Source: Modified from the series “Cozinha Regional Brasileira” (Brazilian Regional Cuisine, http://www.cozinharegional.com.br), book 7 (Espírito Santo)
History: Catupiry is a creamy cheese quite common in Brazilian cuisine, usually present in sauces for chicken or shrimp recipes (and also in some pizza flavors). I found this recipe in the book for the state of Espírito Santo, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find it in many of other states as well.
Variation from the original: I used store-bought tomato sauce instead of chopped tomatoes; I grated the onion instead of chopping it; I skipped the garlic (didn’t have at home) and cilantro (guests didn’t like it) which the recipe from the book asked; I also skipped the “urucum oil”, since I have no idea what “urucum” is, probably some tree which is native of that state; I didn’t use as much cheese as the recipe asked for (it asked for 4 cups, I only had about 1, and it turned out to be enough, with the addition of 1/2 cup of milk).
Ingredients from specialty stores: The Catupiry cheese. My wife returned from a trip where she got it in a Brazilian store, but I’ve seen it in some stores around the Seattle area as well. If you don’t have it, a friend of mine made a similar recipe with equal parts of cream cheese (Philadelphia, Neufchatel) and Muenster cheeses.
- 20oz shrimp (shelled, deveined)
- juice of 1 lime (about 3 tbsp.)
- 8oz catupiry cheese (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 onion, grated
- 6 tbsp. olive oil
- salt & pepper
Season the shrimp with the lime juice, salt and pepper, leave it for at least 15 minutes. In a large frying pan, sauté the shrimp in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan; in my large pan I used two batches) with about 2 tbsp. of oil for each batch, then reserve it.
In the same pan, heat 2 tbsp. of oil, then add the onion, until it starts to change color. Add the tomato sauce, and stir well for about 2 minutes. Add the cheese, and stir to blend. Finally add the milk and the shrimp back.
Serve with rice and sautéed potatoes. I also had a small fennel/tomato/green salad along with it.