Shrimp in Garlic Sauce
This is the classic Spanish tapa, found in every region of Spain. Fresh shrimp—not frozen—are very important in this tapa, but I have discovered that if previously frozen shrimp are well salted, they regain some of the briny taste of the sea that has been lost. This recipe is a slight variation on the traditional shrimp-garlic-oil-hot pepper recipe. I feel it works best when cooked in smaller quantities (in Spain it is usually an individual portion); therefore I prefer, although it is not essential, to prepare the following recipe in at least two separate casseroles.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party
Recipe Courseappetizer, tapas/small plates
Dietary Considerationappetizer, tapas/small plates
Taste and Texturegarlicky, salty, savory
Type of Dishcasserole
- ½–¾ pound shrimp, preferably very small, shelled
- Kosher or sea salt
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and very coarsely chopped
- 1 medium-hot dried red chile pepper, such as Spanish guindilla or guajillo, stem and seeds removed, in 2 pieces
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika, preferably Spanish smoked
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
Dry the shrimp well and sprinkle salt on both sides. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Heat the oil in four ramekins or one shallow 8-inch casserole, preferably earthenware. Add the garlic and chile pepper, and when the garlic starts to turn golden (be careful not to overcook) add the shrimp. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, for about 2 minutes, or until the shrimp are just done. Sprinkle in the paprika, parsley, and salt.
Serve immediately, right in the cooking dish if possible. Provide lots of good bread for dunking.
2007 Penelope Casas