I love eating out in restaurants but I hate deciding what to have! Usually there are 3 or 4 things that I would like to eat and I can never decide what to go for. And whatever I choose, I always find myself wishing I had gone for something else. Consequently, I love eating in tapas restaurants! I don’t have to decide…I can try a little bit of everything!! And all the dishes are so delicious: Patas Bravas, Spanish Tortilla, Chorizo al Vino, Manchego cheese, …but my favourite is always Gambas al Ajillo.
In this delicious dish, prawns are sautéed in oil infused with garlic and chilli, then finished with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkled with paprika and parsley. I could happily eat a whole bowlful on my own. And the best thing is there’s always loads of delicious garlic and chilli infused oil left to dip your bread into even after you’ve eaten the prawns.
Making this tapa at home is really easy peasy. It can be made in one pan, in less than 10 minutes and only uses 7 ingredients. It makes a great starter or can be served with a selection of other tapas and crusty bread for a simple but impressive supper. The recipe below serves 2 as a starter or 4 as part of a selection of other tapas. To go with this dish I would serve a Fino Sherry or a Spanish Garnacha rosé.
Spanish Garlic Prawns (Gambas al Ajillo)
- 4 tablespoons good olive oil use Spanish olive oil if possible
- 4 cloves garlic sliced finely
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
- 200 g raw prawns
- Salt and pepper
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon parsley finely chopped
Put the olive oil into a cold frying pan and add the sliced garlic and chilli flakes. Place the pan over a medium heat and allow the oil to gently heat up until it’s sizzling. Once the oil is sizzling, cook the garlic for 1 more minute. Take care, as garlic can easily burn if cooked too long.
Add the prawns, bring back to sizzling and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring a few times, until the prawns are pink all over and starting to curl.
Season with salt and pepper and squeeze over the juice of half a lemon, stir the prawns one last time and then turn the heat off.
Sprinkle with the paprika and parsley and serve immediately, while still sizzling.
Serve with crusty bread and Fino Sherry for a delicious and impressive starter.