This tapas is based on the very traditional Spanish tapas, Gambas al ajillo – grilled garlicky prawns in a dry sherry, picante sauce.
But I’ve given it a successful English twist – I’ve replaced the sherry with gin; I’m frying instead of grilling; and rather than using chillies, I’m still staying in Spain but moderating the heat by just using Spanish bitter-sweet smoked paprika.
Recipe for a gin-soaked English make-over of gambas al ajillo
- 160g (about ten) ready-cooked, shelled and frozen king prawns
- 60 ml/¼ cup/4 tbsp gin
- generous shake (at least a tsp) Spanish bitter-sweet smoked paprika
- olive oil for frying
- 2 fat cloves of garlic crushed with 1 tsp smoked salt
- a few sprigs of lemon thyme
- Defrost the prawns – allow at least a couple of hours for this.
- Get the olive oil nice and hot, and add the prawns – fry a couple of minutes. Add the garlic. Sprinkle on some paprika. Turn the prawns onto their other side, sprinkle over more paprika. Fry for another couple of minutes until cooked through.
- Add the gin, let it sizzle to reduce and let it absorb the red paprika to form a red sauce.
- Add the thyme leaves and serve.