Bobó de Camarão (Shrimp in Yucca Cream)

“This is a classic from Bahia, which is on the Atlantic coast of Brazil,” says Ilson Goncalves, owner of Samba Montclair, which features authentic homestyle Brazilian cooking. “Some of the ingredients may seem exotic, like yucca root, coconut milk and red palm oil, but they can be found in many of the Asian, African or Brazilian markets in our area. There are a few advance prep steps, but the dish comes together quickly and is so delicious it’s worth the effort.”

Serves: 4

2.2 lbs fresh medium shrimp, peeled (save the shells for broth, below)
2.2 lbs peeled yucca
Juice of 1 lime
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2.2 lbs large diced onion
2.2 lbs tomato, cubed
1 bunch cilantro
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup red palm oil
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 yucca into large chunks. In a large saucepan, boil in salted water until easily pierced with a knife. Drain, cut into cubes and reserve.

    1.    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.
    2.    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. 
    3.    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.
    4.    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.
    5.    Serve in large bowls with white rice on the side.

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