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The Bazaar's Gambas Al Ajillo: An Easy-to-Make Tapas Recipe

It may not always look like it, with the limos circling the driveway and the fashion-intensive hotel guests filling the 'indoor piazza' and an interior design that resembles an unlikely confluence of Salvador Dali and Monty Python, but The Bazaar is at heart a tapas restaurant. And on the menu, in addition to miso linguini and 'Hilly cheesesteak,' you will find a plate of simple sautéed garlic shrimp. The dish, which has been on the menu at The Bazaar since it opened--and on the menu at José Andrés' Washington, D.C. restaurant Jaleo for about the last 15 years--takes less than 15 minutes to make and requires the kind of basic ingredients that you can pick up at any Latin market or Vons.

Sous chef Michael Turner, who has also been at The Bazaar since it opened and who was on hand for a quick cooking demo yesterday, says that the trick to the dish is not to overcook the shrimp. As far as garnishing the seafood, which at the restaurant is served over pretty dots of parsley purée and confit garlic purée, Turner says that "we just try and elevate it. At home, just add a bit of parsley at the end." You can always order it at the The Bazaar ("that's the one dish that's never leaving"), but try making it at home. Dress up in a little Balenciaga number and get some dry ice for the bar if you need a little more atmosphere. The recipe is after the jump.

Gambas al ajillo at The Bazaar
Gambas al ajillo at The Bazaar
Photo credit: Amy Scattergood
chile de arbol
chile de arbol
Photo credit: Amy Scattergood
Salt the shrimp
Salt the shrimp
Photo credit: Amy Scattergood
Saute the garlic and chile
Saute the garlic and chile
Photo credit: Amy Scattergood
At the restaurant, a bit of fancy plating
At the restaurant, a bit of fancy plating
Photo credit: Amy Scattergood

 

Gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp)

Note: From José Andrés' The Bazaar. It is important to use Spanish paprika (pimenton) and not Hungarian paprika in this dish.

Serves: 4 as an appetizer

1 - 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

20 shrimp, 16/20 count, peeled and deveined

6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 chile de arbol, broken or cut into a few pieces

1 bay leaf (dry)

1/2 cup Spanish olive oil

splash of brandy

a squeeze of fresh lemon

sweet smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton)

chopped parsley

1. Sprinkle the salt over the shrimp.

2. Heat the oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, chile and bay leaf and cook for a minute, being sure not to let the garlic get any color.

3. Add the shrimp and cook until just done, about 4 minutes, turning the shrimp as they cook. Add the brandy and lemon and cook for another minute.

4. Spoon the garlic oil from the saute pan onto the bottom of the plate, place the shrimp on top and spoon the garlic and chiles over the top.

5. Garnish with a sprinkle of pimenton and some chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

taste your food
taste your food
Photo credit: Amy Scattergood

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