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Betsy Block

Garlic Shrimp


"What time do you open?" BD had asked the man on the other end of the phone at Dali, a local tapas joint. After all, we were on vacation and the kids had never eaten Spanish food.

"5:30," the man replied, then added meaningfully: "It's when life begins."

After trying the restaurant's gambas al ajillo, I realized: He just might be right.

Olive oil (half-cup-ish)
Lots of slivered garlic (about a head of garlic - I used six cloves for about a cup of oil which wasn't enough. Go heavy on the garlic)
Dried chili peppers, 3-4
Salt (and plenty of it)
Squeeze of lemon
A dozen shrimp (if they're jumbos, which is what we used because we had some in the freezer, although E points out that "you don't want jumbos, you want tiny ones" because that's what they serve at Dali)


Heat the first five ingredients over medium heat on the stove for about five minutes, or until the garlic is nutty and just turning slightly brown. Add in the shrimp and cook until just done, a minute or two depending on their size. Squeeze in some lemon and serve sizzling hot accompanied by good bread.