On several occasions in the past few weeks, I have purchased flavorful wild brown shrimp at Eataly. The wild brown shrimp, harvested from the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas coast, have a firm texture that is perfect for this traditional Spanish recipe for Garlic Shrimp, also called Gambas al Ajillo. It is essential to purchase the best quality shrimp available from a reliable market.
Garlic Shrimp are delicious with Pimentón Aioli. Pimentón Aioli is a garlic infused homemade mayonnaise flavored with Pimentón de la Vera Dulce, a traditional sweet smoked paprika from Spain. Peppers are harvested, dried on racks over a slow burning fire, and stone ground to create this slightly sweet paprika with smoky flavor and very little heat. I favor organic pasture-raised local farm eggs and Spanish extra-virgin olive oil for the aioli.
Garlic Shrimp with Pimentón Aioli
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 pound 12-15 count wild shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ½ – 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- kosher salt, to taste
- pimentón aioli
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned and golden. Add the shrimp and the chili flakes to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Sprinkle parsley and salt over the shrimp and stir to combine. Serve in a large bowl with pimentón aioli on the side.
(inspired by Gjelina: Cooking from Venice, California by Travis Lett and Michael Graydon)
Makes 1 ¼ cup
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons pimentón de la vera dulce
Add the garlic and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to finely chop the garlic. Add the egg and egg yolk to the food processor with the garlic and salt and process until thoroughly combined, scraping the sides of the bowl. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle the grapeseed oil a few drops at first until the mixture begins to emulsify. Continue to add the grapeseed oil and then the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until the mixture thickens. After all of the oil has been added and the aioli is thick and emulsified, pulse in the lemon juice and the pimentón. The aioli will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator.