Gambas al Ajillio – Sizzling Garlic Shrimp
A truly classic tapa, Gambas al Ajillio, a splash of brandy or sherry gives it a nice aromatic flavor. Top with crush pepper flakes gives a nice bite at the end. This is a quick and easy dish to make that will have your guests begging for more. What more can you ask for !
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons dry sherry or lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
Heat olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and paprika in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and the garlic has turned golden brown, increase heat to high and add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp turn pink and opaque, about 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with sherry or lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with chopped parsley
Marinated mussels or are available small cans, but home-made tastes even better! These mussels have an intensely flavored sauce of onion, wine, garlic and Spanish paprika that only gets better with time. We like to make this dish a day ahead, store it in the refrigerator and serve it the following day with fresh rustic-style bread – either as an appetizer or a first course.
2 lbs. raw mussels in shells
1/2 large yellow or white onion
6 garlic cloves
2 cups (16 oz) white wine
6 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp Spanish paprika
salt to taste
virgin olive oil
This marinated mussel recipe makes 4 servings as a first course, or about 6-8 servings as a tapa.
Clean the mussels with a stiff brush, removing any debris on outside. Rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Put all the mussels into a large pot with about 1-inch of water in the bottom. Cover and place over high heat and cook until the shells open. Remove from stove and place mussels in a colander. Rinse under cold water. Set aside and allow to cool.
While mussels are cooling, peel and chop the onion and the garlic cloves. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of Spanish olive oil into a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan and heat oil on medium heat. Once oil is hot enough, sauté the onion and garlic until golden in color. Remove pan from heat and add salt, paprika, white wine and vinegar. Stir all ingredients until salt and paprika are dissolved.
Return frying pan to burner with onion and wine mixture and turn heat on low. Add mussels to pan and stir. Simmer on low to medium-low for 3-4 minutes, then allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with toothpicks and slices of French-style bread.
Although these mussels are tasty as soon as they are cooked, they are more flavorful when refrigerated and eaten the next day.
Few tapas taste more Spanish than Champiñones al Ajillo, dripping with olive oil, garlic and dry Spanish Sherry. To make this tapa even more authentic, be sure to serve the mushrooms with plenty of fresh, crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices.
•1/4 cup (2 fl. oz) olive oil
•4 cups (8 oz) mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered
•6 cloves garlic, minced
•3 tablespoons dry sherry
•2 tablespoons lemon juice
•1/2 teaspoon dried red chile, seeded and crumbled
•1/4 teaspoon Spanish paprika
•Salt and pepper, to taste
•2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the mushrooms over high heat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, sherry, lemon juice, dried chile, paprika, and salt and pepper.
Cook for about 5 minutes or until the garlic and mushrooms have softened.
Remove from the heat, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve on small earthenware platters.