When I was little, I remember Good Friday was made up of no radio, no TV, no going out to play, no laughing. You basically would sit in the house all day and think about Good Friday.
I typically would spend the day with my grandparents and they’d remind me – no radio, no TV. Sit in the dark in el Florida (Florida Room), and think about why Jesus died for us.
Geez, abuelo, I’m only eight years old. Can I at least talk to my brother? No.
Fast forward to when I married my husband’s family and take a peek into their Good Fridays: sit in the dark, no TV, no radio. Pretty much the same, but with one exception.
They had Camarones Enchilados on Good Friday.
Now, remember that I don’t have a good memory of what I used to eat when I was little because according to my mom, it was nothing. But for all I know, maybe we were a Camarones Enchilados on Good Friday family, but I sure wouldn’t have touched those red-sauced shrimp things with a ten foot pole (remember, I was eight), but they may have been there.
This year, we spent Easter in the Keys and since we had fresh shrimp within arms’ reach, I decided to give the Camarones Enchilados a try.
Easy easy. Try this at home.
I imagine you can buy fresh shrimp that has been peeled and deveined but the two pounds I bought had my mom and I working for a good half hour before we even got started. Once the shrimp are clean and ready, the rest is super easy.
You sofreir chopped onion, minced garlic and a diced green pepper until the onion is softened. Add finely chopped parsley, chopped up pimentos, along with the liquid from the pimento can, tomato sauce, ketchup, vinegar, a bay leaf, dry white cooking wine, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.
Here’s where I put my foot down. Nitza wanted me to start with the shrimp, even before the sofrito. Lady, that would have given you bouncy, rubbery shrimp. I said heck no, and added the shrimp that I had seasoned with a little salt and pepper at the end.
It’s funny how there are some Nitza classics that folks in my circle use regularly, this recipe being one of those. Every single person I talked to about this dish made a commentary about adding the shrimp at the end.
The shrimp and the sauce, over killer rice was amazing. Some sliced aguacates to go along the border – absolute perfection.