Nancy's Gambas al Ajillo

Jan 1, 2010

(generously serves 3)

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs. shrimp (tiger prawns – or other “medium” shrimp work well, and Gulf prawns are even better)
  • 1/3 (packed) cup flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 4-5 cloves garlic (or more, if you like it extra garlicky)
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 small, whole dried chiles (or 2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes)
  • A loaf of good bread (your choice, French baguette and rustic loaves work well).

Preparation

  1. Peel shrimp (de-vein if you’re persnickety).
  2. Pile together parsley and garlic, sprinkle with salt and coarsely chop. Note: Though the original recipe calls for cooking this in a cazuela (an earthenware dish), you may use any medium-sized heavy-bottomed skillet (cast iron or copperware work especially well).
  3. Heat olive oil on the stovetop over medium heat.
  4. Add parsley/garlic mixture, bay leaves, chiles and stir till fragrant and sizzling (about 2-3 minutes).
  5. Add shrimp and cook till it loses its translucence, turning once (about two minutes on each side).
  6. Season with salt to taste and serve with slices/hunks of bread for dipping into the flavored oil.

Note: I use an enameled-cast iron baking dish to cook the shrimp, and take it directly to the table where we “share” fondue-style. You can divide the shrimp and oil into individual bowls for serving, if you like.

(Adapted from Saveur magazine)

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