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IAN & SPAIN

WELCOME TO MY BLOG. HAVING LIVED IN SPAIN FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS I HAVE TRULY MANAGED TO IMMERSE MYSELF IN THE LOCAL CULTURE AND FEEL TOTALLY INTEGRATED. I WILL BE WRITING ABOUT MY PASSION FOR SPANISH FOOD AND DRINK AS WELL AS ITS CULTURE, PEOPLE AND PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE A COMMENT.

Gambas al Ajillo - King Prawns at Christmas
24 December 2020 @ 16:38

                                     

As with the majority of Spanish cooking, simplicity is king and their success will depend entirely on the quality of the ingredients. This dish is a classic Spanish tapas which is bursting with flavour. So if you are short of an idea for next gathering this might tickle your fancy.

 

You will need for this dish, a good quality extra virgin olive oil, as it is the main ingredient and any old olive oil will definitely not give the same result. The best variety for this dish is a Picual or an Hojiblanca as they are high in antioxidants and resist the high temperatures better, they also make a wonderful contrast in flavour with the sweetness of the prawns (about 75ml). Additionally, you will also need 10 large prawns, I suggest medium-sized king prawns (gambones in Spain), as the smaller prawns or shrimps will reduce in size considerably when cooked and not make for a very appetising bite! They must be raw prawns, preferable fresh, but frozen will work too although the end result is noticeable. If you are looking for a special touch make sure they are fresh. The peeled prawns should be left to marinate for a couple of hours in a little white wine (medium dry). Next, you will need 4 cloves of fresh garlic, two whole red dried chillies, salt and paprika and a sliced baguette for dipping.

 

 

This will serve two people as a starter.

 

Start by peeling the 10-15 king prawns and clean them, if you want you can butterfly them, as I did, just slice a little groove along the back of the prawn, this will help you get everything out and make the presentation look so much better. (I was preparing for four people)

 

 

 

 

Put the langoustine heads to one side, we'll need them later. Cut up the cloves of garlic into slices, do not dice them or crush them and slice up the chillies as well in the same manner, we don’t want the chillies crushed for this dish.

 

 

Do not prepare the dish until you are ready to sit down and eat them, this dish must be served immediately and piping hot, sizzling. Any other way is just not the same! So once you are ready, put the olive oil in a small pan or clay-cooking dish, as they use in Spain, along with the prawn heads and two tablespoons of the white wine used for the marinade and start to heat up the oil. As the oil is heating up squeeze down on the heads of the langoustines with a fork so that they release all of their juice and cook them for a couple of minutes on high heat.

 

 

Once they are slightly browned remove them from the oil and put in all the garlic and the chillies and then a few seconds later pop in the raw langoustines, as soon as the langoustines are turning pink remove them from the heat, sprinkle some paprika over them, season with a little salt, a little diced parsley and let them sit for 1 minute and then serve immediately while they are still piping hot. Enjoy, they are an absolute delight and don’t forget to dip your bread in the richly flavoured olive oil!

 

 
Enjoy!
                                                          
 
 
 


Like 2




4 Comments


anthomo16 said:
26 December 2020 @ 10:34

I lovethis dish and will always choose it when going for tapa


Tony Leigh said:
28 December 2020 @ 13:37

I'm a little confused Ian. You mention both prawns and langoustines. Which should it be? Or can you use either?


eos_ian said:
28 December 2020 @ 13:45

Either are fine, but I am referring to king prawns basically or large prawns. In Spain Gambones ó langostinos would work (uncooked of course) in the UK I would use any king prawns you can find. I should clarify that though...I will amend the article.


eos_ian said:
28 December 2020 @ 13:50

I misused the word langoustine...you could make it with langoustines though, but it would be expensive!


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