I concocted this simple cherry tomato and shrimp tapas dish after watching an episode of Rick Stein in France. If you don’t know Rick Stein, he is a BBC food show host, and if you skip below the recipe, you can get all the details on how we came to own a set of his DVDs.
Why seared cherry tomatoes?
Tomatoes are fruit and have lots of natural sugars in them that carmelize very nicely in high heat. For this recipe, I seared cherry tomatoes in a pan, but you can develop the sugars in tomatoes in an oven or over a grill just as easily. The thin skins of cherry tomatoes lend themselves to this dish perfectly because of the quick cooking time. Don’t be afraid to let the tomatoes get a little brown!
How to cook shrimp?
Don’t overcook them. That is rule number one; overcooking will make your shrimp rubbery. Once the shrimp are in the pan, give them a quick jiggle to be sure they nestle down in the tomato broth, then leave them alone until they start to curl up and get a little pink. Now is the time flip them, let them finish turning pink and curling up on the other side. Then get them out of the pan fast! Less is more with shrimp. They don’t need much time just a few minutes total.
Is Cherry Tomato and Shrimp Tapas “real” tapas?
No, I don’t think so, but then again, what’s real when it comes to tapas? Spanish bars invented the tapas tradition when they created cheap/free tasty bites to entice drinkers to drink more. I think this Cherry Tomato and Shrimp Tapas with some crunchy toasts would fulfill all the requirements to be called a tapas. It also uses many of the popular ingredients you will find all over Spain, so a tapas it is. Buy a nice Spanish wine and enjoy!
Seared Cherry Tomato and Shrimp Tapas
- 1 lbs shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley can substitute some pesto
- 3 tbs butter
- Juice of half a Lemon
- ¼ cup white wine
- Salt and Pepper
Put the tomatoes cut side down in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat with a little olive oil. Sear until starting to brown, don’t stir until a nice color has developed on the cut side. Add salt, butter, and the cleaned shrimp.
Pour in white wine and stir gently; if the tomatoes are dry, increase the wine—flip shrimp to cook the other side.
Pull out the shrimp when they are pink and cooked through, set aside. Squirt cooked shrimp with the lemon.
Let tomatoes and wine reduce to desired thickness; if needed, add either more wine or butter. Remove from heat and add diced parsley leaves and the cooked shrimp.
Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
Serve with toasted French bread or crostini.
If you have a couple of extra tablespoons of pesto in your fridge, you can add it to the tomatoes at the end for extra basil flavor. This is an excellent substitution if you don’t have fresh parsley.
Rick Stein DDVs
My husband is a motorcycle guy, the fast racing kind, not the Harley-Davidson kind. He spends a lot of time online chatting with other motorcycle guys all over the world. One of his online friends is Dave Pearce, who lives in the UK, and he has started following this blog via Facebook. He is a nice guy that often comments on my photos, which thrills me to no end. Feedback for a blogger is incredible, a lot of times, it feels like we send our work out onto the web, and no one ever sees it.
At some point, he asked my husband if we had been watching Rick Stein. I think it was last year after our trip to Spain; there is a whole season of Rick in Spain. So I set out to find this BBC food show, well I could not find a good way to watch the show in the USA. When Scott informed Dave, he sprang into action and mailed us three seasons of the show on DVD. When the DVDs came from the UK, we realized we had no DVD player, not even in a computer. So a quick $29 shopping spree on Amazon and we had a new DVD player ready to go.
The DVDs are totally fun! We tend to hit up the Rick Stein shows after a nice meal while we finish a bottle of wine. Rick is a British blend of Tony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern, with an adorable terrier sidekick. The episodes are all about local food and culture, lots of fun. If you get the chance to check out the show, do it.
In one Rick Stein episode, a grandma was cooking with the cherry tomatoes from her garden, and she inspired this dish. If I remember correctly, she was making pasta, but I went shrimp and am very happy with the outcome.
Dave with his bike!
Scott on our trip to Spain.