Updated: Jan 28, 2022
The "Camarão na Moranga" (Brazilian Shrimp Stuffed Pumpkin) is a typical dish of Brazilian coastal cuisine, delicious and very beautiful for special occasions. It is believed to have been invented around 1945 in Ubatuba, a city on the northern coast of the state of São Paulo Brazil.
The recipe has already undergone improvements, in which it has gained enriching ingredients such as: white wine, butter, fresh cream and Catupiry. INGREDIENTS: PUMPKIN – This dish is traditionally made in a moranga, which is called Cinderella pumpkin here in the US. However, you can use mini-sized pumpkins for individual portions.
SHRIMP – We’ll need 2 pounds of raw, white or pink, medium or large shrimp.
AROMATICS – This recipe uses 2 onions and 4 cloves of garlic! We need all the flavor we can get, since we won’t use any spices other than black pepper. SEASONING – Salt, black pepper and lime juice to season the shrimp, and more salt and pepper to season the dish as we cook.
TOMATOES – Chose chopped fresh Roma tomatoes.
THICKENING AGENT – You can use all-purpose flour, or if you need to omit gluten, you can use cornstarch instead.
DAIRY – We will use milk AND cream for super creamy results! However, if you need to make this dish less caloric, you can omit the cream. Coconut milk is an option if you want to avoid dairy milk.
CHEESE – This dish traditionally uses catupiry or requeijão, but you can use cream cheese here in the United States. Finish with a layer of grated parmesan cheese before placing it in the oven, for a delicious gratin effect!
HERBS – Parsley, or cilantro (or a combination of both).
HOW TO MAKE CAMARÃO NA ABÓBORA:
STEP 1: PREPARE AND ROAST THE PUMPKIN.
Wash and dry the pumpkin.
Cut the top off and scoop out the stringy part and seeds. (Tip: You can toast the seeds for a tasty snack!)
Make a paste by processing (or muddling) a chopped onion, some garlic cloves, a little bit of olive oil, and salt and pepper.
Rub this paste all over the inside of the pumpkin. Rub the outside with olive oil.
Wrap in foil and bake at 350ºF for 45-50 minutes, or until it is starting to get soft. Remove from the oven and reserve.
STEP 2: MAKE THE SHRIMP STEW.
Season shrimp generously with lime juice, salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, and sauté the shrimp. Do not overcook! Remove and reserve in a plate.
Add some more oil if needed, and sauté the onion and garlic.
Stir in the fresh tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft.
Add flour and mix to incorporate. Then, add the milk and cook until thickened.
Stir in the heavy cream and chopped parsley. Return the shrimp and mix to combine.
STEP 3: FILL THE PUMPKIN AND BAKE!
Spread the cream cheese (make sure it’s softened) inside the pumpkin.
Fill with the creamy stew.
Top with freshly grated parmesan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft and the cheese is golden.
Garnish with more chopped parsley and serve!