Sizzling Spanish Garlic Prawns – A Mother’s Day Appetizer

Gambas Al Ajillo

Gambas Al Ajillo – Tapas Style Sizzling Shrimp, Serves 3

Tender, juicy, garlicy shrimp and toasty bread for dipping…seriously, does it get better than that?

Gambas Al Ajillo  (Sizzling Garlic Prawns) is a staple dish in Spanish tapas bars, and for good reason. Typically served with a crisp, white wine, there are two classic preparation of this tapa, depending on whether you prefer to peel the prawns before cooking, I prefer NOT to peel, or remove the heads them first, as there’s so much flavor in the head and shells, and I want that rich shrimpiness infused into the olive oil.

Traditionally cooked and served in a terracotta dish, if you don’t have one (I don’t) use a 10” cast-iron skillet, and leave the heads and shells on. Serve sizzling in the pan, on a trivet (with a warning), as you want the oil to stay hot for dipping.

  •     12 xlg raw prawns, butterflied
  •     3 Tbs. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  •     1 tsp. chili flakes (opt)
  •     2 tsp. smoked paprika
  •     olive oil
  •     6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  •     ¼ cup dry sherry

Pour oil into you cast-iron skillet, and heat to medium-low, add the garlic, and cook to infuse the oil, for 8-10 minutes. Remove garlic from oil, and raise the heat to medium-high.

Butterlying prawns

To butterfly the prawns simply slit the prawns length-ways (but not all the way through) and remove the vein (stomach). Rinse cavity in cold water, pat dry, and toss prawns with sherry and spices. Rub the prawns to get the spices until well coated, and under the shells.

Add prawns to oil (oil should be about half the depth of the prawns).

Cook prawns in oil for 5 – 8 minutes, depending on the size of the dish or dishes, or until pink and sizzling, add back the sweated garlic, and lemon wedges for the last minute (don’t let the garlic brown).

Remove the pan from the heat.

Sprinkle with the parsley and green onion, and serve with crusty bread, lemon wedges, and toothpicks

FYI…

What’s the difference between a shrimp and a prawn?

Short answer: Not much.

sf_shrmpw07eThe flavors of shrimp and prawns are almost indistinguishable, especially once cooked with other flavors.

If you just have to know, you’ll need to get your shrimp/prawns whole and intact.

Claws at the end of two legs means shrimp, three means prawn. Seriously.

In most parts of the world, especially in the US, “prawn” and “shrimp” are interchangeable terms. Prawns are usually larger, and from fresh water, and shrimp a bit smaller, and from salt water. Both come in a huge variety of sizes and shapes.


The Home Chef: Transforming the American KitchenWe are entering the age of the “Home Chef”, a title that’s available to nearly everyone, regardless of age, or financial standing.

That’s what this book is about…because something amazing has begun to happen in the last two decades, something that has never before happened in the history of cooking…instead of growing wider, the gap between the home cook and the professional chef has actually begun to narrow, and continues to narrow exponentially with each passing year.

The time when these specialized skills were limited to those who could afford the cost and time required for culinary school are quickly passing into history.

The time when the sole requirement to elevate your cooking skills to this level…passion…is emerging.

It’s an amazing time to become a Home Chef…and if you have that passion, I’ll show you how.

Welcome!

Chef Perry P. Perkins

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National Oyster Day AND #baconweek? Oh, yes…

Angels on Horseback recipe

Today is #baconweek AND National Oyster Day!

This is the one we’ve been waiting for, people…the perfect storm!

In honor of this momentous occasion, here’s a freebie from “Bacon: A Home Chef’s Guide”, that also happens to be my all-time favorite appetizer!

angels on horseback recipe

Angels on Horseback (Bacon-Wrapped Oysters)

Angels on horseback, or oysters wrapped in bacon, is a classic oyster dish that is very common on the East Coast. and is often seen as a wedding appetizer on Long Island in New York.

The recipe was first published in 1888, in Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management. The dish is to be credited to Urbain Dubois, the chef of the German emperor.

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By the In the 1930s, Angels on Horseback had become a popular picnic goody, and was ubiquitous on Sunday brunch menus.

In the 1960’s, a popular variation on this dish became to serve the oyster raw, wrapped in fried bacon (delicious, but some folks have texture issues with this one), as well as adding a liberal dose of hot red pepper sauce, before broiling…known as “Angels in Hell.” Seriously, I don’t make this stuff up!

Angels on Horseback where included in the 1990’s bestseller, “1001 Foods to Die For.” (Great book, btw!)

With only three ingredients in the prep list – bacon, oysters, cayenne pepper, and a squirt of lime juice, sprinkled with parsley – this dish couldn’t be easier to prepare.

P1120811This is how God wants you to eat his oysters…

  • 2 dozen fresh small oysters (shucked) 
  • Cayenne pepper powder
  • 12 strips thin sliced, apple-wood smoked bacon
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 limes

Slice bacon strips in half. Be sure to use thin-cut bacon.

Season each oyster with a light pinch of cayenne pepper.

Wrap a half-slice of bacon around each oyster and secure with a toothpick. Arrange on a baking dish. (Don’t use a rack – you want the fat to pool, so it’s pulled into the oysters!)

angels on horseback

Cook the bacon-wrapped oysters under the broiler until they’re crispy, about 5-6 minutes.

Flip, and return to the broiler to crisp the other side (another 2-4 minutes). Sprinkle with parsley, and serve with lime wedges.

Angels on Horseback are traditionally served on buttered toast points.

BTW – These make an AMAZING filling for an Oyster Po’ Boy sandwich!

#baconweek and National Oyster Day…it may not happen again in our lifetime, my friends…make the most of it!

😉

~Chef Perry


Each Home Chef Guidebook delves more deeply into the professional quality recipes and techniques of specific cooking styles and cuisines.

Bacon A Home Chef's GuideThis one is all about BACON!

Bacon is the candy-apple red hot-rod of the food world. We want it, but we also fear it a little, which makes us want it even more…

Each year in the U.S. more than 1.7 billion lbs. of bacon are consumed – equivalent to the weight of 8 1/2 Nimitz class aircraft carriers.

65% of Americans would support bacon as their “national food” and more than half of us claim that we would rather have bacon than sex.

Bacon is kinda a big deal.

Let’s learn about bacon, the types of bacon out there, the best chef techniques for cooking it, and the most delicious recipes available for God’s most perfect meat!

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Shrimp-N-Bacon Soft Tacos #baconweek

Shrimp-Soft-Tacos-with-Pork-Cheek-Bacon-Lardons

So far this week, we’ve looked at How to make our own bacon, Peanut Butter Bacon Waffles, and Grilled Chicken and Guanciale Bacon Alfredo.

Today, we’re going to toss some seafood in with that porcine perfection, in one of my all time favorite Home Chef Umami-bomb recipes:

Shrimp-N-Bacon Soft Tacos

Marinade
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp hot sauce (I like Franks)
1 tsp lime juice
½ tsp smoked paprika

Fillin’
1lb raw shrimp (26-30ct) shelled & deveined
½ white onion, julienned
2 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1/2 lb thick sliced bacon, chopped

Fixin’s
2 avocados, peeled & sliced
6 flour gorditas, warmed
6 Tbs Crema (Mexican sour cream)
1 batch Perk’s Pico de Gallo

Make Pico, and chill 1-2 hours while preparing the rest of the meal.

Mix first 5 ingredients, and toss with shrimp. Cover and fridge 1 hour.

Sweat onions, with bacon and garlic in a medium-low pan 10-15 minutes, until onions start to clear.

Add shrimp (discard marinade), cover and cook until shrimp are just pink through.

Assemble contents of pan, along with remaining ingredients, evenly on gorditas, and serve.

Serves 4-6


Each Home Chef Guidebook delves more deeply into the professional quality recipes and techniques of specific cooking styles and cuisines.

Bacon A Home Chef's GuideThis one is all about BACON!

Bacon is the candy-apple red hot-rod of the food world. We want it, but we also fear it a little, which makes us want it even more…

Each year in the U.S. more than 1.7 billion lbs. of bacon are consumed – equivalent to the weight of 8 1/2 Nimitz class aircraft carriers.

65% of Americans would support bacon as their “national food” and more than half of us claim that we would rather have bacon than sex.

Bacon is kinda a big deal.

Let’s learn about bacon, the types of bacon out there, the best chef techniques for cooking it, and the most delicious recipes available for God’s most perfect meat!

amazon