My brother Pete did some very experimental cooking on Christmas Day. Always one to enjoy the ‘theatre’ of cooking, he decided to try his hand at a hāngy. Now I’m sure most of us would at least cook something we were familiar with – if it were me, I’d go for a chook or some fish maybe. Pete on the other hand saw a nice looking whole duck at the supermarket so went with that. Calling me from the shops, he said “what do you think about Teriyaki duck Lo Lo?” Of course I’d never heard of anyone cooking Teriyaki duck, let alone in a hāngy! but my reply was – “yeah that sounds great. Go for it”.
What am I getting at? Well basically – just give anything a go. Cooking should be about experimenting and trying new things. If you don’t try your hand at roasting a duck, in a hand built hāngy for a tribe of people on Christmas Day, now when will you ever do it? The old saying goes to cook something you know when you’ve got guests over. And if you’re the type of person that’d be stressed out to the max trying something new, than by all means go for the roast chook.
But if you’re a bit like Pete or myself – go on and do something a bit out there. Something like these cheat’s marinated prawns. They’re foolproof, delicious, impressive and oh so quick. Simply whack some Ajvar in with the peeled prawns, chop up some pineapple, tear up some mint and delegate the cooking of the barbie to someone willing (thanks Shorty).
Simple, a little bit different and definitely worth a try at this time of year; it’s entertaining food at it’s best. Not as brave as cooking a duck underground, but it’s a start.
The fresh seafood counter at Nowra Fresh.
A terrific selection of all things spice and condiments at Nowra Farmers Market.
Oh and all reports were that the duck was a raging success by the way.
Good on ya Pete.
ajvar prawns with pineapple + mint
1 x kilo of green prawns (think King, Banana or Tiger prawns)
A good couple of dessertspoons of Ajvar*
1 x small pineapple, sliced finely in to small pieces
1 x small teaspoon of caster sugar
A handful of fresh mint, leaves torn
A dash of olive oil
The juice of half a lemon, plus extra lemon wedges, to serve
- Peel the prawns; leaving the tail intact, removing the poop shoot and slicing down the spine of the prawn with a sharp knife (so that the prawn curls up when cooked).
- Place the prepared prawns in a plastic bag and spoon in the marinade. Gently mix it around, placing it in the fridge until ready to cook.
- On a barbecue hot plate or grill pan, add a dash of olive oil and grill the pineapple on both sides until nicely charred. Lay out on to a large serving platter and sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar over the top. Tear the mint leaves over the top. Set aside.
- Working quickly, add another dash of olive oil and throw the prawns on to the barbie and grill on both sides until nicely charred and cooked through. These will only take a couple of minutes.
- Arrange the prawns over the pineapple, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top and add the lemon wedges to the platter.
Enjoy straightaway with a glass of something cold!
- *Ajvar is a Balkan condiment; made primarily from roasted red capsicum and oil and can be purchased from good supermarkets. You can buy it as a mild or hot variety. I go for the hot as I like that extra spice hit.
- I use banana prawns but you can use whatever green prawns you can get your hands on. Frozen are also fine here.
If you make this dish, please leave your comments below. xx