This dish is a great representative of Spanish-influenced Creole cuisine. Sizzling shrimp in spicy garlic oil (gambas al ajillo) can be found on many tapas menus. In this recipe, I add a rich shrimp stock and dry sherry to make a Spanish version of New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp.
Technique tip: The royal red shrimp have a texture similar to lobster. Be careful not to overcook. Once the shrimp are just cooked through, then they are the perfect texture.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
- 1/4 cup piquillo peppers, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 quart strong shrimp stock
- 1 cup dry sherry
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds 10-15 count Royal Red shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons Creole seasoning
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
1. Peel and devein the shrimp. Season the shrimp with Creole seasoning and place in refrigerator.
2. Place the shrimp shells in 1½ quart saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a simmer. Allow shells to simmer for 30-45 minutes. Strain the stock from the shells.
3. In a separate 2-quart saucepan sweat the garlic and shallots for 2-3 minutes or until aromatic.
4. Add piquillo peppers, chili flakes, salt, sugar and sherry. Allow contents to come to a boil and reduce by half.
5. Add shrimp stock and extra virgin olive oil to pot and allow contents to simmer for 10-12 minutes.
6. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. In small batches, quickly sear the shrimp on both sides until golden brown, about a minute per side.
7. Turn the heat to low. Return all of the shrimp to the cast iron skillet and pour the garlic shrimp sauce over the top. Simmer until shrimp are cooked through. Be careful not to overcook. Add the chopped parsley and serve.