When I go to a tapas restaurant one of my favorite dishes to order is the Spanish garlic shrimp! The juicy and tender shrimp, the mellow garlic, the fruity olive oil. Can’t you just imagine dipping some crusty bread in the oil right now? Go get some shrimp and you can go from imagining to eating in just a few minutes!
For several years we had a tapas place just down the road from us. Which was great, and I miss it now that’s it’s gone. Every since they closed (not to worry though, since another great restaurant opened in its place), we don’t get out to tapas nearly as often. There was something about having tapas a 2 minute drive away which made it quite appealing! This means that when we want our tapas fix, I’m doing the cooking.
Luckily I know how to cook and have spent some time working on making some of my favorite tapas recipes at home. 🙂
We tend to be homebodies anyway, so it works out. We don’t have to go anywhere. We get to have a nice bottle of wine with our dinner, for much less money and no worries about driving. And, if we’re in the mood, we can make it a little party, just the three of us (note: one of us is 12 and doesn’t get the wine!), and have dinner in the living room and watch a movie.
On one hand there’s the cooking and cleaning to do, and on the other, it’s a comfy and cozy.
Happily, a lot of my tapas recipes are simple and easy to make, while a few are more complicated. That means I can pick and choose a variety of foods while complicating things just to the level I want. I will admit that I like complicated when I have the time and energy, but even then if everything is complicated it’s very…well complicated. 😉 And tiring.
This is coming from someone who does internet searches for recipes filtering out the words ‘easy’ ‘simple’ and ‘quick’ because sometimes I want hard, multi-step, and difficult.
So I balance and do one complicated dish and a couple of simple ones. That is where this Spanish shrimp comes in! Garlic shrimp is soooo easy. The only complicated part of making it was doing all the pictures and making them pretty. The rest was easy.
If you look at those pictures, you can see some of my balance approach. We have the no-knead focaccia, which though not difficult to make does require a few steps and some time. Then the tomato salad, which is incredibly easy. Chop, chop and you’re done. (The recipe is in with the focaccia post.) And then the shrimp, which needs a little chopping and a little sauteing and about 10 minutes ’til dinner is ready.
Whether you like things a little more complicated or want to keep it simple, you can’t go wrong with my garlic shrimp. Make some bread or buy it to dip into the garlicky oil, put together a salad or steam up some veggies, and open that bottle of wine for your meal. (Or maybe make some peach sangria!)
Either way, buy the best shrimp you can, and enjoy the sweet and spicy flavors of the garlic, paprika, and hot pepper!
– Happy Tapas, Annemarie
Spanish Garlic Shrimp with Paprika Tapas
- 1 1/4 lb extra large shrimp, thawed, anywhere from 1 lb to 1 1/2 lb is about right
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6-8 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 long red dried chili pepper, such as New Mexico or Guajillo
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Blot the shrimp dry with a cloth then toss it with the kosher salt. Set aside.
- Cut the end off of the chili pepper and shake out the seeds. Then break it up into several pieces. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium low until hot. Add the garlic and chili pepper pieces. The oil should begin to gently sizzle around the garlic slices. Cook until the garlic is just starting to turn golden, about 2 minutes.
- Raise the heat to medium high. Add the shrimp, paprika, and smoked paprika. Cook, turning frequently until the shrimp is opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Serve with a crusty bread for the oil and sprinkle some parsley over the top.
- I left the tails on the shrimp. Basically, it looks prettier that way. Tails on or off is up to you.
- The shrimp I used were 16-20 count per pound.