It was a great weekend for grilling and outdoor food shoots! I have a couple of easy and delicious recipes for the grill inspired by Bon Appétit, starting with Grilled Head-On Prawns with Garlic and Parsley.
First things first, prawns are much larger versions of shrimp. Second, you don’t have to use head-on prawns in this recipe. You can easily make it using shrimp that are already peeled and de-veined, if you’d like.
So, why use the head-on prawns? For me, there are two reasons:
1. The flavors are much more complex and delicious because you have the meat and fat from the head cooking with the rest of the body. Fat always makes things taste better. You can even suck the head meat out, if you’re feeling adventurous. It may just change your life.
2. I love getting my hands dirty. Peeling and eating shrimp is such a laid-back way to eat such a delicacy. I like to call it a casual luxury.
I’ve never worked with head-on prawns before, so deveining them was a new experience. The first one took a little while, but then I really got the hang of it. You simply use kitchen sheers to cut the back of the shell open, exposing the vein. It comes out easily, especially if you run the shrimp under cold water while removing it.
The combined flavors of the crushed red pepper, garlic, parsley and olive oil are perfect for giving the shrimp a little extra kick without being overpowering. This is one of the easiest recipes I’ve tried and it’s so good!
GRILLED HEAD ON PRAWNS WITH GARLIC AND PARSLEY
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for grill
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
12 head-on, tail-on prawns or jumbo shrimp
Salt and pepper, to taste
Lemon wedges (for serving)
1. Prepare grill for medium-high heat and oil grate.
2. Combine garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and 4 tablespoons of oil in a medium bowl.
3. Working one at a time, use kitchen shears to cut along the back of each prawn just deep enough into flesh to expose vein; remove vein and rinse under cold water.
4. Toss prawns with olive oil in another medium bowl
5. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
6. Grill prawns, turning occasionally, until shells are bright red and meat is cooked through (it will look slightly opaque), about 5 minutes.
7. Transfer prawns or shrimp to bowl adding garlic-parsley mixture and toss to coat.
8. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
9. Serve with lemon wedges.
All images © Regan Baroni 2015.