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Posts Tagged ‘prawns’

tiger-prawn

 

Shopping at the Chelsea Market I stopped to check out the selection at The Lobster Place, my favorite fish market. I saw these huge shrimp called tiger prawns and just had to buy them for Steve, my lovely husband, who could dine on shrimp every night. I googled them when I got home and found that they are native to Southeast Asia, but are farmed all over the world. Apparently during one of our recent hurricanes, some of these big guys escaped from the farm and ended up procreating in the Gulf of Mexico where they are thriving – much to the dismay of local shrimpers who fear that they will over-take the native species because they are so big and aggressive.  Now the quandary, do we buy them wild or only buy those that are farmed. Being environmentally correct sure does take work. Got any ideas?

Since I had bought them, I had to cook them and this is what I did.

2 pounds tiger prawns

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

½ cup olive oil

1 hot red or green chile, stemmed and cut, crosswise, into thin slices

1 shallot, peeled and minced

1 small bunch broccolini, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

 

Preheat the oven to 450ºF.

Combine the prawns with the lemon juice and zest, olive oil, chile, and shallot in a roasting pan.   Cover with plastic film and allow to marinate for 15 minutes.

Uncover, toss in the broccolini, and season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to the preheated oven and roast, turning occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until the prawns are bright pink and the broccolini is barely cooked.

Remove from the oven and stir in the butter and parsley.  Serve immediately with some warm crusty bread to sop up the juices.

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Shrimp_8867_1

When I went to pick up some mussels and clams for a dish to be made in a Portuguese cataplana – which I’ll tell you about in another post – I saw these amazing little bug-eyed creatures that I remembered from a couple of winter’s ago, Maine shrimp.  They are the most wonderful corally-red color and so deliciously sweet and delicate that I had to buy a few.  Since they were pretty pricy I got just enough to use as garnish on the shellfish stew we were making.  Although once everyone tasted them, I felt a little guilty that I couldn’t offer more.
Maine shrimp are only caught for a brief period during the late winter – I think the season begins at the end of December and ends in February and since they have been over-fished limits are defined.  Not many make their way down the coast to New York and I would guess they are unheard of in other parts of the country.  I’m not a shrimp lover (even though I once wrote a book called The Ubiquitous Shrimp) only because shrimp doesn’t have the same taste I remember from my California childhood (where little guys are shrimp and big guys are prawns), BUT Maine shrimp bring that flavor memory right back to me.
Should you find them, either eat them raw or barely cook them – perhaps with a tiny bit of olive oil and lemon for just a few seconds in a very hot pan.

 

©stephen Kolyer_MaineShrimp

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