Monday, January 14, 2013

Sunday Dinners: Spanish-Style Shrimp with Garlic (Gambas al Ajillo)

If you love shrimp, garlic, and wine, you can't go wrong with this tasty treat. My recent trip to Barcelona reminded me of how much I love this dish, which is a classic Spanish "tapa" or small plate.
And so, I was inspired...

Though Gambas al Ajillo can certainly be a stand-alone dish, I knew I had a main course for my sunday dinner  (ah--a wonderful dish: Argentine Hominy Stewwhich we'll be making in my January 25th cooking class at Don Coqui!), and just wanted this as a kind of first course. 

Gambas al Ajillo can certainly be beautifully served in small, Spanish Terracotta dishes, but I chose to serve itas you can seeon a small bed of mixed baby greens. The contrast of textures (and colorsand flavors!) worked out well. AND you could still do some bread dipping which, after all, is one of the most attractive attributes of this dish! (So yes! Make sure you have your favorite, crusty bread for dipping!)

Another attribute? It's simpleyet so elegant and tasty. Since I'm into brunches these days, I'm thinking that this, along with perhaps a tortilla española, served with sips like sangría, (I can show you another one here, from Telemundo, but in Spanish!) or some sangrita (or banderitas!) would be great Sunday midday fare. Would love to hear your ideas!

Gambas al Ajillo

Serves about 6 as a tapa

1 pound peeled and deveined medium-size shrimp (25 count to a pound)--They can be cooked with the shells on, but I take them off...but leave the tails on.
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon (optional!) hot pepper flakes
About 2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
3 ounces dry sherry (or white wine)
1 teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook just until the garlic starts to brown.

Raise the heat a bit, and add the shirmp, lemon juice, sherry, and paprika. Stir frequently, and cook until the shrimp are cooked (don't overcook them or they'll be rubbery!). Season as desired, transfer to plates, sprinkle with parsley and pour sauce on top. Serve immediately.

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