Last Year's Post: Chocolate Honey Almond Tartlets
Two Years Ago: Spinach, Blueberry & Goat Cheese Salad
I came across this recipe by Mark Bittman of the New York Times and just had to try it, in part because of his description:
Excuse the superlatives; this spin on a Spanish tapa is my favorite, and everyone I serve it to loves it. The shrimp juices infuse the oil, and the sum is beyond delicious.
The recipe makes the list of his favorites, and he calls it "Simplest and Best Shrimp Dish". How could you not try it? And he's right - the recipe is unbelievably simple and beyond delicious. Buy the best shrimp you can find because it's such a simple dish. All you do is gently brown some garlic in olive oil, then add the shrimp with salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika for flavor and saute until cooked. The whole process takes maybe 15 minutes.
The shrimp can be served on their own, over rice or pasta, or even over greens as a salad - the garlic oil makes a great dressing. Mark Bittman also suggests stuffing them into tacos, or I can also see using them in quesadillas or enchiladas.
The original recipe calls for hot paprika, but I used smoked paprika because it was what I had on hand. It's your choice - a little more heat, or a little more smokiness. It will be great either way.
Other seafood you can use: similar-sized scallops (or larger, though they’ll take longer to cook).
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed
3 or 4 big cloves garlic, cut into slivers
1 ½ pounds shrimp (20 to 30 per pound) peeled, rinsed, and dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons hot or smoked paprika
Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
Warm the olive oil in a large, broad skillet or flameproof baking pan over low heat. There should be enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan; don’t skimp. Add the garlic and cook until it turns golden, a few minutes.
Raise the heat to medium-high and add the shrimp, some salt and pepper, the cumin, and the paprika. Stir to blend and continue to cook, shaking the pan once or twice and turning the shrimp once or twice, until they are pink all over and the mixture is bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish and serve immediately.
Good with bread, over rice, tossed with pasta, or over greens as a salad.