Thursday, 5 January 2012

Texan Pasilla Garlic Prawns

It's been super hot around here lately. Definitely not the sort of weather that inspires long preparation or slow cooking of meals. More the sort of weather where you want to sit by the pool and sip on a minty mojito or three. When it's hot, I think of the sort of food that other people who live in hot climates cook and prepare. I hear it gets pretty hot in Texas.

Serve this saucy prawn dish together with Pico de Gallo ...and avocado salsa. Bung it all into a warm flour tortilla and you'll be eating like a Texan (or a Victorian in mid-summer).

NOTE: Pasilla Chiles (spelt chile 'cause that's how the Texans do it) aren't blow-your-head-off hot. They are warm and smoky and provide a deep earthy note to the garlicky prawns. I buy mine on-line from Herbies Spices.

Texan Pasilla Garlic Prawns
from Lisa Fain's The Homesick Texan Cookbook 

For the Prawns:
2 dried pasilla chiles, stems and seeds removed
1 kg large prawns 
1/2 chopped coriander roots and stems
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Flour tortillas to serve.

In a dry frying pan heated on high, toast the chillies on each side for about 10 seconds or just until they start tio puff up. Fill the pan with enough water to cover the chillies. Leave the heat on until the water begins to boil, then turn off the heat and let the chillies soak until soft, about 30  minutes.

Remove shells from the prawns and place the shells into a pot. Add 4 cups of water, a pinch of salt and bring to boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 20 minutes,.  Remove from the heat and strain out the shells.

Take the rehydrated chillies and rinse, discarding the soaking liquid. Place the chillies, coriander, garlic, ginger, cumin, cayenne pepper, line juice and 1 cup of the shrimp stock in a blender and blend until you have a smooth puree.

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil on a medium-low heat and add the chilli puree, stirring from time to time, for 10 minutes.  Add the butter and 2 tables of the prawn stock. When the butter has melted, stir until the sauce is well combines and add the prawns, along with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the prawns about 3 minutes on each side or until pink.

For the Pico de Gallo:
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
3 tablespoons of coriander leaves, chopped
juice of a lime
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

For the Avocado Salsa:
2 avocados, flesh chopped
juice of a lime
2 tablespoons of coriander leaves, chopped
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.


  1. Yummo! Thanks for supporting Food on Friday. Cheeers

  2. You're welcome Carole. It's always fun.