Journey down any Cuban residential street at mealtime and one distinctive, hunger-inducing aroma lifts you up and carries you to the table: garlic.
This is not a one-clove-in-a-dish kind of place. Got a bulb of garlic? Use it. Please, don’t get me wrong; Cuban cooks know how to incorporate garlic into a recipe so it doesn’t smack you around. They know how to coax garlic into releasing it’s pungent flavor without asaulting the rest of the dish.
Toasting, roasting, sautéing and even frying, bring out garlic’s various nuances. Don’t forget: you want garlic’s flavor, but not the bite… like in this easy-to-prepare garlic shrimp recipe. A splash of vinegar, or lemon, brightens the dish just a bit.
Like visiting Cuba, this is a journey worth taking.
Cuban Garlic Shrimp
(Camarones al Ajillo Cubanos)
prep: 10 minutes
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup minced onion
8 garlic cloves, finely minced or pushed through a garlic press
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
let’s get to it…
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the onion and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes until softened but not brown.
Lower heat to medium low and add the shrimp. Sauté shrimp for 3 to 4 minutes or until barely pink.
Stir in the vinegar and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.