I had some sort of pretentious plan to make an ironic, retro prawn cocktail with little prawns and avocado and Marie Rose sauce. And then I remembered that I hate Marie Rose sauce and I sincerely believe that avocados and mayonnaise should NEVER be seen or tasted together, so what was I thinking?
Nevertheless, Steve Hatt had some fine looking king prawns, and I’m planning a trip to Mexico soon, so this happened. . . .
As a starter for 4 you’ll need:
16-20 king prawns. Pull off the heads and pull out the black thread down the back of each prawn (I use tweezers). Leave the rest of the shell on.
1 large garlic clove, chopped very finely
Juice of 1 lime
1 shot of tequila (about 50 mls)
A splash of olive oil
A pinch of salt and black pepper.
1 cup of chopped coriander leaves
500 ml home-made mayonnaise. Leave mustard out of the recipe when making your mayonnaise and instead add 1 teaspoon chipotle (smoked chili) flakes. I’m useless at making mayo but luckily I have a partner who is very good at it. If you must use ready made mayo, just stir in a the teaspoon of smoked chili flakes.
Serve with a salad made from:
2 baby gem lettuces – each cut in half so each person gets a crunchy half lettuce
a handful of rocket leaves
What to do, roughly speaking:
Place the prawns in a large bowl and marinate them in freshly squeezed lime juice for 1-2 hours.
Heat the oil in a deep frying pan until hot (not smoking)
Add the chopped garlic and after about a minute, lift the prawns out of the juice and drop them into the garlicky oil. Keep the lime juice in the bowl. Turn the heat down a little and fry them for 4 minutes. Keep them moving so that they turn pink on all sides.
Turn the heat right up again and add the lime juice, shot of tequila, salt and pepper and half the chopped coriander leaves.
Place a lid on the pan, turn the heat right down and cook for a further 2 or 3 minutes.
Take off the lid and sprinkle with the remainder of the coriander leaves.
I served them with a small lettuce and rocket salad, and with the chipotle mayonnaise in small bowls on the side to dip the prawns into. Peel the remaining skin off the prawns to eat them. (You’ll need finger bowls or paper napkins to clean your fingers.)
After this our main course was slow cooked lamb-shanks served with new potatoes, roast purple potatoes, roast fennel with pomegranate seeds and green beans.