Makes 4-8 appetizers
- 2 lbs large shrimp, shelled, leaving the tail and the first joint of the shell intact, and de-veined (about 28)
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 8 cloves garlic, sliced thin lengthwise
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ lb thick-sliced cooked ham, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup sherry wine
- minced fresh fresh parsley leaves, if desired (to garnish)
- crusty bread, as an accompaniment
- Rinse the shrimp and pat them dry.
- Sprinkle the shrimp on both sides with the salt and let them stand between layers of paper towel for 10 minutes.
- In a large heavy skillet cook the garlic in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until it is golden and transfer it with a slotted spoon to a small bowl.
- Add the ham and the red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook the mixture, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the ham deepens in color.
- Add the bell pepper and cook the mixture, stirring, until the bell pepper is softened.
- Add the shrimp and sauté the mixture over moderately high heat, turning the shrimp, for 3 minutes.
- Add the sherry and the garlic and simmer the mixture, stirring and turning the shrimp occasionally, until the shrimp are just cooked through.
- Transfer the shrimp mixture to a heated serving dish, sprinkle it with the parsley, and serve it with the bread.