The one thing on the menu that I like to order is their version of deviled eggs. Made with Basque peppers (guindilla peppers) and piment d’Espelette (a red Basque chile powder), they are a livelier and tastier version of the tradition picnic-style deviled eggs. The guindilla peppers are pickled and spicy and add a nice kick to this pintxo. I’m also a big fan of pimenton de la vera so I douse the eggs liberally with it! The piment d’espelette, pimenton, and guindilla peppers can all be ordered from LaTienda.com or found in your local specialty food store.
Makes 8 skewers
For the Shrimp:
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
4 garlic cloves, peeled
Kosher salt, as needed
8 large shrimp (about 1/2 pound), deveined and peeled, with tails left on
For the Eggs:
4 hard-boiled eggs
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon aioli or mayonnaise, to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried red chile powder + more to finish (piment d’Espelette recommended)
1/4 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika (pimentón from Spain preferred)
Kosher salt, to taste
8 whole guindilla peppers, drained
Fleur de sel or other coarse salt, for garnish
To prepare the shrimp:
Put 2 quarts water into a large saucepan. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice into the water, and add the spent halves. Add the red pepper flakes, garlic and about 2 tablespoons salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 30 seconds or until they just begin to turn pink. Drain and set aside.
To prepare the eggs:
Cut a thin sliver off of the opposite long sides of each egg to make a flat surface so the stuffed eggs won’t wobble. (This is VERY important, because if you don’t do it – they will fall. Trust me.) Halve the eggs lengthwise; gently scoop the yolks into a small bowl and set the whites aside. Press the yolks through a coarse mesh sieve or mash them with a fork. Stir in the aioli or mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon red chile powder, paprika and kosher salt to taste. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain or star tip, and pipe equal portions of the yolk mixture into the whites.
You will need 8 small bamboo skewers. Thread 1 shrimp (straight down through the curve near its tail) and 1 guindilla pepper onto each skewer then stick skewer vertically (with shrimp at the top) into each deviled egg. Sprinkle with a little more paprika and fleur de sel.
This recipe is adapted from “Pintxos,” by Gerald Hirigoyen (2009, Ten Speed Press).