Gambas al Ajillo
The traditional preparation for this Spanish-style tapas is served with unpeeled head-on shrimp, but for ease of serving you may certainly peel the shrimp prior to cooking. Or, go bold and follow tradition! A glass of chilled dry Texas rosé alongside wouldn’t hurt either.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 pounds large-sized Texas wild caught shrimp
- 1/2 cup Texas extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup dry sherry wine
- 1 teaspoon Spanish sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons flat leaf parsley, minced
- 4 slices garlic toast
- 4 thick slices crusty bread, such as a French loaf
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
- In a medium-sized bowl, toss the shrimp with the sea salt, crushed red pepper and smoked paprika. Allow the shrimp to sit for about ten minutes as the flavors permeate the shrimp.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat and pour in the olive oil and the sliced garlic. Stir the garlic in the olive oil and allow it to cook briefly until the edges start to brown slightly.
- Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for three to four minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink and start to curl. Immediately add the lemon juice, sherry wine and vinegar to the pan. Cook the shrimp another minute or so, just until the liquid reduces a little bit and the shrimp are cooked all the way through and are no longer translucent in the center.
- Remove from heat and pour the shrimp and juices into four pre-warmed serving plates and sprinkle evenly with the parsley.
- Serve the shrimp hot with freshly-grilled garlic toast for sopping up the juices in the bottom of each serving plate.
- Rub each slice of bread with the garlic clove to flavor, then drizzle evenly on each side with the olive oil.
- Place under a broiler or on top of a hot grill and toast until golden brown and heated through. Serve immediately.