Gambas al Ajillo a la Emily

So I make no qualms about the fact that I love Spanish tapas. My blistered shishito peppers were one attempt at capturing some traditional Spanish flavor, and even the smoked paprika roasted chicken was a sort of tribute to España. What can I say? They know their food.

Well, ever since I introduced him to smoked paprika, señor novio has been very keen on seeing if it can be added to pretty much any dish. So last night I relented, and I did my own riff on the traditional Spanish tapa gambas al ajillo, which pretty much means super garlicy shrimp. Can’t go wrong there, right?

I used the requisite garlic, added some shallots and jalapeños just to make things interesting, and incorporated smoked paprika as well. Turned out major delicious, if I do say so myself.

What you need:

  • 1 lb shrimp (peeled, tails on or off that is your preference)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced finely
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 c white wine (more as desired)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Small handful of parsley, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper

What to do:

Heat the olive oil over medium heat on your stove. Add your paprika and let that all steep for about a minute until it is fragrant.

Look at that vibrant red!

Now add in the garlic, shallot, and jalapeño, cranking in some salt and pepper too (for good measure).

They all get coated in the brick red of the paprika oil…

Saute them for 4-6 minutes, until softened.

Now add the shrimp in an even layer in the pan, making sure to nestle them into the sauteed goods. Cook for 3-4 minutes before flipping them over.

Looking good….

…and cook for another 3 or so minutes.

Add in your white wine and stir everything around, just to get the flavors melding together.

Just like so.

Since I wanted a more condensed sauce/gravy, I pulled the shrimp out for a couple of minutes and simmered the sauce separately.

Bubbling away…

Once it’s thickened up just a bit, add the shrimp back in and toss to combine.

You’re ready to serve at this point, so turn off the heat and squeeze in that half lemon…

Action shot!

And your parsley…

Another action shot! You can thank my boyfriend for these.

Stir it up….and serve. Easy, right?

Mm mm mm…

We ate ours with pilaf, roasted broccoli, and some roasted red bell pepper. I roasted the pepper at home because like I’ve said before it’s so simple, but store bought is fine as well. I julienned the pepper and served it on the side, though in retrospect wished I had diced it and tossed it in with the shrimp just before turning off the heat. The sweetness of the peppers was a great foil to the tangy/smoky/garlicy shrimp.

But really, the most labor-intensive part about this was mincing the aromatics. This is a very easy, very flavorful dish, that was both good as a main but would also do well as part of a spread of home-made tapas. Just get a good and crusty baguette to sop up the leftover sauce!

Buen provecho 🙂



One thought on “Gambas al Ajillo a la Emily

  1. Pingback: Half Master {smoky/spicy shrimp tostadas w/charred green onion sauce} | Everything Emily Eats

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