Drain any liquid from the seafood and season it with salt and pepper. De-stem the cherry tomatoes, wash them, and drain them.
In a small saucepan (or heat-resistant dish), heat the olive oil, minced garlic, and red chili pepper.
The olive oil should be about 1 cm deep, enough to half-submerge the other ingredients. When it is bubbling as shown in the photo, add the whole garlic and salt.
Once the oil has boiled, turn the heat to low and add the seafood. Heat the seafood until cooked through. Please be careful not to over-cook it though.
When the seafood is cooked, add in the cherry tomatoes and cook those through as well. Check the flavour here, if the flavour is too weak then add some more salt.
Pour the mixture, with the olive oil, into a warm dish to serve. Feel free to garnish this dish with parsley or basil for extra flavour.
As a variation of this recipe, you can mix this ajillo with pasta to make a simple pepperoncino dish.
Any left-over olive oil tastes delicious when mopped up at the end with some bread You could also re-use it in stir-fries, pilaf, or pasta dishes.
Story Behind this Recipe
I created a variation of a dish that I ate at a fancy bar once. Ajillo can be made with any ingredient that yields stock so you can make many different types. This dish goes well with not only sliced bread, but with French country-style bread and bacon knots too. Drink-wise, I think it goes best with citrus-flavoured alcohols and wine.
The seafood should be cooked just until the shrimp turns pink. Since this isn't a fried dish, it's simmered, it should be cooked on low-medium heat. Until Step 5, I shake the pan around a little, but it's best to stop this once you've added the cherry tomatoes.