Gambas al ajillo, or shrimp with garlic, is a Spanish tapas (ie. appetizer). I first tried it in a popular local restaurant years ago. It’s garlicky and spicy, and so simple to make at home. The first time Ed tried it, he liked it so much that I made it for him two days in a row. I’ve re-created the dish that’s served at Chez Piggy, Kingston, ON, but I doubt it’s very authentic. At the restaurant, they serve this sizzling on a hot plate but I use my small cast iron pan instead.
On a side note, I find Chez Piggy to be extremely over rated and over priced. I never go on my own accord. This is one of the few things that I like on their menu but they tend to overcook the shrimp and they charge $11 for 6 shrimp. It only cost me $2 to make this at home. (I got a bag of President’s Choice frozen large shrimp for just $5 on sale.)
Gambas al Ajillo (Shrimp with Garlic) Recipe
makes 1 serving
6 large shrimp, peeled, deveined
1/2 of a large clove of garlic, minced finely
1 small red chili (fresh), deseeded and minced finely
Heat a small cast iron pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the shrimp. When one side of the shrimp is pink and it is almost cooked half way, about 30 seconds, turn the shrimp over. When the other side is pink, about 30 seconds, turn the heat off. Do not overcook the shrimp. Add the garlic, the red chili, and a pinch of coarse salt. Give the pan a few shakes and remove from heat. Do not allow the garlic to brown. Serve immediately.