It’s wild BC spot prawn season and, for this month’s recipe, I’ve created a dish that highlights this sustainable local crustacean. While on a culinary trip, I was served the crispy mushrooms in a dish that showcased peas – hence the inspiration to combine the sweet prawns and peas with the earthy, saltiness of the mushrooms. Serve with crusty fresh bread and a salad.
Executive Chef Margaret Chisholm
Spot prawns with crispy mushrooms, peas, new potatoes, lemon and a light herb nage
1 cup leeks (½” dice)
1 cup celery (½” dice)
1 cup carrots (½” dice)
1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
12 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
10 g dried porcini mushrooms
4 cups water
¼ cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp fresh tarragon leaves
2 Tbsp parsley
1 Tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
fine sea salt and black pepper, to taste
¼ cup unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1 pound spot prawn tails, heads removed (approximately 25-30 pieces)
8 new BC nugget potatoes or baby red skinned potatoes, sliced ¼” thick
1 cup peas
Cover porcini mushrooms with hot water and soak for 30 minutes.
Sauté the leeks, celery, carrots, mushrooms and thyme in olive oil for 8 to 10 minutes on medium low heat, adding garlic for the last 2 minutes. Cook until soft and slightly caramel, but not brown.
Add black peppercorns, bay leaves, water, white wine, porcini mushrooms and soaking liquid. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve, pressing the solids to release as much liquid as possible.
Over medium heat, reduce liquid to 1 cup. Add the tarragon, parsley and lemon zest.
Simmer for a maximum 2 minutes and strain again. Add lemon juice and set aside.
Boil sliced potatoes in salted water until just tender.
Blanch peas in boiling water for 2 minutes.
Poach the spot prawns in lightly simmering salted water for 2 to 3 minutes and peel off the tail shells.
Just before serving, reheat vegetable reduction adding salt and pepper to taste and then gradually whisk in the cold butter. Chef tip: or use a hand blender for a foamy effect.
Place potatoes in the bottom of a bowl and top with peas, spot prawns and crispy mushrooms. Spoon nage over everything.
* A traditional nage is a broth flavoured with white wine, vegetables, and herbs, in which seafood is poached. The liquid is then reduced and thickened with cream and/or butter.
1 pound oyster and or king oyster mushrooms
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
fine sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Tear or chop mushrooms into approximately 1 inch by 2 inch pieces (when using the king oyster mushrooms, slice them thinly). Place mushrooms in a bowl, drizzle with melted butter and toss to coat evenly.
Spread mushrooms out on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and just starting to crisp. Stir the mushrooms a couple times while baking. Season with salt and pepper.
Steal this tip!
Live wild BC spot prawns should be cooked immediately or have their heads removed as soon as possible. After the heads are removed the tails should be thoroughly rinsed. Removing the head and rinsing the tail keeps the tail flesh firm. The head of the prawn can be removed from the tail by swiftly turning it and pulling it away from the tail.
If not cooking immediately, remove heads and pack into a bowl or container; cover with ice and refrigerate to ensure prawns maintain their structure for up to three days.
Check out Wild BC Spot Prawns for more information.
www.culinarycapers.comPhoto: Executive Chef Margaret Chisholm