The old cookbook Diana Kennedy references is Nuevo y Sencillo Arte De Cocina (New and Simple Art of Cooking). She had the third edition, which was published in 1865. The book was compiled by Doctora Antonia Carillo de Madrid and was passed down to her daughter. The book was supposed to be for a “Mexican lady.” She had adapted Spanish recipes for a Mexican palate.
Arroz con Camarones, Rice with Shrimp was the dish I cooked that night. We ate it alone, with nothing else, it was that good.
You have to boil the shrimp shells in water with saffron to make your stock. Then it comes time to fry the rice. My pans/pots suck and are crazy thin, so this part of the recipe is always hard for me. The uncooked rice fries in oil for a while, turning a golden color. You then start adding all the other pieces. Onion, garlic and chiles go in, followed by tomatoes, parsley and more spices. This part is always frantic as I try and keep stirring so my rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. I need to invest in some nicer pots and pans. I’m surprised I was able to sneak a picture in. You will notice my rice isn’t golden. If I waited that long, my rice would be part of the pot and I would never be able to get it off. I can only imagine how much better it would taste. Christmas or Birthday gift, yeah that right, I’m putting it out there.
Then the broth goes in and my patience is tested. I’m just supposed to let it sit, uncovered for 10-15 minutes until almost all the stock has been absorbed. What?! It stares up at me, wanting to be stirred and poked.
Once the time has come, I am told to quickly stir in the shrimp and cover the pan for five minutes, still cooking over med/low heat. After that, I still can’t eat it. I have to keep it covered, slide it off the burner and let it steam for TEN MORE MINUTES! By this time I’m starving and super crabby. It was so worth the wait.