Where Nancy Went Wrong With Her Spanish Shrimp Recipe

Jan 22, 2014

My Food for Though pard Nancy Leson did a great little piece in last Sunday's Seattle Times about her take on Spanish shrimp with garlic. It was accompanied by a swell video of Nance cookin' it up in her own kitchen. I loved it. Of course, my way is better.

Did you watch the video? OK, here's what I do differently. I marinate the shrimp with the minced garlic for an hour in the fridge before cooking. Another difference is that instead of using crushed red pepper flakes as Nancy does, I prefer dried cascabels

They're a little sweet and only a little hot. You don't soak them first. Just tear'em up and toss in the oil before the shrimp. They soften up and become nicely chewy by the time the dish is complete.

Also, I always add a little splash of sherry vinegar right at the end. If you, like Nancy, aren't that nuts about sherry vinegar, try a little squeeze of lemon instead.

Nancy claims this dish is all about getting something good on the table without delay, so she doesn't want to wait an hour while the shrimp marinates. OK, fine.Then just sprinkle a little salt on them and stir the whole mess briskly for about 30 seconds before tossing them into the pan. Maybe it's just my imagination but that seems to crisp up the shrimp. Give it a shot and see what you think.

"I walked out of the Chinese restaurant with a fat check, a record deal, and a box of shrimp egg foo yung."

– Solomon Burke