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.

prawns pan fried pea asparagus salad

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.

pan fried prawns with chilli, garlic and brandy on an asparagus and pea salad

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.

pan fried prawns with chilli, garlic and brandy on an asparagus and pea salad

pan fried prawns with chilli, garlic and brandy on an asparagus and pea salad

I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.

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