Gambas Al Ajillo has deep roots in every Spanish coastal town. As with so many other classic Latin dishes, there is a New Orleans cousin. When tucking into a bowl of Gambas, one cannot help but note it's similarity to New Orleans BBQ Shrimp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil replaces butter, in a healthy divergence from our local version.
1 .5 gallon Sauté Pan + Lid
Bowl to discard shells
9-12 U-12 Gulf Shrimp (head-on, shell peeled from bodies)
3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Preferably Spanish)
2 TB Garlic (thin-sliced)
1/2 Lemon (sliced into 5 thin discs)
2 TB Flat Leaf Parsley (chopped)
1 1/2 TSP Spanish Sweet Paprika
Salt, Pepper, & Crushed Chile Flake to taste
2 Cups White Wine (I recommend a White Rioja, Txakilona, or Albarino)
Additional 1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Place the sauté pan over high heat. Add the 3 TB of Extra Virgin Olive oil and the sliced garlic. On a plate or bowl, combine the shrimp, lemons, paprika, parsley, salt, pepper, and chile flake. When the garlic begins to tan in the olive oil, add the entire plate of ingredients, followed by the wine. Place the lid on top and boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid to allow alcohol to burn off. After 1-2 minutes, shrimp should be cooked through. Pour the entire contents of the pan into a serving bowl. Test for seasoning and drizzle the remaining 1 TB of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on top. Serve immediately, preferably with crusty bread or a side of rice.
About RioMar: Founded in 2000, and located in the heart of the Warehouse District in New Orleans, RioMar offers fresh seafood dishes and tapas with Pan-Latin flavors and Creole flair. Owner Nicolas Bazan III and Executive Chef/Owner Miles Prescott work to showcase the bounty of the Gulf with traditional Spanish and Latin American techniques.