The fish counter has been bringing in fresh Maine shrimp which reminded us of a classic spanish tapa – Gambas al Ajillo or Shrimp with Garlic. The drizzly weather calls for a hot, spicy, rich dish like this ready for dipping crunchy fresh bread. Serve as an appetizer with a manzanilla sherry like our La Cigarrera (Brooklyn) or our Bodegas Argueso (Manhattan).
Gambas al Ajillo
1 lb shrimp, 25 count to a pound
4 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2-3 oz of cognac or dry sherry
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
3 tsp chopped fresh parsley
juice of 1 lemon (1 1/2-2oz)
Prepare shrimp or have Provisions peel and devein them for you.
In a sauté pan or heavy frying pan, warm the olive oil and butter (optional, not traditional) over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for about one minute or until they just begin to brown. Add the shrimp, lemon juice, sherry or cognac and paprika. Stir well, then sauté over high heat, stirring briskly until the shrimp turn pink (3-5 minutes).
Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. If serving individual appetizer portions (will make 4-6), divide shrimp among individual clay ramekins and then pour equal amounts of sauce over shrimp. Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving. Serve with sliced baguette for mopping up sauce.