Thursday, August 11, 2011

Semana Española: Gambas Pil Pil

Today's post will not only round off my semana Española, but it may just be the last one for the next couple of weeks. We are leaving for France this Saturday (yay!) and between packing and rounding off some other work, I am not sure if I'll be able to post again after today. I will definitely try to post little messages about my adventures on twitter, so if you're interested in what I'll be doing in Burgundy and Lot-et-Garonne, just check out my twitter!
Vacations are a time of inspiration for me, so I do hope you'll join me again at the end of August for some tasty French stories and lots of new recipes! In the meantime, let me tell you about today's Spanish dish- gambas pil pil!
I adore prawns, especially the thick, fleshy ones that we've sometimes purchased at the Dutch fisherman's village of Volendam. Give me a serving of those pink, juicy babies with a dollop of garlic mayonnaise and a cold glass of rosé and you can't find a happier woman! I also love prawns in pasta with a little red pesto, some lemon and a handful of rocket leaves (a Jamie Oliver recipe). In Spain, prawns are a much-loved tapas dish. Gambas pil pil are a classic dish in many Spanish tapas bars, but I also happen to think that they make an excellent light meal if served with some bread, a nice, big salad and a bottle of chilled wine. 
For a little mediterranean flair, I recommend you serve the following recipe for lunch on a warm, cloudless summer's day. Preferably outdoors, perhaps after a few sangrias and definitely in good company. Buen provecho y hasta la proxima!
Gambas Pil Pil
Serves 8 as a tapas dish or 4 as a light lunch

5 tbsps mild olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1 red chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
500g fresh prawns, cleaned
1 tbsp dry sherry
pinch of smoked paprika powder
sea salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
few handfuls of freshly-chopped parsley
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and gently sweat the garlic and the chilli pepper for about 5 minutes. Make sure your heat is low and your garlic doesn't burn! Turn up the heat, add the prawns and the sherry and stir-fry until the prawns turn pink and feel firm (2-3) minutes. Sprinkle with the paprika powder and a dash of salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped parsley and serve. If you are serving this as a light meal, just put the pan on the table and let everyone help themselves! And remember to mop up those fragrant juices with chunks of fresh bread!


Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane said...

Just made this a few days ago, but didn't know it was called Gambas Pil Pil. Only difference was my addition of some lemon juice to bring out the flavors.

And, sadly, I had to use frozen shrimp since fresh are not available here in Moldova. Sigh!

Kelly @ Kell's Kitchen said...

This is definitely one of my favourite tapas! Love prawns and garlic. Enjoy your holiday in France!

Paola said...

Aren't they just lovely?? :) Lemon juice would of course, be fab with these! We're not always so lucky here in the Netherlands either. You really need a good fishmonger. No use getting them at a supermarket here.

Paola said...

I agree, Kelly! Prawns are so yummy! Thanks! I will definitely enjoy! :)

Miz Helen said...

Hi Paola,
What a beautiful dish. We just love prawns and I know we would enjoy this dish. Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
See you soon,
Miz Helen

The Insightful Cook said...

Hey Kelly! I feel the same way about this dish. I've written a post about it too. Check it out.