Spanish Garlic Shrimp Gambas al Ajillo
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 10 large cloves garlic, finely minced 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 pound shrimp (about 25), deveined, shells left on 2 tablespoons lemon juice, from about 1/2 lemon 1/4 cup Spanish brandy, or dry sherry, optional 1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika, optional Kosher salt, to taste Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, chopped 1 baguette, sliced, for serving
In a large (12-inch) sauté pan or heavy frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, lower the heat, and sauté for about 1 minute or until the garlic just begins to brown. Be careful not to let it burn. Raise the heat to high and immediately add the shrimp and lemon juice, along with the brandy and paprika, if used Transfer the shrimp to a warm plate and pour over the sauce, or you can serve straight from the pan. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve with slices of fresh bread. Enjoy.. Stir well to coat the shrimp and sauté until the shrimp turn pink and start to curl, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
As the sauce is a vital part of this recipe, it is important that you do not overheat the oil or burn the garlic, which will impart a bitter taste to the dish. Adjust the heat to make sure you are simply warming the oil and garlic. In Spain, gambas al ajillo is prepared with the shells on or off, depending on the chef. This recipe calls for keeping the shells on, but you can peel the shrimp before cooking if you prefer I am a shell off girl, my husband is a shell off guy!
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