Prawn Veracruz

Here is a very quick and easy to make Mexican-inspired dish to expand the usual repertoire of Chillies and Fajitas. This one is just as simple with the majority of ingredients perhaps already in your cupboard. All you need is a bag of frozen (or fresh) prawns.

There are loads of variations of this dish. I based mine on this one, hardly changing anything at all. I think all I did was to increase the quantity. I just wanted to share this recipe with my Mum, first of all. Her name is Vera and she loves prawns, so I knew she’d appreciate this 🙂

PRAWN VERACRUZ

(Adapted from ‘Grab a Plate’)

1 pound large frozen prawns, defrosted and tails removed

2 large limes, one juiced, one cut into wedges

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 small jalapeño, seeds and pith removed, finely diced

1 can of chopped tomatoes

1/3 cup green pimento olives, halved

1-2 tablespoon coriander, torn, plus extra as garnish

Salt & pepper to taste

Any preferred rice to serve

I served with Tomato Rice and guacamole

Method:

  1. Add the prawns to a mixing bowl, squeeze juice from one lime and 1 tablespoon olive oil, gently massage the shrimp with your hands, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Heat up the skillet over medium-high heat, add the rest of the olive oil. Then add the onions and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the jalapeño and cook for another minute or so, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Lastly add the chopped tomatoes and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the olives and the prawns to the mixture. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until the prawns turn pink.
  4. Before serving, add chopped coriander and squeeze the lime juice.
  5. Serve with either plain rice, or go further and make Mexican Red Rice and Guacamole on the side.
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Cuban Chicken Pie

I’ve never been to Cuba or even to a Cuban restaurant, so I can’t claim that this dish tasted like an authentic one. Also I used the left overs from our roast chicken the day before instead of cooking a whole chicken like the original recipe asks for. But this recipe is great and I can’t recommend it enough. The filling inside the pie which includes capers, olives, raisins, fresh tomatoes and many other ingredients is so vibrant and provides a flavoursome contrast to the crisp corn topping.
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CUBAN CHICKEN PIE

Ingredients:

Approx 500 g cooked chicken meat

30 ml olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

50 g pitted green olives, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon bottled capers

50 g raisins

salt & pepper

For the topping:

500 g drained canned or thawed frozen corn kennels

90 g butter

2 teaspoons sugar

3 eggs, lightly beaten

salt & pepper

Method:

1. Make the topping. Put the corn kennels into the food processor/blender and purée until smooth. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat. Stir in the puréed corn and sugar. Season generously with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens and comes away from the sides of the pan.

2. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then slowly stir in the beaten eggs, a little at the time. Set the topping mixture aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and stir in the chopped onion. Cook gently for 5 minutes, until soft and translucent, season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Stir in the chopped hard-boiled eggs, chopped tomatoes, olives, capers and raisins. Fold in the shredded chicken, make sure that it is well distributed throughout the mixture.

5. Spoon the pie filling into a 25 x 20 cm baking dish (or its’ equivalent). Using a spoon, spread the corn topping evenly over the top of the chicken filing and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with good crusty bread on the side and chilled white wine 🙂

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