A classic tapa found principally in the south and center of the country, Prawns al Ajillo is one of Spain's most popular dishes. The primary ingredients in this simple but incredibly delicious recipe are shrimp, garlic and olive oil, but there are countless variations influenced by regionality, preference, and innovation. Chef Ramon likes making this dish with peak-season head-on prawns from BC.
GAMBAS AL AJILLO
4 medium/large spot prawns
1 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ dried cayenne pepper
3 parsley sprigs, chopped
4 chili threads
Peel the prawns but leave the head and the tail on, keep the prawn shells aside for the next step.
Heat your oil on low heat in a small saucepan and add the prawn shells, the sliced garlic, and the cayenne pepper, keep it on simmering for about 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Let it rest for an hour and strain, we will call this the shrimp oil.
Heat the shrimp oil in a small shallow skillet over medium heat, once hot add the prawns, season the prawns with salt and pepper, make sure the prawns are well covered with the oil, remove the skillet from the heat and let the prawns finish cooking in the oil.
Sprinkle the shrimp with chopped parsley and decorate with chili threads. Enjoy!