Gambas al ajillo is one of my favorite Spanish dishes from working in a Spanish restaurant to traveling through Spain. It is still delicious if you cant find head on shrimp but there Is something so delicious about all of the juices mixing together with the oil.
When I make Italian garlic shrimp or scampi, I will cook the shrimp in hot oil and followed by minced garlic, a splash of white wine and then butter to emulsify it all together into a luxurious sauce.
Spanish garlic prawns is a much lower heat dish. We add the thinly sliced garlic to warm olive oil first and slowly cook the moisture out of the garlic to create garlic chips without burning them. Once the garlic begins to brown we add the shrimp and turn the heat nearly off and let them poach in the hot olive oil till they are just cooked through. Typically made with chile de arbor and some Spanish smoked paprika, I opted for our California Love seasoning which works very well.
Don’t forget to dip some crusty bread in that flavorful olive oil!!
- 1 cup olive oil
- 7 garlic cloves, sliced thin
- About 10 head on shrimp, shells removed and deveined
- 4 strips of lemon peel
- 2 Tbsp of California Love
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Chopped parsley to garnish
- Crusty bread
- Add oil and garlic slices and heat over low heat.
- When the garlic begins to turn brown add the shrimp and continue to cook on low heat being mindful of the garlic so it does not get too dark.
- Turn off heat when the garlic is a nice light brown and add the lemon peel and half of the spices.
- Flip the shrimp and add the rest of the spices and season with salt.
- Finish with lemon juice and add them to the plate.
- Garnish with parsley and don’t forget to dip with bread!