Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)

Another dish I tackled for our Spanish Tapas-inspired menu this past Memorial Day weekend. Very savory, with tons of garlicky, olive-oily goodness & a hint of spice. I think of this as the Spanish version of Shrimp Scampi minus the butter. Also, the Spanish Paprika ('Pimenton') gives this dish its distinctively smoky flavor. Really, really simple & delicious. 


Ingredients:
2 lbs. medium shrimp, shelled & deveined, with tail left on
8 large cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp. Spanish Paprika 
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional, if you like it spicy)
1/4 cup cognac or brandy
1/2 cup olive oil (preferably Spanish)
1 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Juice of 1 lemon


1. Heat olive oil over medium heat & add minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook briefly until garlic is fragrant but not browned.


2. Add shrimp, increase heat to high, and cook for a couple minutes. Add remaining ingredients (except for parsley) and saute until shrimp is just cooked through. Remove from heat & add a pinch of black pepper (additional salt is not required, but if you're a saltaholic...then season according to your own taste). Garnish with chopped parsley. 


3. Best served warm, but is also fine at room temperature.


Minced garlic, lemon, cognac, Spanish paprika, red pepper flakes, chopped parsley.

Heat olive oil over medium heat and saute garlic and red pepper flakes for a couple minutes (do not brown the garlic).

Add shrimp.

Add cognac.

Add juice of 1 lemon and remaining ingredients. When shrimp is done (when they've just turned pink - don't overcook!) add a pinch of black pepper.

Remove to a serving dish or platter & garnish with chopped parsley.


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