Thursday, September 15, 2011

Buttered prawns with tomato, olives and Pernod. Yea, verily

I debated (and debated and debated) about whether to share this recipe — because, frankly, the pic I took isn't all that.

And nothing makes me click away from a food blog faster than an ugly-ass picture.

Thing is, god-damn it tasted good. It had the Guinea Pig and I licking our plates and groaning indecently (and not for the usual reasons).

Apart from Pernod, the ingredients are all kitchen cupboard no-brainers. (I used frozen peeled prawns from Woolies. There is no way in hell this working gal is going to be peeling and deveining after work.) It is a one-pan wonder.

If you have Pernod at home, you just have to make this. I mean, you just have to. For me. Do it for me.


Buttered prawns with tomato, olives and Pernod
(Adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook)
Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a starter

4 large plum tomatoes, chopped (I used 1 can chopped tomatoes)
About 16 fresh shrimp (I used about 2 cups frozen peeled prawns from Woolies, so there)
3 tablespoons softened butter
About 20 Kalamata olives, pits removed
About 4 teaspoons Pernod, or to taste (I used close to 6 teaspoons)
3 garlic cloves, sliced very thin
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
Coarse sea salt
Grilled or toasted whole grain bread or ciabatta

1. Prepare the tomatoes: Bring a small pot of water to boil. Using a sharp knife, make a small cross at the bottom of each tomato. Drop the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and when they have cooled slightly, peel them. Core the tomatoes and cut each one into 4 to 6 wedges. Set aside.
2. Prepare the prawns: Remove the peels, but leave the tail section in place. Using a sharp knife, cut down the back of each prawn and rinse away the dark vein.

3. Place a large frying pan over high heat. When very hot, add one tablespoon of butter and sauté the prawns for 1 to 2 minutes, shaking the pan or flipping them around with a spatula. Add the tomatoes and olives, and continue sautéing for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the prawns are almost cooked through. Drizzle in the Pernod. Let the alcohol evaporate for 1 minute before quickly adding the remaining butter, plus the garlic, parsley and salt to taste. Toss to blend the flavors, then serve immediately with grilled or toasted crusty bread.