Gambas al ajillo is a delicious classic Spanish tapas that is flavorful, garlicky, and can be made in a matter of minutes.
We love to entertain, whether it’s having family and friends over for a barbeque or a casual weekend dinner with light bites and lots of good wines. When we entertain, we like to keep the food simple and focus on our company. To make it easy and fun for our guests, we love to serve small plates and tapas.
Over a decade ago, we discovered J. Lohr Vineyard & Wines while living in the Bay Area and couldn’t be more excited to partner with them to share our take on the classic gambas al ajillo. One of my favorite dishes to cook is gambas al ajillo or garlic prawns. In a few minutes you get a taste of this delicious Spanish classic without the long flight to Spain.
Traditionally this would be cooked in a flameproof terracotta dish and served directly in the dish. If you don’t have one, you can use a regular frying pan like I did. The prawns can be peeled before cooking, but I like to keep the shells and heads on so they don’t shrink during the cooking process. Chopped garlic, Cayenne chillies, a splash of Chardonnay, and a touch of paprika add so much flavor to these prawns.
These gambas al ajillo are perfect cold or warm and with a glass of J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay. With flavors of white peach, floral, citrus, baking spices, and honey, this Chardonnay is refresh, smooth, and perfect for pairing with seafood. Besides pairing J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay with these garlic prawns, we also enjoy it with prawn and tomato orzo and seafood paella.
In addition to serving our guests these gambas al ajillo, we also add a few other tapas like pimientos de padron (fried padron peppers), marinated olives, marinated anchovies, or pan con ajo y tomate (bread scrubbed with garlic and tomatoes) depending on what we can find at the market. While the menu might change, our wine of choice will always be J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay, because it’s perfect for just about any recipe or occasion.
This post was sponsored by J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines. All opinions are mine. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Beyond Sweet and Savory.
Gambas al ajillo
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 dried dried Cayenne chillies (or other dried chillies)
- 1 pound raw prawns (with heads and shells on)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- A pinch of sea salt
- 2 tbsps chardonnay (J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay)
- 1/4 cup small handful of fresh parsley, chopped, for serving
- Lemon wedges for serving
- In a wide frying pan over med heat, add the garlic, chillies, and gently fry for 1 minute until the garlic is softened but not browned.
- Turn up the heat to high, add the prawns in a single layer, paprika, and salt and fry for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook for another minute until the prawns turn pink.
- Serve the prawns immediately with a chopped parsley, extra salt, and lemon wedges. Be careful not to burn yourself as the oil and pan will stay hot for several minutes.