San Sebastian, my hometown, is full of great pintxos bars. If you have a chance to visit, your life will change. I am not even joking.
Pintxos, as far as I am concerned, are little bites of happiness. As far as Wikipe is concerned though, they are “certain snacks typically eaten in bars… especially popular in the Basque country”.
It was probably ten years ago that I discussed with an old boyfriend how successful pintxos bars would be in London and although he laughed at me, the proof is in the pudding and the number of pintxos bars keeps growing.
This particular recipe is for “Brocheta de gambas” a pintxo that I first tried with my dear friend Pierre Edouard and my best friend Amaya. After trying a couple of versions, my favourite is the one from Goizargi, a bar in the Fermin Calbeton in San Sebastian’s old town.
Cooking time: 30 minutes prep + 2 minutes cooking
Quantity: The marinade will be enough for 8 portions
1. Always buy good quality prawns. There is not much cooking involved and you will taste the difference.
2. The best bread is a ciabatta bread. It is wide and adds a lovely contrast to the prawn texture.
3. The peppers that work better are the Romano Peppers, the long ones that we use in the Mediterranean. The flesh is much thinner and works perfectly with this dish.
4. I like making the marinade in a glass jar. (Something useful to recycle) It is a cost effective alternative to those shakers available in the market to shake and mix the sauce well.
1 ciabatta bread loaf
1/2 red romano pepper
1/2 green romano pepper
1 large shallot
6 spoons of olive oil
2 spoon of apple vinegar
3 prawns per pintxo (per person)For this recipe 24
8 Kebab skewers
You will need to chop extremely finely the veggies add the oil and vinegar and mix in the jar.
You can then pour half of it on a bowl containing the prawns and marinade for 15 minutes. Do not marinade more of the vinegar will cook the prawns.
Whilst they marinade cut the bread in slices and grill them.
Turn the grill pan on and make sure that heats up whilst you place the prawns in the skewers.
Do not cook until the pan is smoking hot.
When it is ready, grill the prawns a minute in each side.
Place the skewer on the bread; add a spoonful of the left over marinade in the jar (the one which has not been in contact with the prawns) and add a few scales of Maldon salt to top it up.
Photograph by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate
Recipe by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate , inspired by various tastings around the old town of San Sebastian
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