Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Anne's last supper - well, lunch

My friend Anne, after a number of happy years in London, announced a couple of months ago that she was moving back to Vancouver (sniff, sob). She came around to mine for a final meal before I took her to the airport. The day's challenge was to make something light enough that wouldn't make her feel too full for sitting around and waiting a while for a flight (pesky ash cloud) and would be suitable for brunch - and also didn't take too long to cook or too much attention when I wanted to talk to her.

I'd tried Nigella's Red Prawn and Mango Curry before a couple of times, but never felt the recipe got it entirely down pat. This is my take. I also dislike her preference for pre-cubed veg, lazy devil, and this is much cheaper. Serve with steamed or boiled jasmine rice (in small quantities - curry to rice ratio should be about half and half).

1/2 tsp of sesame oil, 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
4 - 6 spring onions chopped roughly
2 large tbsps of red thai curry paste (a non-salty one if poss)
1 400g can organic coconut milk (not low fat or it comes out too runny)
150ml chicken stock from homemade (if making with concentrate or stock cubes use half recommended quantity)
2 tsps nam pla (fish sauce)
1 smallish butternut squash or half of one and most of a sweet potato, cubed small-ish
Around 300g fresh prawns (much nicer than frozen)
Juice of half a lime
1 large mango, cubed small-ish
Generous shake of green tabasco (red will do)
Chopped coriander, generous handful.

Heat up the oils in a large pan; when hot fry the chopped spring onion. Stir in the paste; add the stock, fish sauce and coconut milk, stir til mixed well. You can start cooking the rice now. Bung in the squash (and/or) sweet potato to the sauce mix and simmer for about 10 mins - should still have a slight bite to it.
When veg are ready, throw in prawns and bring back to boil; add mango and lime juice and heat through. Serve on the rice with coriander chopped on top. Tabasco to serve too.

I find the variation in flavour in this recipe great - it gives you lots to play with; this version is very saucy and fragrant without being overpowering, but there's barely any heat, even though I've upped the curry paste. Definitely one to play with and I think she really liked it.

(We had Gu ganache for pudding which was gorgeous - I can't do desserts from scratch when we're due to eat at 12.00pm).