I made this rice with chorizo and shrimp, also known as arroz con chorizo y camarones in Spanish, as a second course for a Sunday brunch. It’s a variation of the classic arroz con camarones or rice with shrimp. Nicolas (the husband) has this theory that you can make any dish better by adding chorizo. I’m not sure that his theory is always applicable, but at least in this case it worked. In this dish the chorizo is the centerpiece ingredient, the rice and chorizo are cooked together, while the shrimp are added during the last minutes.
The chorizo is packed with spices like paprika, chili powder, pepper, oregano, among others, so I don’t add any additional spices to this dish. However, not all chorizos are equal, so I recommend tasting it as you make it (once any raw ingredients are cooked) and adding more spices if needed. Also, the combination of good quality chorizo, fresh vegetables, seafood stock, shrimp and parsley give a lot of flavor to this dish, but based on your personal preference you can add additional spices or seasonings if desired.
There are many different types of chorizo, but Spanish and Mexican chorizo are the most popular and easiest to find in the US. I prefer to use a semi-soft Spanish chorizo for this dish because it has a better consistency than the fresh Mexican chorizo – which works better for dishes where you want the chorizo to crumble. I’ve also tried using a mix of different chorizos, one fresh and one cured, and it also worked well. I’ve made the chorizo and shrimp rice using imported classic dry cured Spanish chorizo, and also tried it using a dry cured Spanish chorizo made in California (found at DeLaurenti at Pike Place Market). You can also prepare it using fresh Spanish chorizo – for those in Seattle, the ones at Uli’s at Pike Place Market are really good.
I love the vibrant red color of the dry cured chorizo and the flavor of the fresh chorizo. I have to clarify that this is not a paella, though it does have a lot of Spanish influence. There are many Latin dishes made with rice and combinations of seafood and meat that are very different from paella. However, for some reason every time I make a rice based dish, it is immediately categorized as a paella. There are quite a few differences, but the main ones are that the type of rice is different, long grain rice vs short paella style rice. Also, a lot of the Latin American rice dishes don’t use saffron, which is one of the defining ingredients for paella. I served this rice with chorizo and shrimp with side dishes of fried ripe plantains, avocado slices, onion and tomato curtido or salad, aji hot sauce, and some lemon slices.
Step by step preparation photos for rice with chorizo and shrimp