She’s a dynamic presence in the Fort Myers dining scene whose restaurant most people simply call “Gloria’s.” Like a butterfly, she flits from table to kitchen and back again. It’s the home of her breed of Spanish tapas and dishes from throughout the Mediterranean, with accents from places like her native Cuba.
This recipe for shrimp medallions is in the style of the Andalusian city of Jerez, known for its liquid cooking gold: sherry. She says the dish pairs well with a good Albariño—but it can be instantly transformed into a brunch offering by adding a fried quail egg to each shrimp or fanning sliced hardboiled eggs with a sprinkle of smoked paprika and sea salt on top.
1 pound large shrimp (U/15), peeled, deveined and tails removed
All-purpose flour, for dredging
1 teaspoon each salt, smoked paprika and white pepper, plus more for seasoning
3 large eggs, beaten with a pinch of both nutmeg and cayenne
½ cup vegetable broth
¼ cup dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
2 tablespoons semi-dry sherry, such as Oloroso
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 plum tomatoes, previously roasted and quartered lengthwise
2 tablespoons finely chopped Spanish onion
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1. Slice shrimp along the back to butterfly. Pound each shrimp softly until it is even and almost flat.
2. In a shallow dish, mix flour with dried spices. Lightly dredge shrimp in flour, then coat completely in egg mixture.
3. Whisk together broth, wine and sherry; set aside.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high; swirl in oil and butter. Cook shrimp in two batches until golden. Remove and display on a large platter. Top each shrimp with a slice of roasted tomato.
5. Put the skillet back over medium heat. Add onion and extra olive oil (if needed) and cook until translucent. Pour the broth mixture into the onions and continue cooking and swirling until reduced by half, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with extra salt, paprika and pepper. Remove sauce from heat and pour over shrimp; sprinkle dish with chopped parsley.