Gambas al Ajillo is an outstanding tapas recipe from Spain, and a favorite of tapas bars in the Americas. The depth of flavor from garlic and olive oil creates an extraordinary delight. Eat with crusty bread and Sangria!

Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)

Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)
Recipe type: Seafood
Serves: 1
  • 12 small shrimp; cleaned and deveined
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • a small piece of hot chili pepper (or a pinch of Cayenne)
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • a squirt of lemon
  • a spoonful of Alioli sauce; see * Note
  • a sprinkling of celery salt
  1. * Note: See recipes for "Alioli" sauces include in this database.
  2. Brown three garlic cloves in two tablespoons olive oil. Add chili pepper (or cayenne) and bay leaf. Put in the shrimp, turn once to brown both sides, add a spoonful of Alioli, squirt lightly with lemon juice, sprinkle with celery salt, and serve sizzling hot. The Alioli should remain intact or almost intact, the shrimp should be brown and slightly crusty, and the garlic cloves should remain whole. Small shrimp cook in a few minutes; take care not to overcook.
  3. Those who find chili pepper or cayenne too potent can omit it and grind black pepper over shrimp just before serving.
Recipe Source: THE SPANISH COOKBOOK by Barbara Norman

Comments: At the Gayango restaurant in Madrid, which provided the above recipe, each portion is served in a small earthenware casserole about 4 inches in diameter. The above amounts are for each such casserole. The number of shrimp depends on the size of the shrimp. The dish can also be made in one large, flat casserole; simply multiply the recipe by the number of people to be served.
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