Tag Archives: prawn

Prawn Risotto with Pernod

An excessive experience with Pernod on my 20th birthday put me off the stuff for life but on a recent trip to Santorini, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch overlooking the Aegean sea and John’s choice of prawn risotto with Pernod was absolutely gorgeous, to the point that I resolved to try and replicate the dish when we returned home. This is the result and it is really lovely: the Pernod just adds a wonderful depth of flavour that works perfectly with the prawns – simply delicious. 23 years later, I have also re-established a tentative relationship with this the anise-flavoured liqueur…. one that will remain firmly as a recipe ingredient and nothing more!

Serves 4

What you need…

Knob of butter

Splash of olive oil

2 banana shallots, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

4 tomatoes, chopped

400ml white wine

4 tablespoons Pernod

400g Arborio rice

500ml hot chicken stock

100g frozen peas

Sea salt and black pepper

480g raw prawns, shelled

2 tablespoons crème fraiche

Parsley, chopped, to garnish

What to do…

Melt the butter and warm the oil in a large saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the shallots, garlic and fennel seeds and cook for about 5 minutes until soft.

Tip in the tomatoes and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, until they start to break down a little.

Pour in the rice and stir so that it’s evenly covered.

Add half the wine and all of the Pernod. Stir continuously until most of the liquid is absorbed and then add the rest of the wine, continuing to stir.

Reduce the heat to low and add the hot chicken stock one ladle at a time, stirring it in and ensuring each ladleful is absorbed before adding the next one – this is the bit that takes the time – chatting and gentle wine-slurping encouraged during this process.

When you have just a couple of ladles of stock left, tip in the peas and then finish adding the stock as before, until it has all been absorbed.

Season with sea salt and black pepper. Taste and add more seasoning if required.

Add the prawns and stir them in gently until they are just turning from grey to pink. Stir in the crème fraiche and then turn off the heat and pop on the saucepan lid and just walk away for 2 minutes – this final touch just finishes the risotto rice off beautifully.

Serve on warmed plates or bowls, garnished with parsley. Enjoy and just imagine the sun sparkling on the Aegean sea – lovely!

Tip…

I use frozen and chopped garlic as well as shallots from the Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients range: saves a lot of faffing about.

Inspired by…

A little restaurant in Santorini and the best ingredients from a selection of googled recipes.

How easy…

Very easy but you need to have time on your hands: risotto is not a dish to be rushed – it’s a slow and gentle process, best accompanied by a glass of white wine and someone to chat to.

Smoked Salmon, Prawn and Cucumber Mousse

I was told about this recipe over supper one night (thanks Julie) and immediately looked it up. It is, without a shred of doubt, ridiculously 1970s in appearance but I tell you what, as a centrepiece at a party or as a shared starter with some warmed, fresh bread on the side, it’s absolutely sensational. It also has the added benefits of being ridiculously easy and very quick. Another accolades is that it quite clearly proves that not everything about the 1970s was cringe-worthy!!!! Give this one a go – they’ll laugh, it’ll be a talking point and then they’ll absolutely love it!

Serves 6 – 8

What you need…

1 x 22cm diametre, 4.5cm-deep savarin mould/baking dish, very lightly oiled with rapeseed oil

1 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced

400g unsliced smoked salmon, roughly chopped

Juice of 1 lemon, plus extra according to personal taste

200g full-fat cream cheese

450g double cream

Sea salt and black pepper

400g cooked jumbo king prawns, shelled

50g watercress or rocket

6 cooked tiger prawns or large crevettes to garnish (optional)

What to do…

Layer half of the cucumber into the mould, overlapping the slices as you go, until they cover the bottom of the mould. Set aside.

Into your food processor, tip the smoked salmon and the juice of 1 lemon. Whizz until smooth. Add the cream cheese and whizz again to thoroughly incorporate. Whilst the processor is running, slowly add the cream until the mixture is thickened and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Whizz. Taste. Add more seasoning and lemon juice to taste. Whizz again.

Carefully spoon half the mixture over the cucumber slices. Then arrange half the prawns, slightly overlapping as you go in a circle all the way around the middle of the mould. Cover with the remaining mousse and then arrange the left over cucumber over the top, in the same way as you did the first layer.

Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until you are ready to serve.

To serve, run a small palette knife around the edge of the mould just to loosen it a little and then invert the mould onto a serving plate. You may need to gently tap the sides and top (I use a steak mallet!)

Once it’s delightfully plopped onto the plate, pile the watercress into the centre and top with the remaining prawns. Decorate with tiger prawns/crevettes if you are using and serve with wedges of lemon, warm fresh bread and chilled white wine. Simply lovely!

Salmon, Prawn & cuc mousse close up w

Inspired by…

James Martin

How easy…

Really easy and quite the centrepiece of the table

 

 

 

 

Prawn and Pomegranate Salad with Mint and Coriander

This is quite simply a really yummy salad: the delicate fishiness of prawns intermingled with citrusy, fresh coriander, the cool cucumber, the aromatic, sweet mint and then the tart piquancy of pomegranate seeds. All of those flavours rolling around together are just fabulous and the pomegranate seeds make the salad look like it’s bejeweled! Simply lovely served with barbecued fish! Try it – you’ll love it!

Serves 4 as a side dish or starter

What you need…

Seeds from ½ pomegranate (buy ready-prepared if you can – lot’s easier)

7cm length cucumber, peeled, sliced and then quartered

2 large handfuls coriander, chopped

Small handful mint leaves, torn

A selection of your favourite salad leaves (I like rocket, red chicory, baby gem, baby spinach, iceberg)

200g cooked prawns

for the dressing

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon runny honey

A squeeze of lemon juice

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Into a screw-topped jar, tip all the dressing ingredients, screw the lid on tightly and set aside.

In a large, roomy salad bowl, chuck in all your ingredients.

Just before you are ready to eat, shake your dressing like mad and then pour over the salad before tossing all the elements together so that everything is evenly mixed and coated with dressing.

Tips…

Sometimes, I buy raw prawns and cook them in a splash of oil and salt about 30 minutes before we eat this salad, adding them at the last minute. The slight warmth of the prawns seems to emphasise the other flavours – really lovely.

A variation on the pomegranate is strawberries, hulled and quartered. Less tart, they give the salad a gentler tone.

For extra crunch, include some sugar snap peas that have been sat in boiling water for 2 minutes before being refreshed in cold water and then drained.

Include basil and parsley to make up the leaves if you happen to have any in the fridge. There are no rules, just a mix of flavours you enjoy together.

Inspired by…

I’m not sure: I think I made it up!

How easy…

See, it’s just salad, which I’ve always viewed as something that should be dead simple but really tasty.

 

Lovely Chicken and Prawn Laksa

 

This is a lovely spicy noodle-based soup….and some! Based on a combination of Chinese and Malay cuisine, it’s rich without being heavy and just bursting with flavour and fragrance. Wonderfully spicy yet fresh, light but rich and substantial without being overfilling – perfect as a really tasty supper or lunch dish. Very yummy indeed – enjoy!

Serves 4

What you need…

for the paste

2 shallots, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic

2 red chillies, deseeded

5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

3 teaspoons fresh coriander leaves and stalks

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1 lemongrass stalk, outer layer removed and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

for the laksa

Splash rapeseed oil

1 litre boiling water

2 chicken stockpots

3 chicken breasts

250g raw prawns

400ml coconut milk

200g beansprouts

300g ‘straight to wok’ medium noodles

2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

1 chilli, deseeded and finely sliced

2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped

2 limes, cut into wedges

What to do…

Make your stock by dissolving the stockpots in a jug of the boiling water – a balloon whisk is perfect for this.

Tip all of your paste ingredients into a food processor and whizz until you have a smooth paste.

Splash your oil into a large frying pan and over a moderate heat, add the paste and cook for 5 minutes until you can see that the oil is separating slightly from the paste and is sizzling.

Pour in the stock and increase the heat until it starts simmering. Add the chicken and cook over a moderate heat for 15 minutes. Add the prawns and noodles and cook for a further 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Add the beansprouts.

Remove the chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks and return to the frying pan. Add in the chilli, mint and coriander. Stir until everything is incorporated evenly.

Serve your lovely chicken and prawn laksa in bowls topped with the egg quarters and a wedge of lime on the side. Fragrant, flavoursome and fabulous! Enjoy!

Chicken & Prawn LAksa Close up w

Tip…

Rather than all that chopping and peeling, I use Cooks’ Ingredients’ frozen chopped shallots and garlic from Waitrose. A lot easier – chillies, ginger and coriander are also available in the range but I think the fresh variety really boost the flavours of the dish.

Inspired by…

MasterChef winner (2010) Dhruv Baker

How easy…

Really easy to cook: the only time involved is the preparation, but once that’s done, it takes just minutes.

Crab and Prawn Coconut Soup

I love this crab and prawn coconut soup: it’s delightfully light, tasty and fragranced but also enough about it to pass as a substantial starter or light main course. The seafood flavours are beautifully emphasised by the influences of the lemon grass, fish sauce and coriander – it’s absolutely lovely and you can knock it up in a flash – definitely going on my ‘supper party starters’ list, so if you’re coming around, expect it – you’ll enjoy!

Serves 2

What you need…

Splash rapeseed oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

2cm fresh ginger, peeled and then grated

1 lemon grass stem, trimmed and sliced

Pinch hot chilli powder

200g cooked crab meat

500ml boiling water from the kettle

1 fish stockpot (I use Knorr)

200g coconut milk

1 tablespoon fish sauce

225g raw, peeled prawns

2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced

Juice of ½ lemon

Good handful chopped fresh coriander

What to do…

In a jug, pop in your stockpot and then pour in 500ml boiling water from the kettle. Whisk with either a fork or small balloon whisk to dissolve and then set your stock aside.

In a large saucepan over a moderate heat, splash in the oil and add the garlic, ginger, lemon grass and chilli powder. Cook until golden. Tip in the crab meat, stock, coconut milk and fish sauce. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the crab meat and the prawns and cook until the prawns are just pink. Then add the spring onions, lemon juice and coriander. Enjoy this lovely, light fragrant soup – quite delicious!

Inspired by…

Rachel Allen

How easy….

Very easy, quick and quite delightful!