• Yield: Serves 4

This dish is ubiquitous in Spain. I ordered it at almost every dive and tapas bar I came across and found it to be universally fantastic. The quantities of oil and booze may seem extravagant, but as this dish vigorously boils into a tasty union, the rich and deliciously flavored sauce becomes as desirable as the shrimp themselves.


  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 8 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced

  • 4 dried arbol or Calabrian chiles or 2 teaspoons crushed red chile flakes

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 1/4 pounds medium Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 3/4 cup white wine

  • 1 slug brandy (optional)

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • Salt

  • Crusty bread, for serving

Two If By Sea by Barton Seaver


Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Add the garlic, chiles, and bay leaves, and cook until the garlic begins to color. Carefully add the shrimp and toss to coat with oil, then spread evenly in the pan and cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the shrimp, then add the wine and brandy, if using, and bring to a boil. Add the lemon juice and parsley and season generously with salt. Remove from the heat and stir everything together. Serve immediately with plenty of crusty bread.

Reprinted with permission from Two If By Sea © 2016 by Barton Seaver, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Michael Piazza

Barton Seaver
Barton Seaver is a chef in Washington, D.C., a National Geographic Fellow and the author of For Cod and Country.