Prawns in the bush? Are you nuts? It is a very appetising snack or a great meal. As much as we love our succulent lamb chops, course-ground boerewors, and Picanto rump steak strip starters, a change of menu now and again is always good. We need to have a balanced intake of nutrients, proteins, and vegetables after all. Chicken and fish are not veggies, but they are kind of close. When we detox we make Portobello Mushroom Risotto, but add some pancetta and lots of Parmesan – just for the love of it. Served as a starter or snack, +-200g per person. Serve with a slice of ciabatta or Portuguese roll, there’s plenty of sauce to soak the bread. Served as a main, +-500g per person. Serve with savoury rice with chopped onion, sliced mushroom, chopped yellow and red peppers. Basic white or any rice of your choice is good. We like a chopped tomato salad with our meal.
- 1kg frozen prawns – butterfly cut, cleaned, and heads off is what we like. Heads off allow more space in the pan for bigger groups. (Woolworths Butterfly Garlic Prawns nicely packed at 500g – if you can find some)
- peri-peri sauce – medium or hot (We like Nando’s Medium)
- Portuguese peri-peri spice (Crownnational.co.za, best for chicken and Portuguese fish)
- 150g garlic & herb butter (Woolworths)
- plain butter
- olive oil
- crushed garlic
- fish spices
- salt & pepper
- fresh lemon
- cup white wine (Rest of the wine, while cooking, is for the chef!)
- I like to use my steel pan on the fire, but you can also use a Cadac skottel. (Watch the heat with the skottel.) You need a slow, steady bed of coals, so you can manage and manipulate the heat in the pan.
- I ensure that the prawns are properly defrosted, pack them out open, side up, and sprinkle with fish spices, Portuguese peri-peri spices, light salt, & ground pepper.
- The pan goes on the fire with a dash of olive oil and a tablespoon full of butter, add a tablespoon of crushed garlic. Be ready to add the prawns the moment the butter melts. This is where I like my pan, I take it off the fire and quickly pack the prawns in a circle pattern with shell side to the bottom, you can overlay them if not enough space. Put back onto the fire and now we watch them, stir, and turn slightly if bottom ones change to pink. I slowly add a bit of wine and pieces of the garlic butter. It builds up a sauce so be careful not to burn the pan. When you think it’s too hot, lift it rather than burn it. Turn the prawns constantly to get them in and under the sauce.
- When the prawns are all turned pinkish, check your salt, and flavour to taste. Squeeze some lemon juice on the prawns and add as much of your peri-peri sauce as you need.
- Make sure the pan and sauce stays warm and don’t burn, and tuck in! The Windhoek Draught must be ice cold and with messy hands, it is easier to drink out the bottle than with a slippery glass. By this time the wine should be long finished.