Shrimp in a Pumpkin (Camarão na moranga)

Here is a spectacular recipe which is my interpretation of this dish: as you maybe know, in Brazil the pumpkin serves only as a bowl and the sauce of this dish usually does not have any. Well, here is a recipe that will include the squash in its sauce! And do not throw out that pumpkin or squash in the trash after serving this dish! After serving his shrimp, wash the pumpkin, peel and cut into cubes. With the pumpkin cubes you can make a delicious soup, bread and why not a wonderful risotto.

Yield: 4-6 servings
Leave in milk: 20 minutes
Total time:

Shrimp in a Pumpkin

* 3 (2.2 lb or 1 kg.) Kabocha squash or 1 big pumpkin
* 20 prawns or large shrimps
* 2 cups (500 g) cream cheese (Catupiry)
* 1 lb. (500 g) of shells and shrimp heads
* 1 zucchini
* 1/4 lb. (250g) yam or sweet potato
* 1 tomato
* 1 sprig of thyme
* 1 fennel bulb
* 2 onions
* 3 cloves garlic
* 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
* 4 cups dry white wine
* 1 ounce (30 ml.) of brandy
* 1 cup (250 ml.) whipping cream
* 1 lb. (500 g.) fish head (for fish broth)
* Oil
* Salt and black pepper to taste


1) Cut a wide opening in the top of the pumpkin with a sharp knife, making it a lid. Remove the seeds of the squash, wrap the squash in aluminum foil and bake in the oven, at 300 ˚F (150 °C) for two hours; the pumpkin is cooked when tender to the touch.

2) With a spoon, remove the inner pumokin flesh: leaving enough thickness to make sure the pumpkin sides will not crumble. Peel the prawns and set aside their shells and heads (if you have them). Cut the onion, pumkpkin flesh, small tomatoes, fennel; peel and dice the yam. Cook all the vegetables in a pan with water, except the tomatoes. Extract the broth from the pumpkin and set aside.

3) Let's prepare the fish broth. Put in the fishheads, the onion, thyme, two glasses of dry white wine and some with water. Simmer.

4) After we will prepare the sauce which will be served in the pumpkin. Begin by placing the shrimp heads ad shells into the pan with preheated oil. They need to fry until they get a reddish color. Add chopped onion: when the onion is almost transparent, it's time to pour in the brandy. Add the brandy, two cloves garlic, unpeeled, two tablespoons of tomato paste, two cups of dry white wine and, also, pour in the fish broth.

Add salt, black pepper to taste, two tomatoes coarsely chopped and the broth from the pumpkin that was reserved. Simmer for ten minutes. After that, add the cream and the cream cheese. Mix and simmer another 15 minutes to thicken the broth. Lastly remove and discard the empty shrimp shells (you can use a strainer for this step).

5) Pour the broth directly into the pumpkin and add the raw shrimp. Take out four prawns, which we will not put in the pumpkin. Also add the previously reserved vegetables. After this, bake the pumpkin in the oven for 15 minutes.

6) Meanwhile, pass the four raw shrimps to cook in a pan with olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Then remove the squash or pumpkin from the oven, arrange the 4 cooked shrimp to decorate the pumpkin dish and serve.

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