Sunday, 11 February 2007

What to do with garlic & prawns

Before this starts to look like a post with a theme, it is worth noting that it's inadvertent. When I buy something I like, I tend to buy in bulk and then wonder what to do with the excess. See, raw prawns are hard to find here, and where I usually get them, they are sold in either an 800g bag or a frozen block of 1.8kg, in both cases already headless. I don't think I need to state the obvious...

So you see, I can't extricate, say, 20 prawns from the frozen block and use the rest later, since they're all tightly packed in overlapping layers, making it necessary to thaw the whole block. As for the garlic part, I didn't notice it during the preparations, and it was only after I'd started sinking my teeth into my prawns that I realised ALL of them were basted in some way with garlic.

Typically, I prepare the 1.8kg of prawns in 3 different ways, one of which is almost always Black Pepper Prawns, with the shells on. Cutlery is not a recommended part of this experience, and is even frowned upon.

How to: Crush as much garlic as you want (I think I easily crushed 10 cloves) and crack as many black peppercorns as you can handle. Melt some butter over high heat, fry half of the garlic until it turns white, then add the pepper and fry for a few seconds. Add oyster sauce, light and dark soya sauces in equal parts. When the sauce starts bubbling, throw in the prawns and fry until they are cooked through. Add the other half of the garlic, stir and serve with rice.

Variations
: Add red chilli if you like it fiery, or add all the garlic at the same time if you don't like it too pungent. Lobster or crabs instead of prawns.

Body Count: A lot

This is my first time making Lemongrass Prawns, but the baste is not new to me - I just habitually use it with chicken.

How to: Pound or blend 2 stalks of lemongrass with 3 shallots (or 1 onion), 1 chilli and 4 cloves of garlic to obtain a fine paste. Add 1/4 tsp salt and
1 Tbsp each of soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce and honey. Put prawns and baste in a freezer bag and let it season for a few hours or overnight. Thread the prawns on a skewer and grill.

Variations: Chicken, beef or pork instead of prawns.

Body Count: A lot

Finally, one of my favourite recipes for getting rid of this bottle of nasty tequila I bought way back in 2003, with which I have trouble making real Margaritas. Well, I can make those margaritas, I just can't overcome what smells suspiciously like industrial alcohol, you know, the kind you get in antifreeze? I've yet to find a decent brand of tequila here, so in the meantime, I'll continue to make Margarita prawns:

How to: Mix equal parts of lime or lemon juice, orange juice and tequila with 4 crushed cloves of garlic, 2 green chillis or jalapenos (finely minced), 1/2 a cup of chopped coriander, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp cumin. Pour into a freezer bag with the prawns and season for a few hours. I left them overnight, and the lemon juice half-cooked the prawns, thus shortening their oven sentence.

Variations: Use Triple Sec instead of orange juice.

Body Count: A lot!

(Hey Trupti & Sandeepa, should have done this earlier, for Independence Day! :) Look at those colours!)

18 comments:

Lydia said...

Those black pepper prawns look amazing! I'd definitely add the red chilli -- and I could probably eat the whole amount by myself!

Shilpa said...

Tell me about it Lydia! I'd make black pepper prawns out of the whole 4 pounds (1.8kg) if I didn't feel obliged to share them with my hubby! :)

Claude-Olivier said...

Salut, je dois cuisiner des crevettes samedi pour une connaissance mais cela sera de facon européenne malheureusement...j'aurais bien aimé tester tes merveilleuses recettes ;-)

Amitiés
Claude

Asha said...

Looks beautiful and very colorful!Enjoy the dish and should I say Happy V'day?!;D

Shilpa said...

Coucou Claude,

Les crevettes margarita ne sont pas tout à fait européennes, mais ça peut plaire.. ;-) tu vas sûrement blogger là-dessus, je suppose?

Hi Asha, thanks for coming by! This is your first time here, right? :) Sure, happy V-day to you, too! :) Just don't fall for the commercialised nonsense! :)

KitchenFairy said...

Prawns !!!Its my favourite seafood.I will try this ...

jacob said...

wow, will you look at that. i love the prawns and i know what you mean about the tequilla.

Shilpa said...

Hi KitchenFairy and Jacob, thanks! Wish I could share the smells of these prawns on the blog! Sigh..

Strange, I was quite sure I message from Budding Cook, but it's gone...

tigerfish said...

Wow, that's a lot of prawns!
The lemongrass prawns LOOK so much like chicken satay.:p

Shilpa said...

Hey Tiger! Still not on holiday yet? Oh, the lemongrass seasoning was supposed to be a Vietnamese recipe.. :)

mandira said...

The black pepper prawns look delicious shilpa!My first time here, you have a great collection of recipe... I'm going to try the tea-egg :)

Yuzu said...

I've tried black pepper prawns like that from a restaurant. You're right — you can't eat them with utensils. You gotta dig in with your hands! I love black pepper. I sprinkle it on rice with every meal.

BuddingCook said...

shilpa - oh feb 3rd. very close to yours actually. i love your use of body count by the way. :D hehe cute.

Shilpa said...

Hi Mandira, thanks for coming by! I hope you find more stuff you like! i only post recipes if they're easy! :)

Hey Yuzu, now that's extreme, adding pepper to your rice as well, haha! But then again, I have the weird habit of buying pepper sauce (the kind for dousing steaks) to eat with potatoes :)

Dear Budding Cook, heh heh, thanks! Was just trying to be "different", so I'm glad you liked my body count thing! :)

Sandeepa said...

Hey Shilpa
The prawns are so good. I love prawns and I loved the lemon grass prawns, I can imagine the heavenly taste. Hope to make it some time soon

Shilpa said...

Hello Sandeepa, is lemongrass easy to get where you are? Do blog about it if you try any of these recipes! :)

Melting Wok said...

Shilpa, how many people are you feeding this ? hehe, shrimp kebobs are yummy, lemongrass is great !:)

Shilpa said...

Dear Melting Wok, all these prawns are just for my hubby and me :) if my kid wasn't so fussy, he'd get a share, too, but he wouldn't even look at them.. :) Anyway, preparing these prawns in 3 different ways allows me to "rotate", so that if i get sick of one, i can change, all without having to cook again! :)