Spicy Sauteed Shrimp (Gambas al Pil Pil)

Dave DeWitt Leave a Comment

This is a classic Spanish tapa with variations in every region and no tapas bar would be complete without garlic shrimp. Shrimp are abundant off the coast of Spain and soaking them in salt water before cooking gives them a fresh, briny flavor, that is reminiscent of being just caught. Serve this tapa with lots of crusty bread to soak up the sauce.


  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, virgin Spanish preferred

  • 4 whole garlic cloves plus 1 teaspoon chopped garlic

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, fresh preferred

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • ½ teaspoon ground paprika

  • ½ teaspoon crushed chile piquin

  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry


In a medium bowl, stir the salt into 1 cup of water until it has dissolved. Add the shrimp and soak them for 5 minutes. Drain the shrimp and pat them dry.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over moderately high heat with the whole garlic until hot but not smoking. Add the shrimp and cook for a few seconds to seal in the flavor. Remove the shrimp.

Pour out all of the oil and discard the garlic. Return the shrimp to the pan and reheat over medium-high heat. Pour the lime juice over the shrimp and add the butter, minced garlic, paprika, chile piquin, and sherry. Simmer until the shrimp has turned pink, just a couple of minutes. Do not overcook.

Mongolian Asian Noodle Salad

Dave DeWitt Recipes Leave a Comment

This salad makes an excellent first course or a spicy accompaniment to any Chinese meal, meatless or not. This is a very basic recipe can add whatever ingredients you desire such as blanched Chinese pea pods.


For the Dressing:

  • ½ cup vegetable stock or more to dilute

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil

  • 2 tablespoons Asian garlic chile-based sauce

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon grated or minced ginger

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

For the Salad:

  • 2 cups cooked vermicelli or Chinese noodles

  • ½ cup chopped green onions, including some of the greens

  • ½ cup shredded carrots

  • ½ cup mung bean sprouts

  • 1/4 cup sliced cucumber

  • Garnish: Chopped roasted peanuts

  • Chopped fresh cilantro


Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and mix well. Add additional broth to thin to desired consistency. Allow the dressing to sit at room temperature for an hour to blend the flavors.

Place the noodles in a large bowl or platter and top with the vegetables. Pour the sauce over the salad and gently toss to coat the noodles.

Garnish the salad with the nuts and cilantro and serve.

Spicy Beet Borscht

Spicy Beet Borscht

Mark Masker General, Recipes Leave a Comment

Borscht is another Ukrainian soup whose popularity long ago spread to the eastern Baltic countries, especially Russia where it’s now considered a national dish. Although borscht is usually not a hot-peppery soup, I’ve eaten some surprisingly spicy versions of it on my travels in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Coconut Chutney

Dave DeWitt Leave a Comment

Here is the classic chutney that is served with Fiji’s curries. It can also be a side dish for various rice recipes. It will last in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.


  • 2 cups freshly grated coconut

  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  • 3 tablespoons. lemon juice1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

  • 1 green chile, such as serrano or jalapeño, seeds and stem removed, minced

  • salt to taste


In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Allow to sit, covered, in the refrigerator for at least one hour to blend the flavors.

Another Hottest Chile Question

system Chile Varieties Leave a Comment

Dear Dave:I remember reading somewhere (Smithsonian magazine, maybe) that the Habanero was not the hottest pepper. Instead the honor goes to some variety with tiny pods that grows in the deserts along the Mexican border. If that’s true, I have two questions:1). What’s the name of that chile?2). Has it ever been domesticated?Love your books. In advance, thanks.PaulHello Paul:The habanero …