Posted by: Ernest Barteldes | August 15, 2019

Summer Cooking, Continued: Seafood


 

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Tapas at Cafeteria La Flor, Malaga/Ernest Barteldes

By Ernest Barteldes

 

Seafood is one of the most common foods that we eat at home in summer for various reasons, but the first is the fact that fish and shellfish require minimal cooking – most kinds (except maybe for salmon) are thoroughly cooked in minutes and once the other ingredients are ready, on the plate in no time.

Although moqueca is my personal favorite seafood dish in the planet, I always try to change things up for Sunday dinner because the dishes I make for our weekday lunches are pretty repetitive because it is easier to plan things this way instead of having to work out what to make every week. Of course, I change ingredients up frequently, but the base is almost always the same save for meat-free Fridays (no, I don’t do that on Monday because we usually have leftovers from Sunday on that day, and it’s not always vegetarian.

For these quickly made dishes I often turn to Mark Bittman’s Quick and Easy Recipes from The New York Times (Broadway Books, 2007)  a cookbook I purchased at long-gone Borders Bookstore during their liquidation sale ( I got countless other books during that time, including a Harry Potter collection I gifted to Renata). It is a book with lots of minimalist recipes that are simple but also tasty – the recipes feature easy to find ingredients but they come with great results.

A recent weekend, inspired by our recent visit to Malaga, I prepared Spanish-style shrimp, which is simply fried in olive oil with a mixture of paprika, garlic, parsley and cumin. The shrimp is cooked unpeeled to preserve its juices and flavors. “The shells contain as much flavor as the meat,” writes Bittman in the introduction, “and you want that flavor in the sauce.”

The end result was shrimp very similar to what I encountered in our favorite tapas bars in Malaga – the paprika adds flavor and color, and the sauce goes great with a side of yellow rice.

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Shrimp in Garlic Sauce

Spanish-Style Shrimp

Source: Mark Bittman’s Quick and Easy Recipes

Ingredients:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, cut into slivers

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. paprika

2 pounds unpeeled shrimp

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup fresh parsley

 

1 Combine the oil and garlic in a 10 to 12 inch skillet. Turn the heat to medium and cook until the garlic begins to sizzle, and add the cumin and paprika. Stir, raise the heat to medium-high, and add the shrimp, along with some salt and pepper.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are all pink, no longer, you do not want to evaporate their liquid. Turn off the heat, add the parsley and serve.


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