How I become a shrimp lover? It is still a surprising fact for me. I haven’t been raised eating shrimp, and most seafood for that matter; save for the fish from the Baltic Sea. The memory of the the fish from the Baltic Sea takes my right back to the Polish Seashore where you can smell the taste of freshly fried fish everywhere. I could never get enough of it – still salivating thinking of it. No matter how many days I had spent by the shore I had to have fried fish at least once a day. It never got boring. But shrimp…uh… No, I don’t think so… I even remember my first Spain vacation when, with a group of friends, we ordered Spanish Paella to share. I had no idea what we were ordering and when I saw all this seafood on top of the rice, i simply said “no thank you.”
It took couple of years to become friends with mussels, clams, scallops, lobster and raw fish; and lo they are all my best friends now. But shrimp couldn’t jockey onto that list. I think I had an issue with the crunchy texture. Nevertheless, a couple of people told me that one day I will try shrimp and will fall in love instantly. I didn’t believe this day would ever come. However, let me save you the suspense…..that day came & hence this post. One winter evening I was meeting my 3 best friends to gossip about my recent wedding… And the place we chose, was spanish tapas restaurant in NYC, La Boqueria. This is my absolute favourite tapas place in NY! They all wanted to order shrimp in garlic sauce (gambas al ajillo) and i couldn’t deny them all. So, I decided to give it another try… And let me tell you this taste changed my entire perspective on shrimp. The texture didn’t bother me at all and the garlicky, papricky taste was like heaven. And then the realization that you could dunk a fresh baguette in this garlicky heaven of olive oil…..
My husband loves shrimp and I know he was a little disappointed that they were not on the list of my favs. But after this dinner in NYC I couldn’t stop thinking about gambas al ajillo. We live by the ocean so we can get the freshest seafood available. So I decided to come out of my comfort zone and make some Grilled Shrimp. Still new to the shrimp business I was looking for the right recipe. And guess what, Bobby Flay delivered again…
I was making shrimp for 2 people so my proportions were a little bit different.
- ½ cup of olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic - chopped
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme
- 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika (I didn't have ancho chill powder so I used smoked papricka and cayenne pepper)
- ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 12 shrimp
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cloves of thinly sliced garlic for garlic chips
- Wooden skewers soaked in water
- Use ¼ of cup of olive oil, add garlic, smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon of chopped thyme and soak the shrimp in it.
- Heat the grill to high
- Skewer the shrimp and sprinkle with salt and pepper
- In the meantime, heat up the remaining oil in small saucepan. Add garlic slices and cook until lightly brown
- Remove garlic with slotted spoon on the paper towel and reserve the oil
- Put the shrimp on high grill and cook in each side for about 2 minutes
- If the shrimp is translucent it is not cooked yet, but be careful not to overcook it
- Remove the shrimp from the grill, take off the skewers and pour the remaining oil on shrimp
- Sprinkle with garlic chips and remaining fresh thyme.