Today, I cooked up a storm–an altogether unnecessary move as my fridge is bulging from the leftovers of our Easter family gathering and an erroneous pickup from the butcher shop, which resulted in three and a half kilos of a type of sausage that we didn’t want. Apparently, my father wasn’t the only Tom ordering sausages for the long weekend. Taking advantage of having a full day to myself with nothing pressing to do, I turned to the kitchen and whipped up a few things that I’ll post in the next couple of weeks.
I start with prawns. A couple of years ago I posted this recipe for Lemon Garlic Prawns and wrote about cooking for one–which I’m still doing most of the time. Making a simple dish with prawns or shrimp or scallops is a whole lot better than the classic pasta default when you live alone. I make sure I get tiger prawns and use any leftovers in risotto or seafood linguine. The flavour combinations with shellfish are endless–especially if you like spicy food–but I always seem to come back to garlic butter and olive oil as my staple ingredients.
I fry these up on a cast iron skillet on maximum heat for a couple minutes after they turn pink. They’re great as an appetizer served with lemon garlic mayonnaise or melted butter.
Pepper and Herb Garlic Prawns
1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) raw tiger prawns, de-veined with heads removed
125 ml (1/2 cup) butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
4 large cloves garlic cloves, crushed
15g (1/2 cup) chopped Italian parsley
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
1/2 tablespoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1) Place the fennel seeds, peppercorns, and sea salt flakes in the bowl of a mortar and pestle and grind until smooth. Add the garlic, butter, olive oil, shallot, and parsley; mix until well combined.
2) Preheat heavy skillet on high heat. Add the butter mixture and the prawns. Cook until pink on bottom side, then flip over. Spoon melted butter mixture over top of prawns and cook for a couple minutes more, until cooked through. Transfer to a serving plate. Drizzle prawns with the rest of the pan juices and a squeeze of lemon. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and garlic mayonnaise, or other favourite dipping sauce.