope you enjoy!

Serves 6

Ingredients:

• 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
• 1 pound large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
• ¼ cup cognac
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
• ¾ cup dry white wine
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 can (14 ounces) hearts-of-palm, drained and sliced
• 8 ounces Mascarpone cheese or Catupiry (see Cook’s Note)
• 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
• 6 egg whites
• 5 slices white bread, toasted and cut into cubes
• Bread crumbs, for topping

Directions:

To a medium size skillet over high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat until shimmering. Sauté shrimp 2 minutes or until they turn pink and start to curl. Add cognac and flame, carefully stirring until flames die. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from skillet and set aside.
In the same skillet, heat up remaining olive oil over medium heat and sauté onions until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and rosemary. Cook stirring constantly until fragrant, 40 seconds. Add wine and deglaze the skillet. Add heavy cream and bring to a light boil, stirring. Remove from heat. Fold in hearts-of-palm, Mascarpone (or Catupiry) and parsley. Set aside.
Using a hand mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In an ovenproof deep-dish, assemble in layers: 

1. Toasted bread on bottom
2. Drizzle of olive oil over bread
3. Shrimp sauce
4. Spread egg whites
5. Sprinkle top with bread crumbs

Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until top is golden brown. Serve immediately.

shrimp_brazilian_traditional_recipe_hearts_of_palm

Cook's Note:

Originally, this dish is made with Catupiry (Brazilian cream cheese). If unavailable, Mascarpone will do a great job as a substitute. 

My twist to the original recipe is the addition of hearts-of-palm to the sauce, which made the dish sound and taste more Brazilian.

Nutrition Facts:

6 Servings

Amount Per Serving
 
Calories 322.9
 
Total Fat 17.8 g
 
Cholesterol 190.2 mg
 
Sodium 508.1 mg
 
Potassium 452.1 mg
 
Total Carbohydrate 16.0 g
 
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
 
Sugars 0.9 g
 
Protein 25.9 g

shirimp_layered_toast_savory_meringue

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