After a visit to Café Ba Ba Reeba and a taste of their excellent Gambas al Ajillo (spicy garlic shrimp), we decided we had to replicate it at home. After some experimentation and advice from friends, we came up with this adaptation. The recipe calls for a pound of shrimp, which will serve two as a main course or four as an appetizer. Be sure to have some bread on hand to sop up the garlic-flavored oil. Watch out – everyone will want to steal your recipe!
Gambas al Ajillo
Inspired by Café Ba Ba Reeba
1 lb medium-sized shrimp (we used 26-30)
2/3 cup olive oil
4-5 dried hot red peppers
1 tbsp paprika
2 heads of garlic, all cloves peeled and sliced thinly
¼ of a lemon
Peel and de-vein all of the shrimp. Crush the red peppers and cut them into small pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large, high-sided sauté pan over high heat. Add the garlic and red peppers, and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Then, add the shrimp. Top with the paprika and a generous pinch of salt and squeeze the lemon over the shrimp.
Cook the shrimp until they are pink on both sides and tightly curled, making sure to turn them over during cooking. Put the shrimp on a large serving platter. Drain the oil and garlic into a small serving bowl and accompany with sliced bread.