The practice in Spain for the last meal the day consists of eating small dishes. In place of a larger dinner, the evening fare is known as “tapas”.
Folklore tends to take precedence in how things came about throughout the Iberian nation. The most famous one tends to bring out the romantic in one.
Alfonso the Wise (aka Spain’s King Alfonso X) had visited a tavern during his travels. He requested a beer to quench his thirst and was served. With the beer, the innkeeper served an assortment of small appetizers on a plate covered with a glass lid.
The King was impressed and being the ‘wise’ man, he was said to be, realised that by eating small amounts while drinking would not impair the senses. He decreed by law that food always be served with any alcoholic drink. Ironically, the word ‘tapa’ in Spanish means’ lid’, and ‘tapas’ is simply its plural form, so perhaps there is a truth to this tale.
Pinchos or Pintxos are simply tapas on skewers. It should come as no surprise to seafood-lovers that the tapas, “Pinchos de Gambas,“ is so sumptuous that it can serve as a main meal by just adding a side dish.
This dish also works as an excellent starter during that summer barbeque meal. Mushroom caps, chunks of onions, garlic cloves, green peppers and even further seafood, such as sea scallops or lobster can be added on the skewers for your personal liking. This recipe will please all who sit at your table. Serves 4
· 12 jumbo raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
· 1 cup of white wine
· 1 fluid ounce or 1/8 cup of virgin olive oil
· 1 sliced yellow pepper (cut into 1 ½ inch squares)
· 12 cherry tomatoes
· 1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh garlic
· ¼ teaspoon thyme
· ¼ teaspoon parsley
· ¼ teaspoon oregano
· ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
· ½ teaspoon paprika
· Lemon wedges
· 4 skewers – approximately 8 inches in length
1. In a bowl, combine the wine, oil, thyme, parsley, oregano, vegetables and shrimp and toss well.
2. Cover the bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.
3. When ready to make, heat the grill and drain the marinade from ingredients and setting aside the liquid.
4. Thread each skewer with 3 shrimp with the vegetables alternating between each piece of seafood. Dip each in the remaining liquid. Sprinkle the black pepper and paprika on each one.
5. Grill the skewers about 3 inches from the heat for about 6 minutes. Baste the skewers with the remaining liquid while cooking. Once the shrimp loses its translucent appearance it can be served with the lemon wedges.