Gambas al ajillo are a tapas staple. Little shrimp sizziling in a pool of olive oil and garlic.One bite into the dish confirms that the garlic deserves equal billing with the shrimp. Generally the shrimp is served right in the cooking ramekin, but be careful ,it is very hot.serve along with crusty bread to mop up the richly flavored olive oil.
Serves 6 ,as an appetizer
14 medium garlic cloves,peeled
1 lb (31-40)shrimp,peeled,deveined, and tails removed
8 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 (2 inch) piece mild dried chile,such as new Mexico,roughly broken, seeds included
1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Mince 2 garlic cloves . Toss minced garlic with shrimp, 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt ,in a medium bowl. Let shrimp marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile,smash 4 garlic cloves. Heat smashed garlic with remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil in12 inch skillet over medium low heat,stirring occasionaly until garlic is light golden brown,4 to 7 minutes. remove pan from heat and allow to cool to room temperature,remove garlic with slotted spoon.Discard.
Thinly slice 8 remaining garlic cloves. Return skillet to low heat and add sliced garlic,bay leaf, and chili. Cook, turning occasionally,until garlic is tender,but not brown.Increase heat to medium low,add shrimp with marinade to pan in a single layer. Cook shrimp,undisturbed ,until oil starts to bubble, about 2 minutes. Using tongs flip shrimp and continue to cook until almost cooked through ,about 2 minutes longer. Increase heat to high and add shrerry vinegar and parsley. Cook ,stirring constantly until shrimp are cooked through and oil is bubbling vigorously ,15 to 20 seconds. SERVE IMMEDIATELY.
Source Cook’s Illustrated