With this recipe, I tried to pack as much taste in as I could, pan-frying the prawns my favourite way. I used a little olive oil – although butter is actually better – adding a generous amount of crushed garlic and finely chopped fresh red chilli. I flambéd them briefly in a good splash of brandy at the end which adds some wonderful flavour. For the salad, I quickly blanched the sugar snap peas and green asparagus spears in boiling water, followed by a shock of ice water to cool them down. I tossed them in a tangy vinaigrette and made a zesty dip for the prawns. It was all delicious, and a nice low carb meal.
I’m not a fan of peeling and de-veining prawns, its one of those cooking chores that I really dislike but must be done. Prawns are delicious cooked whole, skin and heads on, but I do find that the tasty bits tend to stick to the skins which you lose when you peel them after cooking. I find the flavour of the chilli, garlic and brandy permeates more deeply into the flesh when peeled pre-cooking. I do however like to leave the tails on for visual appeal. I am after all a food stylist.
Make the dip and vinaigrette in advance and then cook the vegetables allowing time to cool. The prawns once prepped are super quick to cook.
I have not included a recipe for the prawns and salad as you simply cook as much as you need. I used a ratio of 50% sugar snap peas to asparagus and blanched these for 3 minutes. I love to use my favourite vinaigrette, which has Dijon mustard and garlic for zing. I sometimes also add a spritz of lemon juice and a dash of honey to sweeten it.
Cook the desired quantity of prawns making sure you do not overcrowd the pan. Fry in batches if you are doing a lot. I heat a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan and cook them briefly on each side until they just start turning pink but are not 100% cooked through then. Once you have cooked all your batches (if you are doing a lot), return all the prawns back to the pan, add a knob of butter, crushed garlic and chilli and toss around until they are all cooked through and laced with the delicious sauce. Add a good glug of brandy and flambé until the flames die down. Cook for a few more seconds and then serve straight away.
I knocked the dip up with a few things I had in my fridge.
Recipe – Zesty creme fraiche dip:
- 250g (about 1 cup) creme fraiche
- 2T mayonnaise
- 2T creamed horseradish
- 1t Dijon mustard
- 1-2T lemon juice (2 makes it very zingy)
- 1t finely chopped capers
- salt and pepper
Mix all of the above testing as you go along, and adjusting the seasoning to taste.
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