Friday, 22 March 2013

Gambas pilpil

Early spring in Andalusia can be every bit as fickle as a woman. In the throes of PMS. At the Boxing day sale in Harrods. 

In the morning there's a promise of summer in the air: freshly cut grass and all sorts of scents that one normally has to wait until June to have in Finland. Then, towards the evening  the air is heavy with the sort of misty goodbyes that I associate with late autumn evenings when it's time to realize that summer is once again well and truly gone.

So, in the course of one day it's perfectly possible to burns one's face in the sun and come down with a flu. As yours truly did just the other day, having sweated through my PJs, Gentleman's robe and the thick down-filled duvet under which I had fled in my Eskimo gear.

 And condition like this calls for chilli. And garlic. Gambas pilpil to the rescue!

This is one of the most legendary tapas classics and one of our all time favourites. At least as crucial an ingredient is a huge pile of bread with which to mop up every last drop of the garlic and chilli- infused oil. This is a great opportunity to put those Godfather-taught lessons on slicing garlic to use...

Dieters, those of nervous disposition and anyone inspired by the Twilight trilogy and dreaming of career in vampyrism look the other way. This treat isn't for you. But if you want to find something good about this, it's the flavour. Dios mios, it's gorgeous!

And anyway- I wouldn't make much of a girlfriend for a garlic-phobe anyway...

Since I was home alone and not looking to get any hot French kisses from anyone anyway... I went crazy with these. Under normal circumstances this portion feeds to as tapas.

12 king prawns
4 big cloves of garlic
2 tbsp pimiento or any other mild paprika
2 heaped tbsp butter
6 heaped tbsp oil
salt, pepper

Peel the prawns. Pat them dry, season generously with salt and pepper and keep in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Heat oil and butter in a pan. As it starts bubbling, add paprika, thinly sliced garlic and chilli. Keep stirring so the garlic won't burn and turn everything bitter.

As the garlic has softened and gained a bit of colour throw in the king prawns. Let cook stirring the prawns and making sure the prawns are coated in oil - for about 5 minutes.

Enjoy with or without... no, make that with bread. 

Normally these would be cooked and served in a terracotta dish.
But that would just be too authentic for our Scandinavian aesthetics...

And today's valuable lesson was: really make sure you wash your hands after handling chilli. Really. They really don't feel nice in your eyes. Or ears. Or any other orefices.

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