Well HELLO 2020. Nice to see you. I managed 4 posts last year so its not going to be hard to beat that this year. Our little girl just turned two late last year and its hard to believe. Especially because this recipe was shot while we were on our baby moon two and a half years ago! While deciding that I needed to aim a little higher than four posts for 2020 I went back through the archives to see if there was anything I had shot but hadn’t posted. There are a few things I shot but didn’t post. Not because I didn’t think they were great recipes (quite the opposite), but because I didn’t quite get around to finding the time to post them.
This particular recipe I didn’t post for a different reason. It was just too darn simple. But then, they are usually the best recipes aren’t they? These butterflied prawns have big punchy flavours thanks to a garlic herb chilli lemon butter and are unbelievably quick to cook with a few minutes under the oven grill (or under the broiler as they say in the US). You can easily serve them up to your family with some crusty bread and a salad, or even have them as a starter at your next summer dinner party. They are also delicious thrown on the barbie, which is perfect for Sydney’s current weather (it got to 40°C here today!).
By butterflying the prawn tails you make things even quicker and easier for yourself. Don’t worry about removing the shells, leave the hard work to the individual eater. Besides, I like seeing seafood in its most pure form when I dine, it reminds me what it sacrificed for me to eat it so I don’t ever take it for granted.
The simplicity of this dish means that it is best served with the best ingredients you can find/afford. Crusty sourdough, artisan butter and fresh garden herbs are going to give you the best results. Also, use fresh prawns that haven’t ever been frozen. Preferably locally caught prawns too, but I am conscious of how lucky we are in Australia to have access to great fresh seafood.
Butterflied Garlic and Herb Grilled Prawns
- 16 large fresh uncooked king prawns
- 125g artisanal butter, softened slightly
- 2 Large handfuls of fresh herbs, finely chopped (continental parsley, tarragon, oregano, chives)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Pinch dried chilli flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
In a bowl combine butter, herbs, garlic, lemon zest and chilli flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then mix until well combined.
Lay a prawn down sideways on a board and hold it flat with your hand. Using a serrated knife start cutting along the back of tail shell without cutting all the way through through to the front. You can also cut into the head of the prawn and butterfly that also, or remove the head completely. Open out the prawn tail so it lays open and then look inside the back of the shell and make sure you remove the intestine. Repeat with remaining prawns.
Using a butter knife, take some herb butter and spread it onto the flesh of the prawn. Repeat with remaining butter and prawns.
Preheat your oven grill to high heat and once the element is red hot, place the prawns shell side down on a foil lined grill pan and grill for 3 minutes until shells are bright pink and the flesh is just opaque.
Serve with lemon wedges, crusty bread and a salad