Gambas al Ajillo are one of Spain’s most popular tapas. The secret to success is very fragrant olive oil that is not too heavy in texture, and a cooking vessel that conducts heat slowly. A cazuela is ideal, but you can also use a deep-cast skillet.

Preparation:

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels, then sprinkle salt over them. Place the olive oil and garlic in 10 inch earthenware cazuela (or skillet) and heat over medium-low heat until the oil shimmers and the garlic begins to sizzle.

Cook until the garlic is very fragrant but not colored, about 2 to 3 minutes, reducing the heat if necessary. Add the chile and stir for a few seconds.

Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until they just begin to turn pink, about 3 minutes.

Season with salt to taste, stir in the parsley, and cook for a few seconds longer.

Serve the shrimp in the cazuela with plenty of bread alongside. Enjoy!

Serves 4 to 6