' Gambas al Ajillo (Spicy Garlic Shrimp in Olive Oil) - San Martiño Winery

Gambas al Ajillo (Spicy Garlic Shrimp in Olive Oil)

Gambas al AjilloSimplicity is not always synonymous with traditional when it comes to recipes, but with gambas al ajillo, a handful of choice ingredients is enough to recreate one of Spain’s most famous tapas. This is another favorite at the winery and once again, it tastes better if cooked in a clay pot. It also looks better if served in a clay pot also. In the states we substitute large shrimp for gambas but a true gamba is only found in the north western seas of Spain. Very large shrimp that is sweet and succulent that melts in your mouth leaving a small flavor of garlic and olive oil on your tongue. Take a sip of wine and dip some crusty bread in the spicy olive oil in the dish and you have one of the true appetizers served in heaven.

Category : From the Sea

  • 25 large shrimp
  • 8 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes or dry jalapeno diced finely with seeds
  • 2-3 oz of cognac (you may substitute dry sherry instead)
  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Baguette

The shrimp can be peeled first, before cooking them if you prefer. In a sauté pan or heavy frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for about one minute or until they begin to brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic! Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp, sherry or cognac and paprika. Stir well, then sauté, stirring briskly until the shrimp turn pink and curl – about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer shrimp with oil and sauce to a warm plate or serve right from the pan. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with fresh bread.

Wine Pairing: Albariño, Riesling or Verdejo