prawns with tomato stew
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The other night I went out for dinner (a respite from all this cooking, shooting and fiending) and had a very decent red mullet served with tomato and raisin stew. The stew was simply AMAZING. Chunks of ripe tomatoes floating in a sauce with quite a kick from chillies and sweetness from the raisins. I loved it. I wanted to have it again. I wanted to COOK IT.
So I did some research, because it was really not quite your ordinary tomato sauce, and I found a bit here, a bit there (thank you, Brooklyn Farm Girl!). I worked out my own version with added chillies and sultanas and since I couldn’t get my hands on red mullet, I thought prawns would work handsomely. In fact anything might work, in fact you can just eat it on its own or treat as a condiment.
My tomatoes came from the garden – sadly the last stragglers, they’ve been going strong and almost all have ripened but the recent colder weather marks the end of season, shop bought beckon soon. That’s how I had a variety of cherry, heritage, golden, red – but it tasted perhaps all the lovelier for that. I skinned the larger ones – how-to here – and left the small, especially the thin skinned ones, whole. I did not deseed them, wanting to get some liquid for the sauce.
Prawns were seared very quickly in a separate pan and then put on top of the stew to absorb the flavour. They might turn mushy from the acidity of the stew if cooked straight in the tomatoes.
prawns with tomato stew
- about ½ kilo tomatoes, any variety
- ½ onion, sliced thinly
- a handful of raisins
- 1 small red chilli and ½ green chilli, deseeded and sliced thinly
- a small bunch of parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp of salt
- 12 raw king prawns, shelled
Skin the large tomatoes: make a crosswise incision on the tops, plunge into boiling water for a few seconds, drain and pull off the skin. Chop them roughly, not too fine, leave the cherry ones whole if using. Put all the ingredients in a large pan, cover with a lid and cook for about 20 minutes on low heat. Taste for seasoning.
In the meantime heat up a frying or griddle pan with a drop of oil and sear the prawns quickly on both sides. When the tomato stew is almost ready, place the prawns on top of the stew, put the lid on and let them finish off cooking and infuse with tomato flavour for a couple of minutes, still on very low heat. Spoon onto plates and serve. Makes an excellent starter.