Tag Archives: Spain

Gambas al Ajillo, Spanish-Style Garlic Shrimp

Spanish-Style Garlic Shrimp

Gambas al  Ajillo, Spanish-Style Shrimp are very common in Spain. They are packed with flavors and easy to prepare.  If you love to entertain, your guests will love these delicious tapas. (appetizers)

Serves: 4
Level of difficulty: Super easy

There are many recipe variations on the internet, but this is my method and style of cooking.

Ingredients:

  •  1 lb. extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined (yield 16-20)
  •  3/4 cup olive oil
  •  1 head of garlic, chopped
  •  2 -3 dried chiles
  •  Flat-leave parsley for garnish, optional
  • Sea salt, optional

    Preparation: 

1) In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the chiles, let them release their flavor in the oil for about  for 1-2 minutes. (Keep them in the pan)

2) Add the shrimp in a single layer. Sautee for about 3 minutes, then add garlic.

3) Flip the shrimp, cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until the shrimp are no longer translucent.

Voila, it’s that simple! I usually garnish with parsley but I was entertaining at the last-minute, and didn’t have the time to do it.

Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp

Wine pairing suggestions:  Albariño, a wonderful spanish white wine. It is also produced in Portugal.

Tip)  If you are cooking for a crowd, I suggest that you make them in batches.

Buen Provecho!
Bon Appetit and Cheers from My Kitchen!

Gina

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Gina’s Ultimate Paella

 

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I have been in the quest for making a perfectly delicious Paella for a long time. I have tried different recipes, using various ingredients, but this time, everyone in my family raved about the taste. Here is my latest version of Paella. Paella originated in Spain, and the most famous one is Paella Valenciana.

Serves 8 as a main dish – Degree of difficulty – Easy to Medium
Prepping and cooking time from start to finish: 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rice ( 16 oz.) Valencia
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 – 12 oz. can of beer (I used Corona) *
  • Saffron thread, 2 pinches *
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb. mussels
  • 18 clams
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, + more to drizzle
  • Chorizo sausage, 2 links, cut up in pieces
  •  red bell pepper, 1/2 cut in julienne
  •  4-6 oz. frozen peas, rinsed and drained well
  •  Hot sauce to drizzle
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Flat leave parsley, for garnish

Preparation:

For this traditional dish, I recommend a Paella pan, 15 inch in diameter.

1) Peel and deveined shrimp, wash and scrub mussels and clams well. Chop onions, garlic, chorizo, bell pepper, get all your spices and ingredients ready.

2) On medium high heat, in Paella pan, heat up olive oil, and brown the chorizo, 2-3 minutes. Add onions, 1-2 minutes, then add garlic, 1 minute. Add the rice and stir well, 1-2 minutes. Add the beer, water, paprika, salt, pepper, saffron, and let it come to a boil. Lower the heat, add all the seafood one by one. Sprinkle the peas around the pan, and decorate with the bell pepper like you see in the picture. Let it simmer and reduce a little, for about 5 minutes or so. Cover with aluminum foil and turn the burner off.

3) In the meanwhile, pre-heat the oven at 350 degrees, and place the paella on the second shelf from the bottom. Bake for at least 30 minutes. Check for doneness, once the rice is cooked, everything else should be done, because the seafood takes the least amount of cooking. If rice is not done, you may put it back in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, take off foil, drizzle liberally with olive oil, garnish with the parsley, and place on the table. Serve with hot sauce, as a condiment.

This may take some practice, don’t expect to hit a home run the first time, however if you did, it’s because, you followed my directions, step by step.

*If you don’t want, or cannot have alcohol, substitute with chicken broth, or water. Make sure, you use the same amount of liquid.

* If you don’t have saffron, use a product called Sazon, by Goya, con cilantro y tomate, (with cilantro and tomato) it comes in a package that can be found in the Spanish aisles of your grocery stores. Beware, they tend to be salty, and contain MSG, however, they give wonderful flavors. Use two packets, for this recipe. I have used them before, but WITHOUT THE beer and paprika. (Use chicken broth or water, or a combination of both. This way is equally delicious.

There so many variations to this dish, you can also add bay scallops, and or chicken. We eat chicken often, I just didn’t want to part with it this time. There are some authentic recipes that call for rabbit. If you want to fancy it up, for a dinner party, place a lobster in the middle. Your guests will be very impressed with the presentation.

I served a nice chilled Rose’ with the Paella. It was a heavenly pairing. The rose’ is light and refreshing, and beautifully complements the rich flavors of the beer and paprika.

I had the pleasure of having Paella in Barcelona, and it was an amazing dining experience that I will always cherish.

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Always cook with a smile, and your food will smile back at you!

 

 

A Taste Of Beautiful Barcelona

Spain is a beautiful country rich in history, with stunning architecture, and known for its cultures, and delicious cuisine. They are famous for The Running Of The Bulls, which is held every year. It is a Spanish tradition that started in Northeastern Spain, in the 14th century.  Spanish love their soccer, and are world-renowned. They won the World Cup in 2010, and defeated the Netherlands. Gastronomy, and great wines are also a major part of their cultures.

Follow me for A Taste Of Beautiful Barcelona!

In 2011, my family and I embarked on an amazing Mediterranean cruise, and we visited many beautiful cities in Europe. One of the port of calls, was the magical city of Barcelona.  We spent an entire afternoon frolicking the famous, and happening area of Las Ramblas.  The streets were filled with creative artists,  mimes, vendors, restaurants, and thousands of tourists.  We ate delicious Spanish tapas, drank beer and sangria,  and visited lots of souvenir shops. We enjoyed a beautiful stroll in this vibrant and fun city, and had a grand time.

 

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Taking pictures and having a good time….

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A family that travels together stays together

 

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Beautiful artwork

 

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More artwork
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The big boys in front of Christopher Columbus statue in Barcelona

 

 

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Roaming the streets of Barcelona
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posing with a mime

 

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La Boqueria, famous market

La Boqueria is probably one of the most famous markets in Europe. You will find a vast selection of  cured meats, and scrumptious cheeses. The Serrano ham, and Manchego cheese  are delicacies in Spain, and can be found all over the place.

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Sangria

Sangria is a must have, when visiting Spain

 

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Tapas

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Later in the afternoon,  we went back to the cruise ship to get ready for nighttime. On the schedule, there were two activities, either watch a spectacular performance by Flamenco dancers,  or have some free time, and eat Paella al fresco (in the outdoors).  Although, we were torn between the two fantastic choices, the foodie in us  could not resist the idea of eating this traditional and delectable Spanish dish.

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The Paella was delicious and the entire experience was surreal. Sadly, one day was simply not enough to visit this enchanting city, but the good thing about it, we can always go back.

In closing, I would like to share with you this famous quote by Charlie Trotter:  ” All four elements were happening in equal measure  – the cuisine, the wine, the service, and the overall ambiance. It taught me that dining could happen at a spiritual level.”

I hope you have enjoyed my wonderful trip to Barcelona.  Stay tuned for more exciting blogs on My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles.

Buenos Dias! Have a great day!

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Tree-lined and animated street of Las Ramblas district (stock photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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