This recipe is simple and easy to prepare, it makes a great appetizer for a sit down dinner or buffet. Measurements for sauce are approximate; as always, adjust according to your taste and dietary needs.
For the prawns: 2 pounds of tiger prawns (deveined), 1 Large lemon (sliced – 1/4 inch), black peppercorns (10 cracked), 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 3 Tablespoons (approximately) kosher salt, small bunch of dill, 2 small endive (for serving)
For the sauce: 1 cup of store-bought cocktail sauce, 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots, 1 to 2 Tablespoon horseradish (bottled), 1 teaspoon lemon juice (or more to taste), 1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, freshly ground pepper and kosher salt (if necessary) to taste
Preparation for Prawns:
– In large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat.
– Tie the peppercorns, bay leaves, pepper flakes, and herbs in a piece of cheesecloth to make a bundle. Add the bundle to the pot, adjust the heat to maintain a steady simmer, and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the lemon slices and salt (the broth should be as salty as seawater).
– Add the prawns and cook, stirring occasionally, until just opaque throughout and colour turns red, approximately 3-4 minutes, depending on the size of the prawns. To check for doneness, cut through the shell and into the middle of one shrimp with a paring knife.
– Have an “ice” bath ready; when prawns are cooked, pour the prawns into strainer and “shock” in ice bath immediately to stop the cooking process. Strained and transfer to large baking sheet, spread them in a single layer and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate and let cool completely, approximately 1 hour.
– Peel the prawns and leave the tails intact. Using a paring knife, make a shallow slit down the middle of the back of each prawn to expose the black vein. Lift out each vein with the tip of the knife and wipe it off with a paper towel.
To prepare the cocktail sauce: In a bowl whisk all ingredients together; cover and chill in the refrigerator.
To serve: Arrange the prawns on the bed of endive in serving platter; for individual servings, use cocktail glasses and serve the sauce on the side. Be creative!
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking.
When cooking prawns, keep an eye on them at all times as they can be overcooked easily. An easy way to tell when it’s done the shell colour turns red and prawn meat turns opaque.
If you wish to make the cocktail sauce from scratch, use a combination of ketchup and chili sauce. For original recipes, go to http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/jumbo-shrimp-cocktail.aspx