Company Worthy

Seared Shrimp with Pimentón and Sherry is an excellent variation on the classic Garlic Shrimp tapa. It is elegant enough to serve for special holidays, or as an appetizer for guests before dinner. Which is what we did recently with company on a Saturday night before heading out to a local trattoria.

Fino sherry is an important ingredient and I urge you to make the minor investment if you don’t already have some. It’s pretty much a staple in our house since Russ likes to imbibe in a glass every now and then—and it is often used in Spanish cooking. Other reviewers admitted using Masala wine as a substitute with poor results.

The dish was half gone by the time I remembered to take a photo!

Having whipped up this dish in the past, we made a note to ourselves to double the recipe (if serving eight or more) and serve with baguette pieces to sop up the garlicky sauce. There wasn’t a one left as we headed out the door…


  • 1-1/2 lb. large (31 to 40 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined, patted dry with paper towels
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • Heaping 1/4 tsp. sweet pimentón (or paprika)
  • Heaping 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbs. fino sherry
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
  • Fresh lemon juice to taste



  1. Sprinkle the shrimp with 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, toss, and let sit for 10 minutes (or refrigerate for up to 1 hour).
  2. In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat the olive oil on high heat. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and add them to the skillet. Sprinkle with 3/4 tsp. kosher salt and sear until they’re pink and a little golden on one side, about 1 minute.
  3. Sprinkle the garlic, pimentón, and red pepper flakes over the shrimp, and sauté, stirring, until the shrimp are almost completely pink, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the sherry and cook, stirring to deglaze the bottom of the pan, until the shrimp are pink all over (the sherry will evaporate quickly but you should still have some juices in the pan)
  5. Remove from the heat. Toss with the lemon zest and chives. Pour the shrimp and juices into a serving dish, squeeze on lemon juice to taste, and serve.

By Sarah Jay from Fine Cooking

Guests Mike & Paula, and Kim & Jeff at the restaurant after enjoying the shrimp appetizer at our house.

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