Thursday, October 06, 2011

Gambas al Ajillo

This is our version of the classic Spanish tapa, gambas al ajillo, or shrimp with garlic. This is so easy to make, especially considering the deliciousness of the payoff. There is one key ingredient you can't skip: dry Sherry. 

Fresh, sweet shrimp, lots of fresh garlic, some butter and fresh parsley are all important if you want a great result, but the Sherry provides the signature flavor. We went to Spain for two weeks last May, and had our share of pintxos, tapas and all-around amazing food. Making this is a nice way to revisit the trip. 

We didn't take many pictures of food, but here I am at the world's oldest restaurant, where we went for their famous suckling pig!

Gambas al Ajillo

Serves 2 to 4 as a tapa; doubles easily

1 to 2 tsp olive oil
8 oz medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper to taste
3 to 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch chile flakes
1/3 cup dry Sherry
1/2 Tbs unsalted butter
Chopped fresh parsley or thyme leaves

Heat a thin film of oil in a medium skillet on medium high. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook until lightly browned, but not cooked all the way through, turning once or twice, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and chile flakes, and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute. Add Sherry and simmer until liquid is reduced by about half and shrimp are cooked through. Just as dish is about finished, add butter and swirl into the sauce. Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle with herbs.