Simple, Spicy Shrimp

Serves 4

Mark Bittman calls this “The simplest and best shrimp dish: Excuse the superlatives; this spin on a Spanish tapa is my favorite, and everyone I serve it to loves it. ,,, It’s good with bread, over rice, tossed with pasta or stuffed into tacos.”

The Hungarians make more than 200 versions of paprika. American supermarkets rarely stock anything but sweet (sometimes smoked) paprika. For this recipe we recommend “half-sharp” paprika, available from The Spice House in Evanston, IL.

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, more if needed

3 or 4 large cloves of garlic, cut into slivers

About 1 ½ pounds shrimp, 20 to 30 per pound, peeled, rinsed and dried

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ tsp hot paprika

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

  1. Warm olive oil in a large, broad oven-proof skillet over low heat. There should be enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan: don’t skimp. Add the garlic and cook until it turns golden, a few minutes.
  2. Raise the heat to medium high and add the shrimp, some salt and pepper, the cumin and the paprika. Stir to blend and continue to cook, shaking the pan once or twice and turning the shrimp until the shrimp are pink all over and the mixture is bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Garnish and serve immediately.

Source: “How To Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman, John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

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