The Books Issue 2016: Gambas al Ajillo, featured in Shrimp Country

Anna Marlis Burgard's new book spotlights swoon-worthy recipes, including this popular tapas.

Anna Marlis Burgard's Shrimp Country: Recipes and Tales from the Southern Coasts is an adventure across southern coastal America through a culinary lens.

The new book, included in CL's recommended roundup of gift-giving reads, spotlights many swoon-worthy and shrimp-driven food formulas — gambas al ajillo among them.

Learn to make the popular tapas dish, fit for holiday get-togethers, below.

Excerpted from Shrimp Country: Recipes and Tales from the Southern Coasts, by Anna Marlis Burgard. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2016. Reprinted by permission of the University Press of Florida.

Gambas al Ajillo (Shrimp in Garlic Sauce)

Chef Kurtis Schumm, Tybee Island Social Club | Tybee Island, Georgia

Schumm recommends kissing as many people as possible after eating this delicious, garlicky dish.

Serves 4


1/2 cup olive oil

1 baguette, sliced

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

20 medium cloves garlic, peeled

2 pounds large (21- to 25-count) shrimp, heads and shells on, shells split along the back

1/4 cup paprika

1 cup dry sherry

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 lemons, sliced


1. Heat a 10-inch or larger cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil.

2. When oil is hot, briefly fry the sliced baguette on both sides and then set aside.

3. In the same skillet, add the butter (it’s good to keep a lid or piece of aluminum foil nearby in case it splatters).

4. Once the butter is lightly browned, add the garlic, paprika, and sherry. Cook until the sauce is reduced by two thirds, about 10 minutes.

5. Add the shrimp and toss to coat with the sauce; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until pink, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6. Divide the shrimp among four serving bowls. Garnish with parsley and lemon slices and serve with the toasted bread for dipping.

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