Despite a solid four and a half years worth of Spanish study, I have never actually been to Spain. My mother went once. For her 60th birthday, she traveled there with her older brother and her niece. I received some gorgeous postcards, but before she was done with her trip there was an accident. While climbing down from a stunning vista, she slipped. It was a simple skid, but the results were horrible. She broke her wrist and had to be whisked to a nearby hospital. Although the dashing doctor who fixed her up was wonderfully attentive, that was pretty much the end of the fun in Spain. When I went to pick her up at the airport, she was such a ragged sight. The plane ride left her puffy, her tiny hand was swallowed by this massive plaster cast that seemed to weigh half as much as she did. Spain had broken her. And yet, she loved the trip. She adored the Gaudi architecture, the street performers, and the people they met. Most of all, she adored the food. Despite being literally battered by the countryside, she couldn’t stop reminiscing of the fresh seafood plucked from the ocean and purchased dockside.
Using a tin of Spanish paprika she had carried back for me, I came up with this dish to remind her of the beauty she experienced, before everything went sideways. Someday I hope to make it, but I’m bringing a big walking stick.
Spanish Style Shrimp
1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 heaping tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 picadillo pepper, thinly sliced
1 Bushel Boy tomato, diced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Blot the shrimp dry and season with salt and paprika. In a large cast iron skillet heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Just before it begins smoking, toss in the shrimp, the garlic, pepper and tomato. Allow shrimp to brown on one side (about a minute and a half/two minutes). Stir and allow shrimp to finish cooking, another minute or two. They’re done with they are opaque in the middle. Finish with lime juice and sprinkle on the scallions. Serve with crusty bread.
Serves 2 as a light entree or four as an appetizer.