03 February 2011
How To Make Spicy King Prawns And Then A King Prawn Salad
I have been struggling recently to get motivated. I reckon that the long nights and cold weather have finally got deep into my bones, and as Christmas was literally a wash-out, I really should be going for some winter sun to get some solar heat into the marrow of my bones and throw away this lethargy. Dream on... so in a break from my principles of only cooking for the season, I have created a gorgeous king prawn recipe that really should be enjoyed on a beach somewhere on the Caribbean with an ice cold beer. On a more on message bit of cooking, I also made a chicken casserole laced with loads of haricot and pinto beans to give that winter vitamin kick.
This recipe was inspired by a chat with one of the chefs at the Big Easy restaurant on the Kings Road in London. The Big Easy is based on the idea of barbecue and crab-shacks diners in Southern USA. It is basically deveined prawns cooked in boiling salt water that has been infused with my own Pickling Spice blend, cooled then eaten with coleslaw, a rocket salad and a chilli style dip. Also, the photo that came out of the sea salt and pickling spice as above looks pretty cool, so I like the aesthetics of this blog more than sometimes.
For the prawns:
2 dessertspoon pickling spice
3 stamens saffron
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 litre / 1¾ pints / 4¼ cups water
450g / 1lb raw king prawns
1. Put the pickling spice in some muslin. Put the water into a pan; add the sea salt, pickling spice and saffron to the water and bring to the boil with the lid on the pan.
2. When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and the water to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add the raw king prawns to the water and return to the boil. Cook for 2 minutes, then drain.
4. Cool overnight in a fridge.
Salad With King Prawns
100g / 3½ oz rocket, watercress and spinach leaves (roughly equal proportions)
1 red pepper, sliced and cut into small pieces
10 mangetout, cut into 1cm / ½ inch lengths
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
Pinch truffle salt
Pinch Herbes de Provence
1. Add 1 tbsp sunflower oil to a wok and stir fry the red pepper and mange tout until cooked but still crisp. Drain off oil. Leave to cool.
2. Wash salad leaves. Drain and let dry, then place into a salad bowl.
3. Add the cooked (cooled) red pepper and mangetout to the salad and mix.
4. Add the king prawns cooked as above. Sprinkle all over with a pinch of sumach, then toss into the salad.
5. Make the dressing by mixing together the white wine vinegar, olive oil, truffle salt and Herbes de Provence. Pour over the salad and toss thoroughly.
6. Eat, enjoy and think of summery weather.