Back in 2016 Mike and I spent 2 weeks traveling across Spain. We really like Spanish cuisine so we were in food heaven. Olives, cured meats, sangria, paella, churros and chocolate and of course shrimps!
Gambas al Ajillo which basically translates to garlic shrimp is a standard at any restaurant in Spain. I understand why because it’s so dang delicious, and they set it on fire and who doesn’t like a little flair! The olive oil, garlic and red pepper are in perfect harmony as they cook the shrimp. You might want to toast up an entire loaf of crunchy bread because you’ll want to soak up every ounce of that flavorful, aromatic olive oil.
- 1 or 2 pounds shelled and deveined large shrimp (tails on to be authentic or remove if you don’t want to deal with them).
- 5 or 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup parsley minced (optional for garnish)
- Crusty bread, for serving
- Pat shrimp dry and season with salt. Set to the side. In a small to medium cast-iron skillet, combine the garlic and olive oil and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is very fragrant and barely starts to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add the crushed red pepper and stir for about 15 to 30 seconds.
- Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook over low heat, stirring and turning the shrimp occasionally, until barely pink, about 5 minutes. It’s easy to over cook shrimp, if you do they will get tough and chewy, err on the safe side.
- Stir in the parsley, sherry, lemon zest and a generous pinch of salt.
- Remove from the heat and let stand until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve in the skillet with crusty bread.
Keywords: Gambas al Ajillo aka Spanish Garlic Shrimp