Need a last-minute recipe for the holidays? Try Garlic Shrimp from our new cookbook Shrimp Country! While most of the recipes in this book come from the southern shorelines of the United States, the state of Alaska makes a special appearance with this recipe by Chef Colette Nelson of Ludvig’s Bistro on Baranof Island. UPF advertising and direct mail manager Rachel Doll cooked this dish last week.

Here’s why Rachel chose this recipe:

I was excited to try this recipe because of the flavors—garlic, paprika, crushed red pepper, and sherry. I thought those ingredients sounded delicious together, and I was curious to see what the sherry would add to the mix. And I’d been looking for a shrimp dish that involved sautéing rather than boiling, because I wanted the shrimp to soak up as much flavor as possible.  Also, I love dishes I can cook using only one pan!

Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)

Recipe from Shrimp Country: Recipes and Tales from the Southern Coasts
By Anna Marlis Burgard

Recipe by Chef Colette Nelson, Ludvig’s Bistro | Sitka, Alaska (Baranof Island)

Anna Burgard says: Ludvig’s Bistro is Sitka’s fine dining center. Chef Nelson serves the onslaught of guests brought to the harbor by cruise ships and resident islanders with equal aplomb, marrying local seafood, sea salt, and vegetables from the brief Alaskan summer to Mediterranean culinary traditions. For this recipe she uses Alaska’s spot prawns, available for only the blink of an eye, but Gulf or Atlantic shrimp will work just fine.

Serves 4


½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
¼ cup dry sherry
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
Grilled bread



  1. Warm the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the garlic is browned, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the shrimp, sherry, and lemon juice and sauté until the shrimp are just pink, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and black pepper, and toss with the parsley.
  4. Arrange the shrimp on a serving plate; drizzle the sauce from the pan over the shrimp. Serve with grilled bread.

Rachel’s verdict:

Absolutely wonderful. The flavors were strong and simple, complimenting the shrimp well, and the sherry was the perfect extra element. Make sure not to overlook the grilled bread! I toasted some slices of fresh-baked bread in the skillet after I’d finished cooking the shrimp, and the bread was essential for mopping up the extra sauce. This recipe turned out so well, I ended up cooking it for two dinners in a row.


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