11.15.13: tapas (shrimp with garlic and cava reduction/gambes a l’all amb reducció de cava from El Quim de la Boqueria)

Shrimp with garlic and cava reduction/gambes a l'all amb reducció de cava

Shrimp with garlic and cava reduction/gambes a l’all amb reducció de cava

The last few weeks have not been particularly kind to us here at The Manhattan [food] Project, thanks to a series of injuries, illnesses, and mounting work stress that inevitably comes at the end of the calendar year. While everyone is physically fine (or at least close to it) now, in the last few weeks I had to deal with a husband who had a nasty sinus infection and a father who smacked his head against a curb when he tripped on a slippery ramp in Danbury during a weekend visit. (They are both fine now, but I feel like my sanity was hanging by a thread there for a while.) Even before all of that excitement I had been feeling discouraged, frustrated, and uninspired, and had it not been for an email exchange with a lovely reader, I’d be a lot crankier right now because I wouldn’t have this dish, straight from La Boqueria, in my repertoire.

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Reader Lydia reached out to me asking a question about the sage brown butter sauce we made to go with the butternut squash ravioli Michael and I made for my birthday a few years ago, and in our back-and-forth we started chatting about Barcelona and La Boqueria in particular. She had mentioned that one of the bars in the market had this sublime shrimp dish made with garlic and a reduction of cava–which sounded absolutely delightful to me–and I said that I would definitely play around with it…and then she astounded me and not only reached out to El Quim de la Boqueria to get the recipe, but was kind enough to share it with me.

In a week when I was swimming in nostalgia, it was a wonderful balm to the soul. El Quim was on my list of places to visit in La Boqueria, but we weren’t able to get a stool there on our first visit, so it’s on my places to absolutely go to on our next trip there, if only to not only order this dish, but thank them for sharing the recipe for it.

I’m going to share it as they described here, because this is essentially what I did only I upped the number of shrimp used, and I would season said shrimp before they hit the pan. Our cava did not create large flames, but this can happen when you cook on high heat, so be careful!

Shrimp with garlic and cava reduction via El Quim de Boqueria

Ingredients:

  • 8 shrimps
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 chilly pepper
  • ½ cup of Cava
  • Salt, pepper & olive oil

Preparation:
Cut the garlic cloves in slim slices.
Pour a spoonful of olive oil in a frying pan and when the oil is hot, deep fry the garlics with the chili pepper. When golden, not too toasted, add the shrimps and stir with a wooden spoon or similar. Afterwards, pour the Cava. Be very careful because the pan will burst into fire with large flames!!! Stir for a while so as that the cava and oil emulsify correctly.
You can then serve them with some parsley powder on top. Have a nice meal!

(I think parsley powder was referencing paprika, but I’m not 100% sure on that. Paprika was a lovely addition at the end, though!)

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7 comments
  1. And that is what I will be eating this weekend as I pour the rest of the bottle of Cava down my throat (from increasingly high altitudes because I never tire of playing porron).

    I’m sorry your family has had such a rough go lately, but I’m glad to hear everyone is on the mend.

    • I WANT A PORRON. If we had hardwood floors I’d have one already, but white apartment carpet+red wine=not a great combination. (We really need to have stock in the company that makes Spot Shot.) I think I’m going to make this for myself next Friday or Saturday when my first run of crappy weeks comes to a close and I have a brief holiday respite before the next run starts.

      We’re all slowly on the mend–M is back to the gym and is bothered greatly by things again, and my dad is now dealing with only some minor bruising. My oldest nephew declared that he wasn’t in that bad a shape, and if a four-year-old says that’s the case, who am I to argue?

  2. shannon said:

    you uttered a key phrase there: “inevitably comes at the end of the calendar year.” AGREE: and why does stress wait until the last possible minute to pile itself on? I’m sorry: sinus infections and curb-smacks on the head would be extremely stressful to me as well, and i’m happy to hear everyone is okay.
    This looks beautiful, and i love the simplicity of it! Certainly we’re going to have some Cava floating around here in the next few weeks, so it’s on the to-do list, and not a stressful “to-do” for once, either. :)

    • It really could not get much simpler, unless you decided to leave the shells on and peel after cooking. :) And it’s a great, festive way to use some cava and then have a glass or two when you’re eating it!

  3. These look fantastic and they make me so sad! The last few times I’ve had shrimp, I’ve blown up like a giant balloon. The allergy tests don’t show a shrimp allergy but for now, I’m staying away (at least while growing a human in me). But you can bet I bookmarked these delicious little buggers for later!

    • Boo to potential allergy, but definitely keep this in mind following the arrival of the new baby!

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