Shrimp with Ajo Blanco

 Me and sea food never got along. But somehow,  I like shrimps and as weird as it sounds, oysters.  Although, this dish has nothing to do with oysters, it’s made with jumbo shrimps, almonds and lots of garlic. Yes, the Ajo Blanco that is. Ajo Blanco is a spanish cold soup that is made with blanched almonds, garlic, olive oil and sherry vinegar.  I  had this dish at my favorite Spanish restaurant Contigo in Noe valley, San Francisco. This restaurant never disappoints and I highly recommend it. I have gone back several times and the beauty of this place is that they have a seasonal menu, so they always have something new for you to try. The downside of that is, they don’t always have this shrimp dish and that’s when I decided to make it myself.

Ingredients for Ajo Blanco

3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup *blanched almonds
5 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs sherry vinegar
3 cups water
3 slices of stale spanish bread or baguette
salt to taste

* to blanch the almonds, leave them in water for 1 day, peel them and dry in a towel.

Ingredients for Shrimp

De-shelled and De-veined jumbo shrimps
1 clove garlic
1 lemon
Bell peppers for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

Soak in the stale bread in water for half an hour. Meanwhile, mix the garlic and blanched almonds in a food processor until smooth.  Remove the bread from water and squeeze out the water. Mix with the almond mix. Slowly add the olive oil then vinegar. Mix well and add the water at the end. The texture should be like a smooth thick soup.

Prepare the Shrimp

Marinate the shrimps in some lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. I like to grill the shrimps but you can also pan fry them.

Pour the Ajo Blanco in a shallow bowl,  place four shrimps in it. Chop the bell pepper into square pieces for garnish and sprinkle on top of the shrimps.