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A Southwest Summer: Santa Fe Spiced Prawns

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To be honest, these are so damn good they don't need an introduction. There really is no need for me to go into a vowel-movement about the who, what, when and where of this dish.

Suffice to say, these are so damn easy to make it should be a crime if you don't prepare these. They are spicy, but not to the point where you're going to need CPR to get your lungs back in working order. The only thing you want to make sure of is that you do not remove the shells of the prawns until you are peeling them to put them into your mouth!

You want the shells left on the prawns for two reasons. First, you want this incredible (and thick) marinade to envelope the prawns inside their shell as this will give you an unbelievable taste. Secondly, the shell will help protect the meat during the cooking (sauteing) process, which in turn will give you perfect prawns.

Warning: These are messy to eat so have a good supply of napkins available. They are perfect fare for outdoor entertaining and, as fate would have it, go perfectly with ice cold beer!

Whenever you are using a marinade with an acidic base (vinegar, lime or lemon juice, etc), never marinate for more than 90 minutes. The acidic base will begin to breakdown the protein base of the meat and begin to "cook" it.

Ingredients needed to make Santa Fe Chili Prawns (doesn't serve enough!):

  • 1 pound prawns, shells left on
  • 2 limes, juice only
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt

Steps:

  1. Rinse your prawns under cold running water and then pat dry.
  2. Into a large bowl, combine and whisk the remaining ingredients (yes, it will be thick for a marinade).
  3. Add the prawns to the marinade and toss to coat.
  4. Cover the bowl and let marinate at room temperature 1 hour.
  5. In a large saute pan or skillet, add some olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
  6. Add the shrimp and marinade and saute about 7 minutes (or until prawns are cooked).
  7. Spoon the prawns onto a platter and enjoy.

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."

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