It’s been a while. Today, right now, in this moment, is the first opportunity I’ve had to sit down and write a little.
To recap: we packed up our Edinburgh life, and my kitchen; hired a large van and drove to London; briefly squatted with my parents; found a flat with a Smeg oven; unpacked our lives, and started living in Dalston.
The flat was unfurnished, so we tackled the kitchen first. Slowly my casserole pans and mixing bowls were unwrapped and housed in their new cupboard. Then the cookbooks found a prominent home beside the stove; and the fridge began to fill with fresh ingredient and essential condiments. I was able to cook again.
And then, last weekend, I discovered Broadway Market. I say discovered—people have been enjoying it for years—but I finally got the chance to browse the stalls, drink coffee, inspect hipster attire and, best of all, indulge in some delicious purchases. Artisan smoked salmon, miniature sponge cakes, venison sausages, and fresh fish from Fin and Flounder.
I hadn’t seen such luscious prawns since travelling through Thailand; a dozen were a must.
Prawns as beautiful as these don’t need much dressing. The boy stepped in to behead, de-vein and butterfly the shellfish, while I set about mixing a mango juice and sweet chilli dressing. Once butterflied, the prawns needed only minutes under the hot grill. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, barbecuing the prawns straight on an open flame is definitely preferable. I cooked them with only a smidgeon of butter.
I wanted something I could assemble in minutes with prawns as the star attraction, so chucked together some leaves, tomatoes, avocado and thinly sliced pepper. The dressing was simply walnut oil, lime juice juice, mango juice—unsweetened—and Linghams sweet chilli sauce with a touch of seasoning.
As soon as the prawns turned that vibrant pink, I removed them from the oven and drizzled them with mango chilli sauce. And, then we tucked in, eagerly removing the shells and devouring the flesh. Not pretty, but damn delicious.
8 large prawns, heads removed and deveined
8 cherry tomatoes
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
a small bunch of fresh coriander, leaves picked
A bag of rocket, mizuna and other leaves
125ml unsweetened mango juice
juice of 1 lime
80ml sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp walnut oil
salt and pepper
Pre-heat the grill to a high temperature.
For the salad, thinly slice the avocado and red pepper. Add to the leaves, halved tomatoes ad coriander leaves. If you have a ripe mango, this would be good too. Divide the salad over two plates.
For the dressing, mix all the ingredients together to form a thick sweet and spicy liquid. Drizzle over the salad.
Add a touch of butter onto each prawn and place them under the grill for about 3 minutes, or until the skins become pink. Remove from the heat, place on the plates and drizzle generously with the chilli mango dressing.
Serve and enjoy.