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May 2008 Issue
Prawns with Strawberry Sauce
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!

Spring is finally here and the garden is off to a good start with lots of leafy greens, broccoli and carrots starting early this year. The pea pods and green beans will be planted when it gets a little warmer and I'm hoping I can squeeze in two crops of sweet corn this year.

I like to be creative in the kitchen from time to time. I find that it is best to build from proven recipes and give them that extra flair that turns a rather simple meal into a gourmet treat. I recently devised this recipe while contemplating how much everyone liked the honey walnut prawns I prepare. I wondered what I could do to improve this dish or make it different and still taste good?

When I last made honey walnut prawns, I doubled the amount of lemon zest and juice. Everyone liked the results and I did too. It had more of a sweet and sour thing going on. So, I thought why use lemon? I could use orange or pineapple instead. Something tart was needed to contrast with the sweetness of the other ingredients. Strawberries are coming into season right now, so why not make the sauce with fresh berries? Since the berries don't have any zest, it seemed appropriate to add a little lemon zest and juice to the sauce to perk up the tartness of the strawberries.

Shrimp and prawns are one of the most versatile proteins available. They can be served as appetizers, side dish or main course. When selecting shrimp or prawns in the market, I prefer to select wild produce from salt water. Buy local if you can. Fresh is best. I prefer saltwater prawns and shrimp to the freshwater varieties.

The quality of farm raised shrimp and prawns is very good when purchased frozen in a large block, typically 4 to 5 pounds. To use a small quantity, run cold water over one end of the block in the sink and thaw the amount needed (20 minutes). Then return the remainder of the frozen block to the freezer. Individually quick frozen (IQF) shrimp are good. Also available are quick peel shrimp. These are typically sold IQF with the shells split along the back for easy peeling. These are very convenient because you can thaw enough for dinner under running water in about 5 minutes, quickly peel them and start cooking.

Now, on to the recipe! Be well, and good eating!

 

Prawns with Strawberry Sauce

Doesn't just the name of this recipe sound tantalizing? You can serve this dish on plates or on a serving platter. I suggest serving on individual plates or someone is likely to eat them all before anyone else gets any.

Suggestions: when using a platter, serve the shrimp on a bed of shredded lettuce. When serving on individual plates, use large lettuce leaves topped with baby spring greens and place the shrimp on top. Garnish with cucumber sticks and halved fresh strawberries.

  • 2 pounds fresh or thawed large prawns, peeled
  • Whole leaves or shredded lettuce for serving on plate or platter
  • 1 pkg. Emerald Original glazed walnuts
  • 2 baskets fresh strawberries, trimmed and halved
  • 1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch
To prepare the strawberry sauce, mix the sweetened condensed milk, mayonnaise, honey, lemon zest and juice. In addition, puree half of the strawberries and add to the sauce. Mix well.

Mix the egg with cornstarch in a bowl and add the prawns. Mix until prawns are evenly coated. Next, deep fry the prawns for about 3 minutes in batches of 6 or 7. Allow to drain on a paper towel.

When all the prawns are cooked, plate the prawns on top of the lettuce. Arrange the remaining strawberries around the plate and top with the strawberry sauce. If you like, you may garnish the dish with sprigs of cilantro or cucumber sticks.

Enjoy!

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
 



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