These Spanish Shrimp. are. so. easy!!
Literally the fastest thing you could possibly cook and still consider it cooking.
Which, let’s be honest, is not typically my cooking modus operandi. But I’m learning to appreciate this little thing called efficiency… it keeps my life from unraveling.
Also, let’s be real, I just like to throw things into my cast iron skillet at high heat to create a lot of smoke and noise and to see what will happen.
(I hope I’m not the only one in the world who finds this oddly enjoyable.)
((I’ve only caused like 1-2 small kitchen fires…))This recipe is my take on a classic Spanish Tapas dish called Gambas al Ajillo, which basically translates to garlic shrimp. It is OH SO GOOD. The main ingredients that have to be included are shrimp, garlic, and oil. But after that you can go a little crazy with the rest of the ingredients. It’s fairly common to include some spanish paprika or chile powder, but is not mandatory.
This recipe includes a little more complex of a spice blend, but it takes these shrimp totally over the top. The spices and oil make for a fantastic sauce that you can sop up with the crusty french bread that I personally require you to include if you’re going to make this recipe. I always buy my bread from Bread and Cie here in San Diego, but use your favorite local bread. French bread is a must! I toasted the bread up on my cast iron grill pan to achieve nice scorch marks, but you could easily toast the bread in your toaster or in the oven. The one method suggestion that I recommend is to infuse the oil with garlic before frying up the shrimp. I start with a cold pan filled with oil, then add the garlic and allow the pan and oil to gradually come to temperature. This allows the garlic to soften and release its flavor into the oil without burning the garlic. Then I remove the garlic while I fry the shrimp, because otherwise the garlic would become burned and bitter. You can return the garlic to the pan after you’ve cooked everything up.
Shrimp are very easy to overcook, so the suggested cook time is about 1 minute per side. This meal takes approximately 3 minutes to actually cook, and probably like 10 minute to prep (maybe 20 if you are thawing frozen shrimp before starting). Basically, this meal could not be easier to make, and it is So SO good!
Hope you have a lovely labor day!
- 1 pound of shrimp peeled, and deveined. Tails optional. (Size 21-25)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 large cloves of garlic sliced in half.
- ¼ cup of chopped parsley
- 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- If using frozen shrimp, thaw for about 10-15 minutes in cold water before using. While waiting, combine dried spices (minus salt and pepper) in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a cast iron skillet, add olive oil and garlic to a cold pan. Turn heat to medium-low, and cook garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until garlic is softened, but not brown. Remove garlic from the pan and set aside.
- Turn heat up to high. Wait for a minute to allow pan to come to temperature.
- Season raw shrimp lightly with salt and pepper.
- Add shrimp and sear on each side, about 1 minute per side. Shrimp should quickly become pink with light brown sear-marks.
- Toss in spice mixture, cooked garlic, and about half of the parsley. Stir briefly; about 30 seconds more. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed (to taste).
- Remove from heat.
- Serve in the cast iron skillet, or remove to a serving dish. Top with the remaining parsley.
- Serve with toasted french bread.