Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Coconut Curry Prawns

Our favorite restaurant called with a last minute dinner invitation.  When the chef hasn't got enough reservations for the buffet he has prepared he will call us to come down for a free meal. He knows we'll tip the wait staff based on the full price and we also tip the musicians because we are his best customers. All we do to get than honor is go there once a month for dinner.  I include this story to encourage people to find and support a favorite restaurant, they will give you special treatment without ever having to ask for anything.

Last night it was a roast beef buffet.  I had already bought a small roast to have yesterday so it was going to be dinner tonight but neither of us really felt like a heavy red meat meal again. So I suggested a stir fry? Nothing with soy sauce. A curry? That would be good.  So I headed off to the store to get something for a curry. A big bag of frozen raw prawns was on special and that would certainly be light. Rich, but light, so I bought a bag. I picked up some mushrooms and celery too then off to the checkout!

I was only going to use half a can of coconut milk so I shook the can really hard for a while to mix it up before opening it. I counted 10 prawns each into a bowl of cold water to thaw.  I diced and sliced an onion, carrot, stick of celery, red pepper and six mushrooms. That was the prep, it doesn't get much easier.

I put the rice on to cook and started sweating the vegetables.  I had sliced the carrots thinly hoping they would cook through but they were crunchy raw.  Next time I would either boil them for a couple of minutes or microwave them just to soften them a bit before sweating with the rest of the vegetables.

Once the onions were translucent I took everything out of the pan, added much more oil and put the mushrooms in on higher heat so they would sear a bit. When the mushrooms looked good I took them out and added the prawns.  They only take a minute or two and can be turned over.  When the prawns were just cooked I added back all the vegetables, 1 to 2 tablespoons of curry powder, salt, a pinch of cayenne and a tablespoon of flour. I cooked off the flour taste for a couple of minutes then took the pan off the heat to add the chicken stock.  An ounce or two of stock, just enough to get the lumps out of the flour.  Then I added half a can of coconut milk and put the pan back on the heat.  I brought the coconut milk up to a simmer and cooked it for a couple of minutes while I retrieved warm plates and dished out the rice.  I then plated the curry over top of the rice and served dinner.

I should have cooked only 8 prawns each but other than a little too much it was a delightful meal.

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