MEDITERRANEAN BUFFET: PART I: GAMBAS AL AJILLO

EVERY ONCE IN A BLUE MOON I PREPARE A MEAL WHERE EVERYTHING TURNS OUT PERFECTLY.  EVEN BETTER, THE INDIVIDUAL DISHES ENHANCE EACH OTHER SO THE WHOLE IS MORE THAN SIMPLY THE SUM OF ITS PARTS.  A BITE OF SWEET PEPPERS TASTES BETTER WITH A DOLLOP OF BABA GANOUSH.  A SHRIMP WITH A FORKFUL OF CUCUMBER, YOGURT AND HERBS.  YOU CAN'T IMAGINE THEM TASTING BETTER ON THEIR OWN.  EACH DISH WAS A VERSION OF A RECIPE FROM FOUR DIFFERENT CHEFS:  JOËL ROBUCHON'S PEPPERS; PAULA WOLFERT'S SHRIMP WITH GARLIC; NANCY SILBERTON'S AND MARK PEEL'S BABA GANOUSH, AND JOSHUA McFADDEN'S  CUCUMBER SALAD.  TODAY, I'LL START WITH THE SHRIMP.  BUT OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS I WILL PUBLISH RECIPES FOR ALL FOUR DISHES.  YOU CAN MAKE EACH ON ITS OWN, BUT IF YOU HAVE THE PATIENCE TO WAIT TILL YOU COLLECTED THEM ALL , YOU CAN SERVE A PERFECT MEDITERRANEAN FEAST.  

 30 LARGE SHRIMP (FIGURE 5 SHRIMP/PERSON)
 1 LARGE RED ONION
 4 GARLIC CLOVES, UNPEELED
 DRY WHITE WINE
 1 LEMON
1

PEEL AND CLEAN THE SHRIMP. SOAK FOR 10 MINUTES IN COLD SALTED WATER.

PEEL THE ONION, CUT LENGTHWISE IN HALF, THEN DICE.

COMBINE 3/4 CUP OF WATER WITH 3 TBSPS OF OLIVE OIL IN A LARGE SAUTE PAN OVER MEDIUM HIGH HEAT.

DRAIN THE SHRIMP IN A STRAINER AND SHAKE TO DRY.

CRUSH GARLIC CLOVES BUT DON'T PEEL.

CHOP A CUP OF PARSLEY LEAVES AND COMBINE WITH 1/2 CUP OF CHOPPED FENNEL FRONDS OR DILL.

ADD THE CHOPPED ONION AND COOK TILL THE WATER HAS EVAPORATED AND THE ONION TURNS SLIGHTLY GOLDEN.

ADD THE SHRIMP AND THE GARLIC CLOVES. SAUTÉ SHRIMP OVER HIGH HEAT TILL THEY JUST TURN PINK. SEASON WITH SALT AND WHITE PEPPER. OPTIONAL: 1/2 TSP OF CHILI FLAKES.

ADD HALF THE CHOPPED HERBS AND ABOUT 3/4 CUP OF WHITE WINE. COOK ANOTHER TWO MINUTES. TURN OFF THE HEAT AND EMPTY INTO A SERVING DISH. JUST BEFORE SERVING, SCATTER WITH THE REST OF THE HERBS. GARNISH WITH LEMON WEDGES.

CAN BE SERVED IMMEDIATELY OR LATER AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.

SERVES 6

Ingredients

 30 LARGE SHRIMP (FIGURE 5 SHRIMP/PERSON)
 1 LARGE RED ONION
 4 GARLIC CLOVES, UNPEELED
 DRY WHITE WINE
 1 LEMON

Directions

1

PEEL AND CLEAN THE SHRIMP. SOAK FOR 10 MINUTES IN COLD SALTED WATER.

PEEL THE ONION, CUT LENGTHWISE IN HALF, THEN DICE.

COMBINE 3/4 CUP OF WATER WITH 3 TBSPS OF OLIVE OIL IN A LARGE SAUTE PAN OVER MEDIUM HIGH HEAT.

DRAIN THE SHRIMP IN A STRAINER AND SHAKE TO DRY.

CRUSH GARLIC CLOVES BUT DON'T PEEL.

CHOP A CUP OF PARSLEY LEAVES AND COMBINE WITH 1/2 CUP OF CHOPPED FENNEL FRONDS OR DILL.

ADD THE CHOPPED ONION AND COOK TILL THE WATER HAS EVAPORATED AND THE ONION TURNS SLIGHTLY GOLDEN.

ADD THE SHRIMP AND THE GARLIC CLOVES. SAUTÉ SHRIMP OVER HIGH HEAT TILL THEY JUST TURN PINK. SEASON WITH SALT AND WHITE PEPPER. OPTIONAL: 1/2 TSP OF CHILI FLAKES.

ADD HALF THE CHOPPED HERBS AND ABOUT 3/4 CUP OF WHITE WINE. COOK ANOTHER TWO MINUTES. TURN OFF THE HEAT AND EMPTY INTO A SERVING DISH. JUST BEFORE SERVING, SCATTER WITH THE REST OF THE HERBS. GARNISH WITH LEMON WEDGES.

CAN BE SERVED IMMEDIATELY OR LATER AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.

SERVES 6

MEDITERRANEAN BUFFET: PART I: GAMBAS AL AJILLO
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