Piquillo Peppers Stuffed with Shrimp and Saffron Alioli

Type of Dish: Tappa
Servings: 24 stuffed peppers
Cuisine: Spanish


10 sprigs thyme
4 or 5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon dried red chile flakes
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
4 quarts water
3/4 cup salt
1 pound small white shrimp, peeled

Saffron Alioli
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped saffron threads
1 1/2 cups Alioli
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Grated zest of 2 lemons

24 piquillon peppers
1 bunch chives, finely chopped, for garnish

To cook the shrimp, wrap the thyme, garlic, chile flakes,
peppercorns, and bay leaf in cheesecloth and tie with string. In a
large pot, bring the water, salt, and the bundle of aromatics to a
rolling boil. Add half of the shrimp and cook until they are just
opaque, about 30 seconds. Drain the shrimp and spread them on a
sheet pan to cool. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.

The Saffron Alioli
Heat the vinegar and saffron in a small non reactive saucepan over
medium heat until hot. Remove from heat and let stand until cool.
Fold the cooled saffron mixture into the Alioli, then fold in the
chives, tarragon, cayenne, and lemon zest.

To Serve
Roughly chop the shrimp, place in medium bowl, and fold in cup of
the Saffron Alioli. Stuff each pepper with about 2 tablespoons of
the shrimp mixture. Serve with the remaining Saffron Alioli on
each plate and garnish with chives.