My interest was peaked in this dish when we first moved to Williamsburg and I ordered it from a restaurant called Beco in the neighborhood. I was of course thrilled that there would be a place nearby where I could get pao de queijo delivered. I ended up ordering what they call the mocequa on the menu, a hot stew of coconut milk, shrimp and tomato served over rice. Upon googling, I discovered that mocequa tends to have various kinds of fish in it, often white, sometimes other shellfish or calamari. I’ve never been one for mixed fish stews (though I could eat New England Clam Chowder for B,L,and D and believe me, I have), so I stuck with this Gourmet recipe for Brazilian shrimp stew, which seemed the most similar to the one I ate from Beco.
This recipe turned out to be a little more tomato-y than I would have liked. The next time I make it I will probably just add a whole can of cononut milk as opposed to just the one cup.
Brazilian Shrimp Stew
Adapted from Gourmet
Makes 6 servings
1/2 lb large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per lb), peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 14-15 oz can diced tomatoes including juice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
5 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk ( I would use a whole can)
1 tablespoon dendê (palm) oil (available at Kalustyan’s)
Serve with: white rice
Toss shrimp with black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic, and lemon juice and marinate, covered and chilled, 20 minutes.
Purée tomatoes with juice in a blender until smooth.
Cook onion and bell pepper in olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add cayenne, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and remaining teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomato purée and simmer briskly, stirring, until mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and bring to a boil, then add shrimp mixture and cook, stirring, until shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in dendê oil and remaining 4 tablespoons cilantro and season with salt and pepper.