Last Updated on June 26, 2023 by My Back Kitchen
When it comes to indulgent seafood dishes, Camarones Gratinados, or Cheesy Baked Shrimp, stand out as a decadent and irresistible treat. This mouthwatering Mexican dish combines succulent shrimp, a creamy sauce, and a blanket of melted cheese, creating a symphony of flavors and textures that will leave you craving more.
The Essence of Camarones Gratinados:
Camarones Gratinados is a beloved Mexican dish that showcases the versatility of shrimp. The term “gratinados” refers to the indulgent and cheesy gratin topping that crowns the shrimp. This dish is often enjoyed as an appetizer, a main course, or as part of a special celebration. The combination of succulent shrimp, rich sauce, and golden cheese makes it a true showstopper.
Succulent Shrimp: The Star Ingredient:
At the heart of Camarones Gratinados is the star ingredient – succulent shrimp. Jumbo or large shrimp are commonly used for this dish, as they offer a satisfying bite and stand up well to the cooking process. We recommend using shrimp that is peeled and deveined, however, shrimp cooked with the shells can be used for added flavor. Regardless of the preparation, the shrimp provide a delicate sweetness and a luxurious texture to the dish.
Creamy Sauce: Elevating the Flavors:
To enhance the flavor profile, our Camarones Gratinados are bathed in a rich tomato based salsa. This sauce consists of a combination of ingredients such as garlic, onions, butter, and a kick of spice from serrano peppers. The sauce adds richness and creaminess to the dish, enveloping the shrimp with layers of flavor.
Cheesy Gratin Topping: Melting Perfection:
What sets Camarones Gratinados apart is the luscious cheese gratin topping. Generous amounts of grated cheese, such as mozzarella, Monterey Jack (our personal favorite), or queso quesadilla, are sprinkled over the creamy shrimp mixture. As the dish cooks, the cheese melts and forms a bubbly crust, adding a delightful contrast of textures and a savory flavor that complements the shrimp perfectly.
Serving and Presentation:
We recommend serving Camarones Gratinados hot and bubbly, straight from the pan. The dish can be presented in individual baking dishes or served family-style in a large gratin dish. Garnishes such as chopped fresh parsley or cilantro can be sprinkled over the top for a pop of freshness and color. When we make Camarones Gratinados, it is always accompanied by warm crusty bread or steamed rice, providing a perfect canvas for savoring every cheesy, shrimp-filled bite.
Camarones Gratinados, with their succulent shrimp, creamy sauce, and golden cheese topping, offer a mouthwatering indulgence that delights seafood lovers. This Mexican dish combines the freshness of shrimp with the richness of creamy sauce and the irresistible allure of melted cheese. Whether served as an appetizer or a main course, Camarones Gratinados are sure to captivate your taste buds and leave you longing for more. So, treat yourself to this delectable delight and let the flavors transport you to the coastal shores of Mexico. Enjoy!
- 1 lb. raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1/2 stick butter
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 4 large tomatoes blended
- 1/2 white or yellow onion chopped
- 8 oz. Monterrey jack cheese
- 1 chile serrano, seeds removed and minced Add more or less according to taste
- Have all ingredients ready as this cooks quickly.
- Heat skillet over medium high heat. Using paper towels, pat the shrimp to remove as much moisture as possible. Add butter and oil to hot pan. Add shrimp (in a single layer) and garlic. Sear 1 minute per side to lightly brown. The shrimp should not be fully cooked. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside in covered bowl.
- To your pan, add 1/2 tablespoon oil, chopped onion and sauté until onion is translucent. Add chopped chile serrano, pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper, and blended tomato. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over medium low heat 5 – 10 minutes.
- Add partially cooked shrimp to the salsa and cook an additional 2 minutes. Turn heat off. Top shrimp with shredded cheese and cover the pan and let rest 5 minutes allowing the cheese to melt.
- Serve with garlic toasted bollios or French bread.