Barbecued Blue Prawns with Okra, Tomato, and Corn
This lovely dish packs a real wallop: the barbecue sauce combines such things as allspice, cinnamon, and tamarind, and both the sauce and vegetables have a touch of Scotch bonnet pepper. Choose very large whole prawns; if these are not available, choose the largest shrimp possible and give everyone three shrimp instead of two prawns. The barbecue sauce would also be wonderful on pork or chicken.
- Barbecue Sauce
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- White Onions - 1-1/2, chopped
- Carrot - 1, chopped
- Celery stalks with leaves - 1-1/2, chopped
- Roma Tomatoes - 4, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- Red Wine - 1/2 bottle
- Veal Stock - 1-1/3 gallons (see Basics)
- Cinnamon Stick - 1/2
- Scotch bonnet peppers - 1/2
- Jamaican allspice - 1/2 tablespoon
- Cinnamon - 1 tablespoon
- Maple Syrup - 1/2 cup
- Worcestershire sauce - 1-1/2 bottles
- Tamarind Juice - 1 cup
- Cloves - 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- Cornstarch - 1 tablespoon (optional)
- Cold Water - 1/4 cup, (optional)
- Shrimp Glaze
- Shrimp - shells from 2 pounds of shrimp
- Tomatoes - 2, chopped
- Veal Stock - 2 cups (see Basics)
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Garlic Cloves - 2, minced
- Shallots - 2, minced
- Okra - 2 cups, sliced
- Fresh Corn Kernels - 2 cups
- Red Bell Pepper - 1, seeded, deribbed, and diced
- Green Bell Pepper - 1, seeded, deribbed, and diced
- Scotch bonnet peppers - 1/2 teaspoon, minced
- Tomatoes - 3 large, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- Cilantro - 1 cup, minced
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Lemon Thyme - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Prawns - 8, heads on
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Barbecue Sauce - 1 cup, (above)
- Shrimp Glaze - 3/4 cup (above)
To make the barbecue sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and saute the onions, carrots, celery, and tomatoes until lightly browned and softened, 1 - 2 minutes. Add the red wine and stir up the browned bits from the bottom. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half in volume. Stir in the veal stock and add the cinnamon stick and Scotch bonnet. Reduce heat to medium and cook until reduced again by two-thirds. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the cornstarch and water, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 20 minutes. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve. If desired, thicken with a tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup of cold water. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
To make the glaze: Place the shells in a deep saucepan with the tomatoes and glaze. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the liquid is reduced by two-thirds. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve, pressing down to extract all flavor, and keep warm.
To prepare the vegetables: Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and saute the garlic and shallots until softened, 1 minute. Add the okra and saute 30 seconds. Add the corn and saute 1 minute. Add the peppers and cook 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and cook 30 more seconds. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro, take the mixture off the stove, and keep warm.
To prepare the prawns: Light a charcoal fire and let the coals get white-hot. Or, light a gas grill and set on high. Spread out the prawns on a plate or baking sheet. Heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium-high heat and drizzle over the prawns. Place the prawns on the grill with tongs and baste with barbecue sauce. Cook 2 minutes, then turn and baste on the other side with barbecue sauce. Cook 2 minutes, or until just done through.
To serve: Place a large spoonful of vegetables in the center of each plate. Spoon shrimp glaze on one side of the vegetables. Place two prawns over each plate of vegetables. Sprinkle with chopped chives.