[This week I wrote about shrimp in my column at Kitchen Daily--offering up tips for buying, prepping, and cooking this beloved crustacean. Lots of good info in that piece, but if you just want to make something fabulous tonight, this recipe is one of my faves. In fact, it's the best take-to-a-party or stay-at-home shrimp dish I know of.]
The Simplest and Best Shrimp Dish
Makes: 4 servings
Time: About 30 minutes
Adapted from How to Cook Everything
Excuse the superlatives; this spin on a Spanish tapa is my favorite, and everyone I serve it to loves it. The shrimp juices infuse the oil, and the sum is beyond delicious. It’s good with bread, over rice, tossed with pasta, or stuffed into tacos.
Other seafood you can use: similar-sized scallops (or larger, though they’ll take longer to cook).
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed
3 or 4 big cloves garlic, cut into slivers
About 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, 20 to 30 per pound, peeled, rinsed, and dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons hot paprika
Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
1. Warm the olive oil in a large, broad ovenproof skillet or flameproof baking pan over low heat. There should be enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan; don’t skimp. Add the garlic and cook until it turns golden, a few minutes.
2. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the shrimp, some salt and pepper, the cumin, and the paprika. Stir to blend and continue to cook, shaking the pan once or twice and turning the shrimp once or twice, until they are pink all over and the mixture is bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish and serve immediately.