In Spain, dinner is usually served quite late, around 9.00 pm if not later. Locals, whether women, men, children or elder people, all come out to talk to friends and enjoy some tapas. Adults indulge around a glass of wine or a beer, hopping from bar to bar, eating tapas along the way.
There are many different tapas, including smoked meats, fish, seafood and vegetables, all quite strongly flavoured with garlic, chillies, Pimentón and obviously olive oil. Tapas are normally served with small pieces of bread or short thick grissini to mop up the sauce.
Gambas Pil Pil is by far my favourite and I cook quite frequently because they are so simple and barely take more then 15 minutes to make. You can serve as appetizer and I would use around 6 to 8 prawns per person or first course with a salad and some Basmati rice. This dish is extremely simple but very tasty - basically it’s sautéed prawns in good olive oil, garlic and chilli which you adapt to your liking. Traditionally it is made and served in cazuelas de barro - earthenware ramekins, but obviously any frying pan will do.
—Maria Teresa Jorge
24 to 32
medium raw prawns, preferably fresh
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
red chilli peppers (small variety)
Pimenton – Spanish Paprika – choose either spicy or hot