Camarones Salteados with Saffron-Infused Quinoa and Peruvian-Style Salsa Criolla

Recipe Courtesy of Alejandra Schrader

This Peruvian-inspired dish has the Latin flavors that I love, with a hint of Asian influence. I serve it with a saffron-infused quinoa to add nutritional value, and a traditional salsa criolla. This dish is me in so many ways; bold, eclectic, health-conscious, and spicy!


For The Salsa Criolla

  • 1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 cups of water mixed with 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced, seeded red jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

For The Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined

For The Quinoa

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken stock*
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon

For The Saute

  • 1 large white onion, sliced into thin wedges
  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced into thin wedges
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, pelled and cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 lime wedges


To Make The Salsa Criolla

  1. Soak sliced onions in salted water for 20 minutes. Drain completely and place in a small bowl.

  2. Add lime juice, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro. Toss to coat.

  3. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or refrigerate overnight.

To Make The Marinade

  1. Whisk first chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and garlic in small bowl to blend.

  2. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. Place uncooked shrimp in large, resealable plastic bag and pour in marinade. Seal bag, turn to coat, chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

To Make The Quinoa

  1. Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa well, drain, and set aside.

  2. In a medium saucepan, combine chicken stock and saffron strands and let stand for 20 minutes.

  3. Add quinoa to pan, set on stove at medium-high heat, and bring to boil.

  4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat and let rest with the lid on.

  6. Fluff quinoa into a medium bowl, add cilantro and tarragon (splash of olive oil optional), toss to mix.

To Make The Saute

  1. In a medium saucepan, boil water, add salt and blanch potatoes for 4-5 minutes.

  2. Transfer to bowl with ice water and let stand for 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

  4. Add shrimp, sauté until shrimp are almost opaque in center, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to bowl.

  5. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to skillet, saute onions for 3 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

  6. Add potatoes and tomatoes to skillet and cook until golden brown.

  7. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste and fresh lime juice. Return shrimp to skillet, toss to combine all ingredients. Serve immediately.

  8. Serve shrimp saute on each plate with quinoa and salsa criolla. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve with lime wedges.

You may substitute chicken stock with shrimp stock, vegetable stock, or salted water.

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Camarones Salteados with Saffron-Infused Quinoa and Peruvian-Style Salsa Criolla