July in Durban is a smorgasbord of exciting activities. We kicked off the month with the glamorous Vodacom Durban July, the Ballito beach is bejewelled with beautiful girls batting their eye-lids at the hunky surfers both local and international battling it out for the title on the huge waves that accompany spring tides, the Air show has seen our skies peppered with all sorts of amazing airships and all this has been accompanied by the Ballito Jazz and Prawn festival.
TrickyRicky and I have been desperately trying to get down to the Ballito prawn festival – to no avail. Last year we ate ourselves close to a coma on a few occasions at Bean Bag Bahia with friends and family. So I was left with no choice but to cook and serve some at home. Prawns are one of my favourites and I cooked them in my wok to cut down on the amount of oil I would need to cook with. Since being on diet – I have used my wok often for this very reason.
Writing about prawns reminds me of Maxi’s pre-school days. Both Max and Daniele attended Wonderland Pre-School from the age of two until they started school. Max would come home every day and announce his lunch menu to me. I don’t know why he did this, but he found the Nursery school food – very nice and often requested such ‘treats’ as tinned spaghetti and baked beans– much to Dads utter horror and dismay! A habit that has earned Max the nickname – Mr Smith!
One day Max came home and announced that he had eaten prawns for lunch. “Prawns, Max?” “YES Mum” he giggled out enthusiastically! “Just like the ones you make Mum!” Max had eaten fish fingers with his lunch at school!!! God love him!!!! I had never cooked fish fingers but we had eaten crumbed prawns on occasion at home.
Working in the Engineering Field has meant that TrickyRicky has often spent months away from home on contract. No sooner than Dad’s car had left the driveway and little hands had waved their goodbyes – Max & Daniele would turn to me and in unison they would beg “Crumbed Prawns??? PLEEEEASE Mum!” …. It’s code in the casa Tripepi for Fish Fingers!
Chilli Ginger Prawns with Riso Saporito
You really should serve the prawns straight away so it’s best to cook the rice first.
You could even cook the rice the day before – this kind of rice dish gets better overnight,
so if you want to invite some friends and family over and don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen for too long –
make the rice the night before and these prawns can also be made in a Skottel very successfully ….
So you could actually get hubby or your significant ‘other’ to cook them if you want to!
These quantities will feed 4 – 6 people.
A large knob of butter – about 100g
Olive Oil a couple of glugs
Half a cup of stoned black olives – yehhaaaa!
2 onions chopped
1 cup of broccoli florets
1 yellow pepper chopped
3 carrots peeled and finely chopped
1 packet of mushrooms sliced
1 bunch of parsley finely chopped
1 cup of dry white wine or 1 cup of either chicken or vegetable stock
2 chicken stock cubes
2Tbs of Tomato Paste
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese and another knob of butter to
stir into the finished rice dish
Rice – normal long grain rice. I made two cups of rice, but you could make more – it depends on the number of people you need to feed.
In a heavy bottomed pot melt 100g of butter with a few Table Spoons of olive oil
Add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion has softened and is just starting to get a little colour.
Add the rice and stir gently to cover each grain with butter.
Add the dry white wine and reduce until all of the alcohol has cooked off.
Now add your veggies – mushrooms, yellow peppers, carrots, broccoli, olives, black pepper, and 2Tbs of tomato paste, chicken stock cubes and a few sprigs of thyme.
Now cover with boiling water – the water must come one inch above the rice.
Bring to the boil and reduce the heat – cook with the lid on.
When the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed stir in the second knob of butter,
the finely chopped parsley and the parmesan cheese.
As you can see I went all ‘Cheffie’ on the crowd and served portions of rice moulded
in a ramekin with the prawns on the side.
A few lemons halved – and you are good to go!
Chilli Ginger Prawns
2 – 3 dozen prawns
3 chopped red chillies
2Tbs finely chopped ginger
2Tbs finely chopped garlic
5 chopped spring onions – green tops included
4Tbs chopped garlic chives or plain chives
Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce
Sweet Chilli Sauce
It is really important to have all of your ingredients ready and chopped up for this
dish because once you start cooking it – you have to be quick
to avoid over cooking or burning anything.
To clean the prawns – using a small pair of scissors cut the tails open from just under the prawn head right down to the end where it fans out. Remove the vein that runs down the tail and this is best done under running water.
Cover and set them aside.
Heat your wok up untill it’s smoking – add about 4Tbs of peanut oil and let it heat to smoking point as well
Quickly add the garlic, ginger and chilli – give that a stir for one minute and
Add the onion – cook until just beginning to turn brown all the time keeping the wok at full heat.
Add 4Tbs of Soy – 4Tbs of Sweet Chilli Sauce and stir fry for another minute
In with your prawns and a sprinkle a good 2tsp of the smoked paprika over them – using two spatulas keep the prawns moving constantly.
They will only take about 5 minutes to cook – finally add the spring onions, give them a good stir
– check for seasoning, you can adjust the taste to your liking and remove them to your serving bowl or platter. Garnish liberally with chopped chives.
Where do Italians Come From???
Why, Eataly of Course!
The South African Public have voted … and Alvin Quah is going to be
a guest Chef at the Good Food & Wine Show
starting in Durban next week. This premier event is going to be
held at the Durban Exhibition Centre from 28 – 31 July 2011.
The line up of
visiting chefs is awesome
Ainsley Harriott, Rachel Allen, Willie Harcourt-Cooze, Alving Quah, CBeebies’ Sid
I will post some of the events on my blog on Friday …. this is an event that you should NOT MISS!!!!
KZN Bloggers – how about we meet up!!??