Tapas spots are popping up all across the US, and what better place than Spain to learn how to make one--Gambas al Ajillo.
We visit Restaurateur Javier Alvarez Arrieta at La Cata del Milan in Oviedo, Spain to learn how to whip up pan-seared garlic shrimp.
Tags:Garlic Shrimp Tapa Recipe,Behind the Burner,Gambas al Ajillo,Gambas al Ajillo recipe,Garlic Shrimp Tapas Recipe,Grilled Shrimp with Garlic
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Divya Gugnani: Tapas restaurants are popping up all across the United States. What better place than Spain to learn how to make one of the classics, Gambas al Ajillo. I’m Divya Gugnani at La Cata del Milan in Oviedo, Asturias Spain. So let’s go behind the burner and meet the restaurateur.
So I’m here with Restaurateur Javier Alvarez. Javier, what are we making today?
Javier Alvarez: Yes, I’ll make Gambas al Ajillo. It’s a very easy plate, very nice to eat.
Divya Gugnani: So it’s shrimp with Spanish garlic, very typical tapa served here in Asturias. So let’s get started.
Javier Alvarez: First, put Spanish virgin oil inside.
Divya Gugnani: Yes, you definitely want that Spanish olive oil give you that authentic Spanish flavor—lots of it apparently.
Javier Alvarez: You want it to stay hot.
Divya Gugnani: Yes, you want the hot pan.
Javier Alvarez: You put the Spanish garlic.
Divya Gugnani: Yeah, and so this garlic Javier actually is—got a very different color than American garlic. It’s got a lot of it, that deep golden color. And if you can’t get this garlic in America, which you can’t, you can always use some really nice California garlic.
Javier Alvarez: Okay, thank you.
Divya Gugnani: There it goes.
Javier Alvarez: Only for ten seconds.
Divya Gugnani: Yeah.
Javier Alvarez: And you put the Camaroni.
Divya Gugnani: So you put the shrimp.
Javier Alvarez: Yes.
Divya Gugnani: I’ll throw this in here. I’ll throw you in a few, too.
Javier Alvarez: Okay, wonderful.
Divya Gugnani: Yes.
Javier Alvarez: You put a little cayena, a little bit, not too much because it’s very strong.
Divya Gugnani: So this is a cayena and it’s a Spanish pepper, and you can see that over here. And you can get this locally in the states but you can use another pepper if you want. Just give it a little of that heat.
Javier Alvarez: A little bit of this because it’s very strong.
Divya Gugnani: Sea salt, so you want to add a little bit and not too much.
Javier Alvarez: Not too much.
Divya Gugnani: Sea salt goes well with a nice seafood to give it the taste of the sea.
Javier Alvarez: This plate is very fast. It’s two minutes, three minutes. It’s finished.
Divya Gugnani: So it’s a very—a good tip is this is a great appetizer you can make very quickly for a crowd. Look at that color.
Javier Alvarez: Yes, the color is incredible.
Divya Gugnani: And this aroma from this garlic is incredible.
Javier Alvarez: When it is ready, you put a little brandy.
Divya Gugnani: Beautiful! We’re behind the burner now.
Javier Alvarez: Behind the burner at this moment. This plate is finished.
Divya Gugnani: So what you’re doing here is that you are putting in all the juice, the garlic, the oil, the brandy because you want all those flavors to get inside the shrimp.
Javier Alvarez: You taste.
Divya Gugnani: I’m ready to taste with you. So Javier, I’m ready to try your Gambas al Ajillo.
Javier Alvarez: Okay.
Divya Gugnani: It looks delicious. Mmm!
Javier Alvarez: Pop in the mouth the garlic and the oil.
Divya Gugnani: He’s totally right. You get that garlic and oil taste and it really is a product of the sea, super fresh and refreshing. And let’s try the wine. It’s got a really nice floral bouquet.
Javier Alvarez: Okay. It brings up a little lemon and it’s very good to eat with—
Divya Gugnani: With seafood.
Javier Alvarez: Seafood, correct.
Divya Gugnani: Yeah, perfect. So Albarino that we’re having right now, just like he said in the nose, lots of green apple. I definitely get the lemon that you mentioned.
Javier Alvarez: Correct.
Divya Gugnani: A little floral, too.
Javier Alvarez: Very floral.
Divya Gugnani: And when you taste it, it’s got a really good mouth feel. It’s very refreshing, pairs really nicely with—
Javier Alvarez: Yes, I think so.
Divya Gugnani: So cheers!
Javier Alvarez: Okay.
Divya Gugnani: Stay tuned to Behind the Burner where we give you the tips, tricks and techniques that are lighting the culinary world on fire.
For the recipe, Q&A, photos and more, visit behindtheburner.com.