Saturday, March 16, 2013

Shrimp in Garlic Sauce Tapas

Its hard to believe that it has been three years since our amazing trip to Barcelona, Spain.

The memories of incredible Boqueria market,

and the selection of ultra-fresh seafood I remember there inspired me to make this dish tonight.
My absolute favorite tapas was Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp in garlic sauce.)  The secret to the flavor and depth of this dish is the dry sherry, which you must not leave out or substitute.  The second secret is to very thinly slice the garlic instead of crushing or mincing it.  There is a subtle and wonderful difference in flavor that you will notice if you try this.  Since I was really hungry when I got home tonight, I only took a picture of my finished dish, but it is so easy to make that it really needs no further visual explanation.  Enjoy!


2 to 4 Tbs olive oil (use the best you have for this dish)
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and butterflied
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
3 to 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch of red chile flakes
1/3 cup dry Sherry
2 Tbs butter
Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
Chopped fresh parsley


Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a medium skillet on medium high until it shimmers in the skillet, but do NOT let it smoke or burn. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently until lightly browned, but not cooked all the way through. Add the sliced garlic and chile flakes, and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute. Add the Sherry and simmer until the liquid in the skillet is reduced by about half and shrimp are cooked through. Do not overcook, as the shrimp will get rubbery. Just as dish is about finished, squeeze in the fresh lemon juice and whisk the butter into the sauce until it thickens. Transfer the shrimp and sauce to serving bowls and sprinkle with fresh parsley.  Serve with thin sliced French bread to sop up the delicious garlic sauce.

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