Small, juicy shrimp in plenty of garlicky olive oil show up on countless tapas menus across Spain. Chef Ryan Pollnow, of Aatxe ("Ah-chay") restaurant in San Francisco, seasons his gambas with mild, smoky dried ñora chiles from Spain; easier-to-find cascabel, ancho, or pasilla chiles (all also dried) are great substitutes but slightly spicier.
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
15 garlic cloves, thinly sliced crosswise
2 large shallots, cut into matchsticks
3 dried ñora chiles, 2 cascabel chiles, or 1 1/2 ancho or pasilla chiles*, finely ground in a clean coffee or spice grinder
12 ounces small white or pink shrimp (51 to 60 per lb.), peeled and deveined
1 1/2 teaspoons minced flat-leaf parsley, divided
About 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
About 2 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
How to Make It
Heat oil in a 9 1/2- or 10-in. cazuela* (Spanish clay pot) or a 10-in. nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, shallots, and chiles; cook 30 seconds. Add shrimp and half of parsley. Cook, stirring often, just until shrimp curl, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 3/4 tsp. salt and 2 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice; remove from heat.
Taste and add more salt and/or lemon juice if you like. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve immediately.
*Find cazuelas and ñora chiles at tienda.com, and cascabel chiles and ancho chiles at Latino grocery stores and some supermarkets.
This was really quick and easy to make, even the grinding of the pasilla wasn't too bad. My only complaint was that which it had a bit more heat to it, so next time I will add some crushed red peppers. I didn't have lemon so I used limes, but it was a hit!
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