Brazilian coconut shrimp

 pounds jumbo raw shrimp 
(deveined, both shell and tail removed)
5 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
3 gloves garlic 1 minced and 2 coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt divided
1 teaspoon ground black pepper divided
½ large white or yellow onion peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large orange or red bell pepper de-seeded and sliced
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
2 leaves large basil plus more to garnish
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley plus more to garnish
1 cup canned coconut milk
1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 large lime, juiced)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sweet paprika optional
4-6 oz cream cheese softened (the amount depends on how creamy you want)
1 red jalapeno pepper thinly sliced (optional)

  • Place the peeled shrimp in a bowl with 1 Tablespoon of oil, one minced garlic clove, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat and let marinade while cooking the vegetables.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat with 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and let cook for approximately 3 minutes. 
  • Add the 2 coarsely chopped garlic cloves and cook for about 1 minute. Add the canned diced tomatoes, basil, and cilantro/parsley. Let cook for about 2 minutes. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a blender and set aside.
  • Add the 2 remaining Tablespoons of oil to the skillet and cook the shrimp for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes or it until starts getting pink. Transfer the shrimp to a plate or bowl.
  • Add the coconut milk, chicken/vegetable broth, lime juice, ground ginger, paprika (optional), and the remaining salt and pepper to the cooked, reserved vegetables and blend everything until vegetables are completely ground and mixture is homogeneous. 
  • Transfer blended mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil; then reduce to simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted and the sauce is creamy and homogeneous. 
  • Add the cooked shrimp to the skillet and toss to coat. Garnish with basil leaves, chopped cilantro/parsley, and slices of red jalapeno pepper if desired. Serve over white rice. Enjoy!