Gambas al Vino Blanco
Biologically speaking, prawns and shrimp are not identical with prawns being the larger of the two. Linguistically, the British tend to refer to ‘prawns’ whilst North Americans refer to ‘shrimp’. For the purpose of cooking they can be used interchangeably as their taste is identical.
There are a variety of names for prawns/shrimp in Spanish fish markets which are usually determined by size. Langostinos tend to be the largest, gambas are mid-sized and camarones are tiny. This simple recipe gets its Spanish flavour from the use of jamón serrano and white wine or sherry. It can be served as a main course for four with boiled rice or with crusty bread.
If you decide to buy a carton of fish stock for this recipe rather than making your own, be careful with the amount of salt you add as pre-made fish stocks are often very salty
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 25g butter
- 700g large prawns – peeled but with the tail on
- 70g serrano ham chopped into small cubes (chopped bacon can be used if you can’t get serrano ham)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 75ml white wine or dry sherry
- chopped fresh parsley to garnish
For the Sauce:
- 25g butter
- flour or corn flour
- 175ml milk
- 175ml fish stock – see Fish Stock Recipe
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- black pepper
First make a white sauce using the butter, milk, fish stock and mustard. I do this by putting the milk in a pan and adding the butter, fish stock, Dijon mustard, a pinch of salt and black pepper. I heat this gently and then add the cornflour to thicken the sauce and bring this to the boil. You should make this sauce a little thicker than you want the end result to be as you will be adding a little more liquid to it later. I then reduce the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes. Check the seasoning and salt if necessary.
If you prefer you can make the white sauce in the more traditional way of making a roux and then adding the milk, fish stock and mustard.
Now put the butter and olive oil into a frying pan and heat until very hot. Keep the heat high and add the prawns, serrano ham (or bacon) and the chopped parsley and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the white wine, bring to the boil and cook for another 2 minutes. Add all of this to the sauce, stir well and heat through.