Left-Brain / Right-Brain Cookery

A double-take in the kitchen

Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)

Gambas al Ajillo

Gambas al Ajillo


This shrimp dish is always a winner as an appetizer, especially for large gatherings! The lucky guest should be able to have a chunk of crusty bread handy, as well as forks and napkins to catch drips! I always serve in the cast iron pan in which the shrimp are seared.

Serves 6 generously

1/2 c/125ml olive oil
1lb/450g raw shrimp, 21-25 count
2 tbsp/30g minced garlic
Moderate grating of salt
1 lemon

  1. Peel and clean the shrimp leaving tails attached if you prefer). Refrigerate until ready to cook.
  2. Heat the large frying pan until piping hot and add the oil (halve it if doing the shrimp in two batches – which keeps them from over crowding).
  3. As soon as the oil shimmers add shrimp and watch for it to turn pink and begin to curl; add the garlic and turn the shrimp.
  4. When the shrimp loses any translucency, sprinkle with some salt, squeeze with lemon and pull it off the heat.
  5. Serve at once, sopping up the garlicky oil with plenty of bread.

Marilyn’s comments:
If lingering around the table after dinner over coffee – or the dregs of the wine bottle – is your style, this delectable shrimp encourages good conversation BEFORE the meal if placed in the centre of the table on a trivet for guests to reach. Finger-licking is optional, but delicious!


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