Gambas al Ajillo (Shrimp in Garlic Sauce)

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This Spanish classic is a personal favorite.  This is a dish in which the smaller and less expensive shrimp are better than the larger shrimp.  This, good French bread, a salad, and champagne makes a perfect dinner, and one that does not take much time to prepare.

A key to success is to be sure to saute the shrimp and not to inadvertently steam or boil them.  The shrimp should be dry to the touch and should not be crowded in the pan so that they will saute properly.

1 lb. small raw shrimp, peeled

1/2 onion, chopped

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1/4 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tbs. chopped parsley

1/4 cup dry white wine

Shrimp reduction (optional, see 12/24/19 note note)

Salt and pepper to taste (salt ~3/8 tsp.)

In a skillet, cook the onion in the olive oil until soft and golden.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute.  Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink, around 3 minutes.  Add the white wine and parsley and cook 2-3 minutes until the wine has mostly evaporated.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot with good bread.

Note:  For 12/24/19, I made a broth with the shrimp shells and then reduced it down to 2-3 Tbs., which I added with the white wine to increase the shrimp-flavor in the sauce.  Making the broth was just boiling the shells in some water until they turned pink, and then straining the liquid.


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