In my hurry to get food ready for this weekend’s Easter picnic, I foolishly failed to take a picture of these beautiful shrimp, swimming in a golden pool of garlicky olive oil. So instead, I bring you this silly picture of my friend Joe about to enjoy one.
Seriously, though, these shrimp are luxurious. Their juices emulsify with the olive oil during cooking to form a luscious sauce that you’ll want to mop up with a chunk of crusty bread. And they’re dead easy – less than five minutes of cooking, and the only necessary prep work is mincing or pressing the garlic.
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 pound shell-on butterflied shrimp – medium to large, depending on your taste and pocketbook – in a single layer. Salt lightly. Cook until the bottom side turns pink, then flip. Cook until the second side turns pink and the meat you can see through the slit in back is still a little translucent – about a minute away from fully cooked. Quickly add 2 to 4 minced garlic cloves, to taste, and about a teaspoon of lemon juice or sherry vinegar. Cook, stirring gently, for 30 seconds, then remove to a serving bowl with the juices.
I love to serve these as part of a tapas spread with bread and little bowls of cheeses, olives, nuts, and so on. This really wows people, and most of your work is just putting things in dishes. Hard to beat that!