One of the most popular restaurants in downtown St. Augustine is a Cuban/Spanish-style restaurant called The Columbia. Founded by a Cuban immigrant in the early 1900s, The Columbia originated in the Tampa area and is a mini-chain restaurant (there are a handful of them, all in the state of FL). The food is very unpretentious and down-home. They have some of the best Cuban bread on earth (soft, warm, heaven!) and the sangria?! Don’t even get me started!! I’ve blogged about the sangria before – here’s their red sangria recipe and here’s the white sangria straight from their website. I prefer the white, but they are both great.
Before you think I’m a lush, let me get back to the shrimp!! This recipe is adapted from one in their cookbook (which of course, I own. I need a 12 step program for cookbooks!). All of the recipes in the book start with a good solid half cup of oil (or more! ACK!), so I adjusted that and a few other bits and pieces as I go along. This recipe was originally referred to as “Creole Shrimp”, but it’s not at all spicy. I think calling it Sauteed Shrimp and Peppers is much closer to the truth. If you have everything chopped, peeled, and standing by, this becomes a superfast and easy main meal. It would be great over rice, couscous, or just with a nice hunk of that Cuban bread!
Quick & Easy Sauteed Shrimp with Peppers
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1 green pepper, cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup white wine or vermouth
handful of chopped parsley (about 1/4 cup)
salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper)
1) Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and pepper until the onion is soft and transparent and the peppers are softened.
2) Stir in the garlic, then add the shrimp. Saute for 1-2 minutes until the shrimp starts to turn pink. Add the paprika, wine, parsley, salt, and pepper, stirring for another minute until the sauce thickens slightly and the shrimp are cooked all the way through.