Asopao de Mariscos

Shrimp stock

20 U13-15 shrimp (save shells, devein)
1 large onion
½ sweet bell pepper (red)
2 bay leaf
1 teaspoon black peppercorn
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch of cilantro
3 quarts of water

3 tablespoons achiote oil
1 cup sofrito
¼ cup alcaparrado
1 teaspoon cumin
2 bay leaf
2 quarts of shrimp stock
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
4 stalks celery diced
4 carrots sliced
1 chayote, diced
2 cups long grain rice
shrimp (from above) cut in thirds
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
1/3 cup minced cilantro
minced heat (Serrano, habanero, etc)

To make the stock put the shrimp sells in a large saucepan that can hold up to 4 or more quarts Add the onion, bell pepper, bay leaf, pepper corns, garlic and cilantro, and pour the water in. Set at high heat to boil, then lower heat and simmer 45 minutes. Strain and set aside.

Heat the achiote oil, add the sofrito, alcaparrado, cumin and bay leaves and sauté quickly. Add the shrimp stock and bring to the boil. Lower heat.

Add the carrots and celery, and simmer for 15 minutes, Add the chayote and stir in the rice, stirring again after 5 minutes to prevent sticking on the bottom. Simmer, covered for 25 minutes, then add the shrimp, cooking for 3 minutes, then gently stir in the crab. Garnish with chopped cilantro, and serve immediately. Add the heat of your choice or sprinkle with Vinagre.

*Note: The rice will continue to cook in the pot, so if appears to get to thick, or you want a bit more broth, loosen the asopao with crab juice or chicken stock.

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