Sunday, May 23, 2010

Big Red Carabinero Shrimp in Madrid

I was so attracted to the carabinero red shrimp when I was in Madrid last month. It’s big, it’s red and it’s beautiful! It looks just as bright and deep red whether cooked or raw. I saw this beautiful creature at the ‘Mercado de San Miguel’, just around the corner from the famous Plaza Major. This wonderful market, housed in an old colonial style wrought iron building, has many great stalls and shops inside. Ranging from oysters, charcuterie (yes, including the best Jamon Iberico de Jabugo ham) , seafood market & bar, cheese, bread, fruits, wine bars, this place reminds me of the Oxbow market in Napa.

I had the same shrimp again the next day, in a paella. This is a quite a famous paella restaurant in Madrid called La Barraca. I highly recommend it! I started off with a starter of pimentos with bacalao and olive oil, which was absolutely delicious. I followed that with Paella Mariniere, their house paella, which is paella with a mix of seafood (see photo above). I ended the evening with a beautiful flan with ice cream.

So, how does this carabinero shrimp taste like? Well, the truth is that it probably looks better than it tastes. Don’t get me wrong but after cooking, the shrimp meat shrinks to only half the size of its shell. I’m guessing that all the wonderful flavors of the shrimp go into the dish, like the paella for instance.

Still, the Carabinero is the most beautiful shrimp I’ve ever seen.

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