Lately I’ve had a severe hankering for the gambas appetizer at South Restaurant in Anchorage. It’s a simple dish – shrimp, olive oil, garlic sautéed to perfection, paprika and guajillo chili topped with parsley.
It’s not really the shrimp that I crave. It’s the flavorful seasoned oil that is so perfect for sopping up with a couple of slices of crusty bread.
I’ve had this dish once a week for the past month. It’s time for me to make it at home.
This dish was surprisingly easy to create at home. I didn’t have sweet Spanish paprika and used the Hungarian variety instead. I also couldn’t find guajillo chilis at my local grocery store and used dried New Mexican chilis. The flavors were just perfect.
Gambas shrimp with garlic and paprika – an appetizer
- 1 dried guajillo or New Mexico chili
- 12 raw shrimp, deveined and peeled
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sweet Spanish paprika (Hungarian will do)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- Salt to taste
- Splash of white wine (optional)
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- Rustic bread for serving
Using scissors, cut the dried pepper into rings. Place in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss the shrimp with the paprika and set aside.
Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium. Add the garlic and softened chili and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
Add the shrimp and any remaining paprika. Turn down heat if needs be to avoid burning the garlic. Cook until shrimp is pink, turning halfway, about 4 minutes.
Salt to taste. Add a glug of white wine and let it bubble away for a few seconds. Toss in the parsley.
Serve with toasted crusty bread. Or add 1/4 pound of cooked linguine to pan and toss till thoroughly coated. This makes an amazing light dinner.