Fried Large Prawns
Prawns and shrimps are very popular, just think shrimp cocktail, paella, salad with shrimps, pasta with seafood, stuffed eggs with shrimps, curry with shrimps and fried shrimps with garlic and lemon. Most of these prawns and shrimps are cultivated, frozen and then shipped. For this recipe you need really large, fresh, wild or organic prawns because the dish is all about the prawn, its flavour and aromas. The result fully depends on the quality of the prawn.
We use the shell, the legs and the so-called swimmerets of the prawns to create a sauce; a bisque like sauce.
We enjoyed our Prawns with a glass of Picpoul de Pinet produced by Gérard Bertrand. A dry white wine, with a pale straw yellow color. It has aromas of citrus and gooseberries. The wine is full and round with minerality which is typical for a Picpoul de Pinet.
You could also combine the prawns with a glass of Chablis, Verdejo or Soave.
What You Need
- Two large Prawns, fresh, either wild or organic
- For the Bisque
- One small Shallot
- Chili Pepper
- Olive oil
- Armagnac or Cognac
- Tomato Paste
- One Saffron Thread
- Bouquet Garni (Thyme, Parsley)
- For the Tomato
- One excellent dark Tomato
- Olive Oil
- Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- Crusted Bread
What You Do
We start by making a bisque-like sauce, using the shell of the prawns.
Chop the shallot and a bit of chili pepper and glaze gently for 10 minutes in olive oil. In parallel use scissors to cut the shell of the prawn. Start behind the head and cut towards the tail. Just before the tail turn 90 degrees and make a cut around the prawn. This allows you to remove the shell and the legs of the body but keep the head and the tail on the prawn. Remove the black vein (the prawn’s intestines) and the slurry in the head (if any). Since you serve the prawn with the head (and tail) it is essential that the prawn is clean. You could gently rinse the prawn if you want to be absolutely sure about this. Transfer the prawns to the refrigerator.
Break the shell into smaller chunks. Add these to the pan and fry for a few minutes until red. Add a small splash of Cognac or Armagnac and flambé. Never do this when using the exhaust or range hood. Add one garlic glove, water, a teaspoon of tomato paste, the bouquet garni and the saffron. Stir well, cover the pan and let rest on low heat for 30 minutes.
Remove the bouquet and the shells from the pan. Use a spoon and a sieve to squeeze the juices from the bouquet and the shells, then discard. Blender the mixture and pass through a sieve. Taste the mixture, add pepper if so required. Leave for another 30 minutes on very low heat, allowing for the flavors to integrate and for the liquid to reduce.
Make a dressing by combining olive oil and vinegar. Wash and slice the tomato. Coat the slices with the dressing. Dry the prawns and fry them in a skillet in oil (depending on the size maximum 4 minutes in total) on both sides and on the back. Use warm plates, and serve the prawn on top of the sauce. Touch of black pepper on the prawn is fine. Enjoy with crusted bread.
A few years ago we made a video showing you in detail how to prepare this dish.