I love “Carabineros”, also known as Scarlet Prawns. These giant prawns cost more than Lobsters in restaurants!
In their uncooked state, they are scarlet in colour, (unlike other raw prawns that become orange in colour when cooked), this colour is intensified when cooked. Apart from the incredible flavour, they are prized for their heads.
In Spain, these prawns are served “a la Plancha” (from the iron grill), and a hole is made in the side of the head so that the lovely juices can be eaten with a teaspoon.
I decided to serve ours split though the middle and flash grilled (under a Salamander, cut side up) for 50 seconds with a splash of Shallot Oil.
This way the prawns are not overcooked and still retain their inherent sweetness.
Cooking them very briefly gives them a translucent texture, not raw, yet not cooked.
Second only to the Sea Urchins, Scarlet Prawns are my favourite gift from the sea.
Rice Paper rolls are a delight to eat. Manly associated with Vietnam, these “fresh” spring rolls can be found all over SE Asia. Hard and wafer thin, they need to be soaked in warm water before you can use them. I normally use vegetables, and sometimes a thin omelette in the stuffing, and the rolls are served with a tangy sweet chilli dip, that is always accompanied with crushed peanuts.
We like to serve these rolls for group bookings, they are light and a welcome start to the meal.
Coriander, ready for use as a garnish.
To make them easier for our diners to eat, we serve the rolls on top of the sauce, as opposed to having the sauce in a dipping bowl (with large groups, you don’t have time to explain to everyone “how to eat” the dish).
We used Green Tea Soba noodles in the filling because Soba Noodles are best eaten cold, and it seemed a natural partnership. 😉
Using Jerez Vinegar (Sherry Vinegar) and Fish Sauce to cut the sweet sauce really gave it a boost. Refreshing, Crunchy (raw carrots and cucumber), Chewy (Rice paper and Soba Noodles), Tangy and Sweet (the sauce), what else can you ask for in a dish? (okay, we added copious amounts of chillies and garlic in the Staff dinner versions). 😆
To finish the group dinner, we prepared Pastry Chef Akiyama´s Iced Vacherin (meringue crusted cream with red fruits).
The Red Fruit Sauce is made up of Wild Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackcurrents, Redcurrents and Cherries. A Reduction of Orange Juice added a sweet citrus kick to accompany the iced dessert.