Creole prawn pot

Creole prawn pot

Serves 6-8. Preparation time 10 minutes. Cooking time 20 minutes.

This is a prawn dish typically served in the southern states of America. Don't let the long list of ingredients put you off- most are to make a flavoursome stock you use to cook the prawns. Adjust the recipe according to the spices in your cupboard. Some variations of the dish leave out the smoked sausage -you could just as easily throw a handful of fried bacon over the cooked prawns. It's fun to make and eat around the campfire, and there are no dishes to wash afterwards! There's nothing elegant about this dish -you eat with your hands.

For the spice mix
2 tablespoons celery salt or braai salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 teaspoons mustard powder
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 - 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1,1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1,1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

For the pot
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 whole garlic bulb, halved and bruised
2 bottles lager
1-2 cups water
1 cube fish stock or 2 tablespoons fish sauce
6 bay leaves
1 kg baby potatoes
3 mielies, cut into wheels
250 g chorizo, salami or any other smoked sausage, sliced
1 - 2 kg large prawns (about 6 per person), cleaned with the head still attached

For the flavoured butter
125 -200g butter
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spices (see above)

• Combine ail the spices. (You can use the same ratio of whole spices and grind them yourself for more flavour.)

• Use a large pot Add 4 tablespoons of the mixed spices, plus the onion, garlic, beer, water, stock (or fish sauce) and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.

• Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes and then cool down slightly. In the meantime, make the flavoured butter - put all the ingredients in a small pot and melt the butler without letting it boil.

• Clean the prawns. Spread a big sheet of brown paper out on the table and put out bowls for the prawn shells.

• When you're ready to serve, bring the pot to a boil again. Add the baby potatoes and mielies and add enough water to cover the vegetables. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes and mielies are cooked.

• Add the sausage and raw prawns to the boiling water, put the lid on and remove the pot from the heat After 2 -3 minutes, check on the prawns -they're cooked once they turn pink. Working quickly, pour about 1/2 cup of the boiling liquid into the pot with the butter and simmer for 2 minutes. (Keep the rest of the water in the pot to use as stock in seafood pasta,soup or a potjie.)

• Remove the prawns and vegetables from the stock and spread out on the paper with bowls of the hot butter sauce and the remaining mixed spices. Keep Tabasco on hand for those who like more spice. You can also dip prawns in a bit of mayonnaise.

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