Jumbo shrimp with Dry Sherry in garlicky olive oil is just about the ideal tapas bar snack. The sweet shrimp and garlic aroma go perfectly with a nice sherry, while the leftover oil at the bottom of the earthenware dish is the ideal sopping-up liquid for good Spanish bread. Jumbo shrimp with Dry Sherry is also one of those dishes that, even when mediocre, is still pretty darn good. I’ve eaten enough mediocre gambas al ajillo in my day—even in Spain!—to say that with confidence. But when it’s done perfectly, when the shrimp are juicy and tender with a crunchy pop, when the oil sings with a chorus of layered garlic flavors, it can be transcendent. That’s what we’re after today. So without wasting time, let’s have a look at the recipe.
INGREDIENTS 2 -1/4 pounds jumbo shrimp 3 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp chopped onion 1 clove chopped garlic 5 tbsp dry sherry 2 tbsp tomato sauce 2 tbsp cream 1/4 tsp thyme Salt and pepper, to taste
Peel the shrimp, leaving tails intact. In a pan, heat the oil and sauté the chopped onion and garlic. When softened, add the prawns and turn up the heat. Stir fry briefly, then add the sherry or manzanilla, tomato sauce, cream, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Cook just until the shrimp are pink and slightly curled. Serve jumbo shrimp with Dry Sherry garnished with chopped parsley.