Thursday, March 1, 2012

Jacksonville Traditional Garlic Shrimp Recipe


Garlic shrimp is a ubiquitous fixture here in Jacksonville and is arguably the food the city is most known for.  Many people argue the origins of the dish saying it's some sort of Caribbean fare but few can look back on the pages of history and realize that is tapas cuisine from Spain.  There is an abundance of shrimp in the waters off the First Coast and so it stands to reason the first Spanish colonists would have used them to make Gabas al Ajillo and this recipe was passed down through the years until it became a part of the consciousness of Jacksonville residents.  This recipe is a distillation of a couple different recipes to make something like the original Spanish settlers would have cooked.  Served over Angel Hair Pasta, it makes a night light dinner bursting with flavor.  As always, you can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste.  This recipe comes out rather spicy so change the spice according to your tastes.

Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)

1lb large (21-25ct) Shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails on.
4 Cloves of Garlic, peel and slice thinly
1tsp Smoked Sweet Paprika
1tsp Red Pepper Flakes
3T Dry White Wine
1/4C Spanish Olive Oil
3T Chopped Fresh Parsley
6oz Angel hair pasta, cook according to directions on box

Heat olive oil in frying pan over med heat.  Add sliced garlic and fry until garlic is toasted a medium brown.  Remove garlic from pan and put aside.  Add the red pepper flakes to oil and let sit a minute before turning heat to med-high and adding shrimp, wine and paprika.  Saute stirring often until shrimp is pink and done, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat, add garlic and parsley and serve over angel hair pasta.  Garnish with shredded asiago cheese if desired.

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