Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spicy Prawns in Green Sauce

"Prawns" are generally referred to the bigger species, including the giant Black Tiger prawns. The smaller species are often called "shrimp", however it seems in the US the distinction is not so clear. In English the "shrimp" becomes "Crevette" after poaching, in French "Crevette" means "shrimp". Despite the terminology, shrimps and prawns taste lovely just briefly cooked in a little oil with chile and/or garlic with a piece of fresh crusty bread. The simplest recipe for poached Crevettes is in a salad with avocado and tomato in a little mayonnaise sauce.

A starter or a light lunch for 2-3

3-4 prawns per person, deveined and cut deeper in the thicker end of the back and formed as "butterflies"
2 cloves garlic
50ml of olive oil
1 medium shalotte onion
a good handful of fresh flat parsley leaves
salt and pepper, freshly ground
1-2 dried chiles 
juice of half a lemon (yellow) or a generous splash of white wine
Heat the oven to 250C. The oven must be hot as the prawns will be cooked for a short time to avoid them becoming chewy.
In the food processor crush the garlic with the oil then add the chiles, onion and parsley leaves and mince till quite smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the prawn butterflies in an oven proof pan where the prawns stand quite close and the liquid stays close around them. Spoon the green paste on the prawns, splash in the broth or wine.
Roast in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until the prawns have turned pink all over.

Serve hot. Some fresh bread helps to "suck up" the tasty sauce.
I do recommend making the sauce quite spicy with chili and if you wish to cool the palate a bit serve sliced avocado to neutralise the "heat".