Friday, November 8, 2013

Fast & Fresh Friday

It's Friday, it's been a long week and you want something quick, simple and delicious to serve for dinner, right? Well look no further than this packed with flavour dish of Peri-Peri prawns, served with a quick to put together Chimichurri sauce. I cooked mine on the BBQ - which I think gives the prawns that great, charred BBQ taste - but of course you can do this on a grill pan on the stove if you like. Have the BBQ/pan very hot - you want the prawns to cook fast so they are nice and caramelised on the outside, whilst still remaining succulent and sweet inside.

Only choose the freshest prawns - and avoid the imported ones that are flooding our seafood market. If they have travelled a long way to get to your plate, they are unlikely to be a high quality product. A good fishmonger should have all of  their seafood clearly labelled and be able to tell you where their seafood comes from - and if they don't, find another fishmonger!

If prawns aren't your thing, this dish would work beautifully with squid, or any firm fleshed fish too - even a combo would make a great seafood platter. The Chimichurri sauce can also be easily adapted to your taste - feel free to amp up the chilli component if you like it extra spicy, or adjust the vinegar/oil component to suit you. As with all cooking, the golden rule is to taste as you go, and tweak the flavours until you are satisfied with the result.

The basic Chimichurri sauce I have included here is a good one to have up your sleeve, as it works with pretty much any kind of meat or seafood you can think off - particularly the BBQ kind. For vegetarians, it is delicious on grilled eggplant, zucchini or pumpkin. It keeps in the fridge for a few weeks too, so make a big batch during BBQ season so you can have it on hand and ready to serve.

Peri-Peri Prawns
with Chimichurri

You will need:
For the prawns:  About 1kg fresh king prawns in the shell, 1 tablespoon fresh paprika, 1 teaspoon minced chilli (more if you like it spicy), 1 cloves minced or finely chopped garlic,1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons warm water.

For the  Chimichurri: 200ml olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, 100ml white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon minced chilli (or more if you like it spicy), 1 cup flat leaf parsley, 1 teaspoon oregano, salt to season, a little warm water.

First, make the Chimichurri - put all of  the ingredients in a food processor and process for a few seconds until combined. It the mixture is not liquid enough, add a small amount of warm water. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Remove the shells from the prawns, leaving the tail and the head intact (I do this, as it adds to the flavour and also looks better for presentation - but  if you are really in a rush, just remove the whole shell & head) Remove the digestive tract by making a small incision by the head and using a skewer to pull it out. Set the prawns aside.

In a bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients for the prawns - paprika, chilli, garlic, salt, olive oil and warm water. mix together and then pour over the prawns. Gently combine the prawns with the marinade, mixing well. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least half an hour. (you can do this overnight if you prefer)

Cook the prawns on a hot BBQ or grill pan, taking care not to overcook them. Serve with the Chimichurri and crusty bread.

Serves 2-4 people


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