Prawns - Warning! Has violent content!

Sunday, September 23, 2012
I tried something new last week.
I had planned out my menu for the week and for my online grocery shopping, but I just needed one more meal idea, and my brain was a blank. I'm kind of at that stage where I'm getting really tired of cooking and eating the same old thing, just because it's familiar and easy and I can do it quickly with my eyes shut.

So I picked up my new Annabel Langbein book - actually it's her first book, the Free Range Cook, but new to me, because I've only just bought it - and said I would cook the first thing that I saw when I opened up the book. And it fell open at Prawn and Coriander Spring Rolls.

I added the ingredients to my online shopping, and had to order prawns. Normally, I'll just get the pre-cooked frozen packets of shrimp when I'm cooking shrimp, but I've actually never cooked Prawn before. I know they are super-popular in Australia, for some reason. I don't think I know any Australians who have not - at some point - mentioned how much they love Prawns.

I love Prawns too. Actually, I love any seafood or shellfish. I could live on the stuff. Maybe it's my Maori heritage that makes me love it so much. I do know that my husband is not so keen on it, so I don't cook it that much - are not I a considerate wife! But I had to this time - I had no choice really - as Annabel told me to cook Prawn and coriander Spring Rolls for dinner.

But Countdown didn't have the pre-cooked packets! So I had to order fresh. That's ok - that's better! But what I didn't realise was that they would arrive in their natural state.

With Heads and Shells and Legs and Tails. Intact.

Now, if you know me - you will know that I should probably be vegetarian, because I hate killing anything. I don't even like fishing. I save ants. I save spiders. I even save worms. And I do not like to know that my meat has had to be killed. Yes, I am one of those who would rather pretend that every chicken I have purchased at the grocery store, and every packet of beef or mutton or pork has come from a lovely green, hilly farm and been shot in the paddock while it was eating a large bounty of food, and was dead before it hit the ground. What can I say? I'm an idealist.

So when the prawns arrived with head and tail and shell and legs all intact, I kind of freaked out. But then, like any good kiwi girl realised that if we were going to eat that night, I better deal with it. So I looked it up on youtube. "How to Peel A Prawn" and this is the best clip that I found.

So I got to work and tried not to look the Prawn in the eye. Hugh came and helped me. I think he enjoyed it more than I did. But while I was pulling the head off, and feeling like a murderess, all this yucky stuff squirted out. So I gave up pulling the heads off and just did this:

But then I had to pull off its legs and shell and then tail. Ughh - I hated doing it. But after about 30 minutes I had a nice pile of prawn meat and a nice pile of heads and tails.

But it was kind of worth it in the end, because Prawn are so pretty to photograph, and the Spring Rolls were delicious and a big hit with everyone, even the small children. There were none left over, that's for sure!

And now, just to make us all feel more civilised once again, I will finish with a photo of an avenue of Pink Blossom, which is blooming wonderfully at our school gates.


Roz said...

ooh please can I come for dinner? Lovely to see the cherry blossom - looking like Christchurch! BTW thanks for the recipe book - I just have to work out best way to print it off.

Heather L. said...

Good for you! I've never had to peel shrimp before myself....those blossoms are just gorgeous!!!

Shearer's Girl said...

Ugh that must have been pretty miserable peeling prawns. Glad they tasted alright!

Anonymous said...

Ok, Rach, you made me laugh for sure! Don't you remember the meal of prawns that we had at that steamboat restaurant in Singapore before we boarded the plane home to NZ, where they served us ... you got it, prawns, for dinner on board!! haha. We both had a plate piled high with prawn shells, legs, heads, eyes, etc etc ... and WE LOVED IT! Mind you, we were only young teenagers back then. For some reason, it doesn't bother me a bit (peeling prawns), but then I always did love fishing, and you didn't ... for the simple reason of the killing part. Thanks for the smile today. Love you, Penny

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