In 2014 I led a trip to Cuba with 22 other friends and colleagues. I had this dish at one of the famous Havana restaurants, La Bodeguita del Medio, where patrons sign the walls and leave messages (which we did!). It is also said to be the birthplace of the mojito and the bar was frequented by Ernest Hemingway. Great food, good music and super friendly musicians, fun and festive atmosphere... I had this delicious Cuban shrimp dish and after toying with a few versions, I think I figured it out. Here is my version using Florida gulf shrimp (see photo above).
1 lb fresh raw shrimp, peeled
1 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers
2 cups cooked rice
1 small onion, diced,
1 green pepper, cut into long, thin slices
3 T olive oil
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Dash of red pepper or Sriracha
Optional: Cilantro or parsley
1. Saute onion and green pepper in olive oil over medium-high heat until they just begin to soften.
2. Pour off half the liquid in the jar of roasted peppers. Pour the rest of the jar, remaining liquid and peppers, and the garlic into a food processor and pulse until you get a smooth puree.
4. Add pepper puree to saute pan, stir in tomato sauce and tomato paste bring to a full simmer.
5. Add shrimp and cook while stirring for about 3 minutes or until shrimp are cooked (If shrimp are wet, dry shrimp with a towel before cooking). Add more or less tomato paste to thicken the sauce.
6. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Optional: Stir in hot pepper sauce.
7. Serve over rice.
8. Optional: Top with minced parsley or cilantro.