Summer and the holiday season go hand in hand in this part of the world, and that quite often means fresh seafood will make some kind of appearance on the festive lunch or dinner table.
I’m more than happy with boiled chilled prawns – perhaps served with a condiment of some variety – and of course, free flowing vino or ice cold beer.
Throw in a cooked mud crab and I’m a very happy camper.
An easy way to trick up prawns is to give them a bit of a go on the barbecue. Yes, a bit of a cliché thanks to Paul Hogans marketing stint back in the mid 1980’s, but there’s something truly magical about prawns cooked over flames.
The smell, the taste – it’s all too good to resist.
I’ve taken the “shrimp on the barbie” cliché and introduced some flavours from the other side of the world – the Yucatán, to be precise. Now that achiote paste has part time residency in our fridge at home I’ve been adding it here and there to ramp up the flavours.
I love it!
Not only did I use achiote to marinade the prawns, but fresh pineapple came along for the ride. A bit of tart sweetness that helps in the flavour department. It’s a natural tenderiser, so the prawns don’t need to marinate for long. If you leave them too long they’ll soften too much, resulting in a pasty consistency that’s not too pleasant to eat.
I’ve even tried this marinade on pork and chicken – it really is a winner!
To serve the prawns it can be as simple as tossing a handful of fresh lime wedges on the platter. I went a little fancy by making a small batch of pesto from the rather unruly nasturtium vines growing in my front garden. They not only bring a peppery flavour that’s akin to watercress, but the colour looks pretty smashing against the bright orange of the achiote prawns.
Give it a go!