Gambas a la plancha

Spaniards love to eat grilled shrimp at the counter of a good tapas bar while sipping a glass of chilled fino sherry or cold beer. The bars are often crowded, leaving little or no space for proper eating, and I find it fascinating to watch the locals skillfully manage to eat shrimp with one hand while holding a drink in the other. Look for medium-large whole shrimp and leave the heads on for cooking. Sucking the juices from the flavor-packed heads of the cooked shrimp is considered the best part.

  • Serves 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
Gambas a la plancha

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Sanlucar sea salt
  • 24 medium-large shrimp (about 1 pound) in the shell with heads intact

Preparation

In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt until well blended. Dip the shrimp briefly into the mixture to coat lightly.

Heat a dry skillet over high heat. When the pan is very hot, working in batches, add the shrimp in a single layer without crowding. Sear for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium and continue cooking for 1 minute longer. Turn the shrimp, increase the heat to high, and sear for 2 more minutes, or until golden. Keep the shrimp warm on an ovenproof platter in a low oven. Cook the rest of the shrimp in the same way.

When all the shrimps are cooked, arrange on a platter and serve immediately.

See Also...

Andalusia recipes:  The Romans taught the Andalusians how to cultivate wheat and vines and used the fish from the seas to produce the best "garum" in the empire. The Arabs taught the Andalusians how to grow fruit and vegetables. They used irrigation systems and improved the cultivation of olive trees and the production of oil. Furthermore, the Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Visigoths left their mark on the art, science, culture and gastronomy of Andalusia. 

Spain... A Culinary Road TripMario Batali and Mark Bittman along with Gwyneth Paltrow and the Spanish actress Claudia Bassols take the ultimate road trip adventure, showcasing the pleasures of Spain and the country's regional cuisine. More than seventy recipes from Mario appear in this scrapbook of the dream vacation through Spain.

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