Camarão na moranga (Prawns in Pumpkin)

“Camarão na moranga” is a typical dish of the Brazilian coast, delicious and impressive for special occasions. The recipe, it seems, was invented around 1945 in Ubatuba, a town along the northern coast of state of São Paulo. 
For over 20 years the Colony of Fishermen "Z-23" organizes in Bertioga (a town along the northern coast of state of São Paulo near Ubatuba) one of the most important Brazilian coastal cooking festivals (August weekends) - "A Festa do Camarão na Moranga" - a great opportunity to try the countless versions of this wonderful dish.
Pumpkin is a Central American vegetable very common in Brazil. It is versatile and is used to make a infinite number of sweet and savory recipes. 

Ingredients

  • • 3 Kg flat pumpkin (sweet pumpkin)
  • For the prawns in cream sauce:
  • • 1 Kg medium prawns
  • • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • • 2 tablespoons butter
  • • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • • 1 small onion chopped
  • • 600 g tomato purée
  • • salt and ground pepper or chilli pepper
  • • 1 bay leaf
  • • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • • 200 ml whipping (heavy) cream
  • • 200 ml coconut milk
  • • 500 g requeijão or cheese cream
  • Garnish:
  • • large sized prawns
  • • salt
  • • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • • 1 garlic clove
  • • 50 ml cognac

Preparation method


Preparation of the pumpkin: 
1. Wash the pumpkin and cut the "lid" to make the pumpkin into a "bowl". 
2. Scrape the inside with a spoon to remove seeds. 
3. Bake the pumpkin at 120°C for about 1 hour, until the pulp is soft.  

Preparation of the prawns in cream sauce: 
1. Sauté the onion and the garlic finely chopped in oil and butter.  
2. Add the tomato purée, the bay leaf, salt, black pepper and cook for 2 minutes.  
3. Add the peeled prawns and cook a few minutes. 
4. Dissolve the flour in a little of coconut milk or whipping (heavy) cream. 
5. Add the whipping (heavy) cream, the coconut milk and flour dissolved to the mixture, a little at a time, and stir frequently until the cream is thickened. 
6. Season with salt and black pepper; remove and discard the bay leaf. 

To assemble the dish:  
1. Fill the baked pumpkin with the prawns in cream sauce and the cheese cubes. 
2. Bake the filled pumpkin at 180° C until the cheese has melted. It takes about 15 minutes. 
3. Decorate the filled pumpkin with prawns sautéed with olive oil and garlic and flambéed with cognac. 
4. Pumpkin is not only a bowl but is part of the dish so, serve the pulp of the pumpkin with the prawns in cream sauce.To serve with white rice

Yield: 4 - 6 servings.
Posted on: 11 November 2011
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