Brazilian food in Montclair, New Jersey

September 14, 2012 3:02:43 PM PDT
Brazilian home cooking like the food served along the southern coast.

You might say Ilson Goncalves was a little homesick, so he decided to open Samba, just off the main drag in his American hometown of Montclair, New Jersey.

Ilson has lived there for years, but he often misses southern Brazil.

Samba's Bobó de Camarão (Shrimp in Yuca Cream)
Serves: 4

  • 2.2 lbs fresh medium shrimp, peeled (save the shells for broth, below)
  • 2.2 lbs peeled yuca
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red palm oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2.2 lbs large diced onion
  • 2.2 lbs tomato, cubed
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shrimp broth
  • salt to taste
    To make the shrimp broth:
  • Take the reserved shrimp shells and add to a pot of about 3 cups of water.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Strain with a fine sieve, add salt to taste, and reserve.
    To cook the yucca:
  • Cut the peeled yuca (cassava) into large chunks. In a large saucepan, boil in salted water until easily pierced with a knife. Drain, cut into cubes, and reserve.
  • Toss the peeled shrimp with lime juice, salt, and garlic. Add 2 tablespoons palm oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the seasoned shrimp and lightly sauté. Remove from heat and reserve.
  • In a large saucepan, sauté the onion, tomato and cilantro in olive oil until soft. Add the cooked cassava and shrimp broth and cook for a minute on low heat. Allow the mixture to cool a bit.
  • When cool, put everything except the shrimp in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. If too thick, use a bit of the remaining shrimp broth to achieve a creamy consistency.
  • Return to the saucepan and heat. Add the remaining palm oil and reserved shrimp. Check for salt to taste. Stir, cover the pan, and turn off the heat to let the flavors meld.
  • Serve in large bowls with white rice on the side.

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