Chef Dario Cavaliere writes a weekly food column for the Waterford News & Star
PRAWN scampi are a delicious treat, and usually come out crispy and light when the oil is at the right temperature. It should be at 190oC or 375oF, and I prefer to shallow fry. You could use a deep fat fryer, but be careful when dropping the prawns in the oil. Shallow frying always gives a crunchier result and more controllable process. Always cook in small batches so that the oil does not dip too much in temperature and season straight away when cooked. You will know when they are ready as they will be a golden brown, usually 2 to 3 minutes.
Vegetable oil for frying
400g prawns, shelled and de-veined
260g plain flour
1 tsp. paprika
Salt and ground white pepper
Place 200g of the flour in a large bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper and the teaspoon of paprika and make a well in the centre. Crack in the egg and gradually start whisking in the milk until you have a smooth batter.
Heat the oil. Make sure that the prawns are dry, and coat in the remaining flour, shaking off any excess flour from each prawn.
Dip each one in the batter, then gently place in the hot oil for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Cook in small batches of 3 or 4, and allow the temperature of the oil to come back up before adding the next batch.
Place the cooked prawns on a plate lined with kitchen paper and sprinkle with some sea salt immediately after removing from the oil.
Serve the prawn scampi with wedges of lemon and some homemade garlic aioli or tartare sauce.