Garlic Shrimp (gambas al ajillo)
April 6, 2009
…shellfish are the prime cause of the decline of morals and the adaptation of an extravagant lifestyle.
~Pliny the Elder
Apparently, the tapas topic has proven as addictive as the food (and wine) itself. So, bear with my obsession for one more recipe in this recent spate. No doubt more tapas recipes will appear, but a little later down the line.
These delicate shell beasts that have traditionally graced plates in tapas bars everywhere are as simple to prepare as they are pleasing to the eye and palate…and I love the crunch of those tails.
GARLIC SHRIMP (GAMBAS AL AJILLO)
1 lb large shrimp, peeled with tails left intact (16-20 count)
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
6 plump, fresh garlic cloves, peeled and very thinly sliced
2 t Spanish paprika (pimentón)
1 T dried chili pepper
2 T cognac or brandy
Chopped fresh parsley
In a heavy sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and sauté 1 to 2 minutes. Do not burn.
Add the shrimp, red pepper and paprika. Stir well, then sauté, stirring briskly until the shrimp turn pink and curl – about 3 to 4 minutes total, turning once. Pour in the brandy and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add a pinch or two of salt and sprinkle lightly with parsley.
Serve with sliced toasted or grilled bread.