It was really nice to have someone cook for me. What a treat. My friend Matt came over with a handful of ingredients and some little terra-cotta baking dishes, called cazuelas, and cooked up Gambas al Ajillo, or shrimp with garlic. What a simple, quick dish. Soooo delicious. He used smoked paprika which is one of my favorite spices now. It really gave the oil a smoky, almost bacon-like flavor. YUM. Be sure to have a lot, and I mean A LOT of bread for dipping. You won’t want to let any of that tasty oil go to waste!!
I happen to own a flat top griddle, so we placed the cazuelas on top of the griddle over the burners. Don’t have any cazuelas? No problem. You can sauté all the servings in one pan on the stove and divide into individual dishes later, or better yet bring the sauté pan to the table for everyone to share. You could also place the oil in a baking dish and place it under the broiler and cook it that way. Whatever works for you!
- @ 1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
- 1 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 heaping tablespoons of minced garlic
- crushed red pepper to taste
- smoked paprika for garnish
- 4 cazuelas for individual baking (optional)
- Season the shrimp with a bit of salt and the crushed red pepper.
- Place the cazuelas over on a flat top. Add ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil in each dish. If making this in one pan, add all the olive oil to that pan.
- Place the heat on high. Be sure to turn the heat on after the garlic is added. It’s best to add the garlic to room temperature oil and heat together so you don’t burn the garlic.
- When the garlic starts to cook, and the oil starts to bubble, divide the shrimp among the dishes, and add to the oil.
- Cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally, or until the shrimp are cooked through and are opaque.
- Remove the cazuelas from the heat (carefully), and sprinkle smoked paprika on top.
- Serve this with lots of toasted baguette!