Chef Dario Cavaliere writes a weekly food column for the Waterford News & Star
PRAWNS are the one fish that people seem to be afraid of cooking. I think it really is due to the fact that they are easily overcooked. One minute to little and they are still raw, and one minute too much and they become almost like rubber.
The best thing to do with prawns is keep it simple. The less fuss you add to the cooking procedure with prawns, then the better the result.
They don’t take long to cook so if in doubt put a timer on, and remove from the heat after a maxim of four minutes of cooking the prawns, obviously depending on the size of the prawns, but four minutes should cook an average size prawn well.
Try these simple and delicious recipes for prawns, and see for yourself how easy it actually is to cook prawns!
Prawns in White Wine Broth
20 medium-sized tiger prawns or langoustines
200ml dry white wine
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 red chilli
2 small carrots
1 tbsp. butter
Salt and pepper
Slit the prawns down the back and remove the black vein using a knife, then rinse under cold running water. Set aside.
Peel the carrot and slice into thin strips. Peel and finely dice the onion. Heat a small casserole dish over a medium heat, add the olive oil and when hot sauté the chopped vegetables until softened.
Add the white wine and bring to the boil, cook for three minutes and reduce the temperature. Add the prawns and the chilli, and cook for a further three to four minutes until cooked through. Add the butter and parsley then remove from the heat.
Divide the prawns between some warmed bowls, and serve with fresh crusty white bread as a tasty starter for four people or main course for two.
Spiced Prawns with Cucumber Yoghurt
500ml natural yoghurt
½ apple, peeled and cored
1 bunch coriander, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp. garam masala spice
12 large prawns
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ thumb fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp. chilli powder
½ tsp. garam masala spice
½ tsp. turmeric
Juice ½ lemon
Salt and pepper
12 large wooden or metal skewers
For this dish it is best to use langoustine prawns with their heads and shell on, however you can remove the heads if you prefer. Skewer each prawn individually on a skewer, lengthways, and place in the fridge until needed.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil with the minced garlic, ginger, lemon juice and spices. Cover the prawns with this marinade, ensuring that they are well coated. Cover and place back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile to make the yoghurt, dice the cucumber and apple into small squares and mix into the yoghurt. Add the chopped coriander, lemon juice and spice, and mix again. Refrigerate until needed.
Heat a griddle pan to a very high heat or you can turn the grill part of your oven to maximum. Place the prawns on the pan and cook for three minutes on each side (two minutes if you decide to remove the shell).
Remove and drizzle with any remaining marinade and serve immediately with the raita.