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Like in the U.S., summer cookouts are popular in Spain too. However, rather than a “do your own,” residents and visitors head to the chiringuitos. These can be beach bars that serve food or open air picnic style areas with large pits preparing and serving BBQ style fish, shellfish, grilled meats and an occasional paella.
Along and near many beach fronts these al fresco restaurants are open seasonally, usually from March through October.
Years ago, chiringuitos were makeshift and contained wooden planks thrown upon the sand for a floor, a few poles with an awning to protect their guests from the sun, a few tables and chairs and viola dining was at its finest. They offer beachgoers a great meal for lunch and many chiringuitos will transform into a partying beach bar after the sun sets.
Today, the mood is more trendy and permanent thatch roofs and laid down terracotta flooring and attractive furnishings has been added. At night they are perfect to enjoy live music, eat a few tapas, and savor a good summer cocktail.
The Spanish adore the combo of bacon and shrimp (prawns). Bacon is cured and air-dried in the same fashion as their famous Serrano ham. The shrimp wrapped in bacon can be found at most tapas bars, and of course served at the chiringuitos.
This recipe, “Tocino asado a la parrilla con gambas” (barbecued shrimp wrapped in bacon) is served several different ways and works well as the final hurrah to the summertime celebrations. It will serve 8 as an appetizer or 4 as an entrée.
24 large/jumbo shrimp (shelled, clean and deveined)
12 slices of bacon cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
4 crushed garlic cloves
½ cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mustard (dry or Dijon)
Dash of cayenne pepper
A pinch of saffron
Salt and pepper to taste
Wedges from 4 lemons
1 cup of dry sherry for marinating
1 whole clove of garlic
Other posts by Veronica:
Swordfish Alicante Style
Torta de Nueces y Zanahorias (Carrot and Nut Cake)
Canelones Rellenos con Gambas
Pinchos de Gambas (Shrimp Skewers)
Sopa de Crema de Ajo (Cream of Garlic Soup)
Tortilla Española (Spanish Omelet)
Albóndigas de Arroz y Espinaca (Rice and Spinach Meatballs)
Crema Catalana (Catalonian Custard)
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