For this Moroccan chicken I used the marinade for grilled Moroccan Chicken (but left the skin on and upped the garlic) and make a rack of sliced onions sprinkled with sumac olives to bake instead of grill (no BBQ). Ingredients 4 chicken legs (skin on),…
I had never cooked fresh spot prawns before and decided to give it a whirl. I got 1 lb of prawns from Skipper Ottos not thinking too much about how I was going to prepare them. It didn’t occur to me, until I got there and saw people in line with plastic buckets, that they would be alive. I blame brain fog from COVID-19. At first I thought about a shrimp boil, but then Santiago, the very helpful spot prawn “disher outer,” mentioned pan frying them in butter and garlic, heads on and all. Now here is where my laziness kicked in. Sounded good (at the time). But, karma has a way of evening the score.
I had also ordered some frozen hake fillets and yellow tail rock fish so I packed the bagged spot prawns in a cooler bag with my frozen fish. By the time I got home the prawns weren’t moving and I thought I’d killed them…nope.
Santiago had warned me that if the prawns died with their heads on then the meat would go mushy quite quickly so I thought I had better cook them up right away. I put a pot on to boil, but then started worrying about how long it would take, so I switched over to my trusty Lodge cast iron frying pan, melted some butter and let the pan heat up. Then I tipped in my spot prawns. At first it all seemed like your usual shrimp fry up…until…the prawns woke up. I guess the cold from the frozen fish must have made them dopey because all of a sudden they started jumping (I kid you not) out of the pan. Of course I let out the most ridiculous scream and then while I scrambled around looking for a pot lid big enough to cover my frying pan, more jumped out. I managed to get them all back in the pan and then had to hold the lid down. It was at that point I started feeling bad. Not bad enough not to eat them all when they were done, but I will admit to a pang of remorse. It’s also kind of gruesome. You have to twist their heads off.
To make up for my barbaric spot prawn eating ways, I decided to get every last bit of goodness out of the crustaceans that had given their lives to feed me. So, after I finished eating all the prawns (I never made it past standing in the kitchen snarfing them down), I put all the heads and shells into a pot of 12 cups of water and turned on the heat. Then I went looking for a good shrimp stock recipe. All of them were pretty similar so I followed Emeril’s Rich Shrimp Stock recipe as much as I follow any recipe, which is to say, loosely. What follows is what I did.
- Heads and shells from 1 lb of spot prawns pan-fried in butter and garlic
- 12 cups water
- 1 Tbsp of kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper balls
- 2 large bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 large onion, ends trimmed, peel on, cut in half
- 4 unpeeled garlic cloves
- 3 carrots rough chopped
- tops and fronds from one fennel bulb
- 1 heaping tsp of Old Bay Seasoning
- Put everything in a large stock pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce to low and simmer for at least 1 hour.
- Strain, cool and store in the fridge (or freeze if you aren’t going to use it within a couple of days).
Base recipe from One Pan Mediterranean Baked Halibut from Suzy at the Mediterranean Dish (thank you Suzy this was delish). I changed up the veg a bit.
1 lb Halibut Fillet sliced in three, 2″ pieces
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced (leave it out if you don’t like garlic)
- 2 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground corriander
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
- Couple handfuls of fresh green beans, washed with ends trimmed
- 2 carrots cut in rounds
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 1 half bulb of fennel, rough chopped
- 1/2 red onion sliced (to use as a rack for the fish)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the veg, except the onion, and toss to coat.
- Line a baking sheet or big cast iron pan with baker’s parchment.
- Make a rack in the centre of your pan, using the onion slices.
- Remove veg except with a slotted spoon and place them around the onions, spread in a single layer.
- Dip the halibut strips into the remaining marinade to coat.
- Put the halibut fillet on top of the onion rack and pour any remaining marinade on top.
- Sprinkle with more sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack.
- Move to the top rack and broil for 2-3 minutes or so until the tomatoes start to pop.
- Remove and let cool for a couple minute before plating.
Serve with rice or whatever starch you want.
I have found my new favourite baked tofu recipe. It’s based on this recipe for Korean Baked Tofu Rice Bowls from Amy Fulwood at thecookreport.co.uk. As usual I didn’t have the key ingredient which was gochujang. However, “the Google” advised that I could cheat by using a combo of miso and Sriracha, so I did. I also found a DIY recipe for homemade gochujang that I plan to try next time. The results in this recipe didn’t have that dark, rich look of Korean BBQ sauce, BUT, it was still pretty fabulous. I am happy.
- 1 package of firm tofu, pressed
- 2 tbsp Shiro miso paste
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 inch ginger root, peeled and minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
- Pressed tofu makes a huge difference. To do this, drain the tofu and slice it up crosswise into 16, 1/4″ pieces. Put the slices between paper towels and weight them down for 15-30 minutes to get the excess water out.
- Whisk the remaining ingredients into a smooth paste and coat the tofu. Let it marinade for at least 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
- Line a baking sheet with baker’s parchment and spread the tofu slices out on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes, flip the slices and bake another 10 minutes.
- Serve warm with rice bowl or with roasted veggies. In this case I made carrots with sumac yogurt sauce and roasted cauliflower with nutritional yeast.
Note, this plate is pretty salty so you may want to keep that in mind when you are salting your roasted veg.
I totally messed up the first piece of Hake I defrosted from my Skipper Otto’s haul. Let’s just say, I thought it was fillets and it turned out to be a solid tale (and I don’t have a filleting knife…or ANY filleting skills). I made…