Q. Please answer this question: What meal would you create if the only ingredients you had were prawns, strawberries and parmesan cheese?
A. This is about 99% off the subject, but we were just served the most incredible dish made of four ingredients (two of which you mentioned, which is our excuse for telling you about it). It was a simple risotto made with Arborio rice, water, white truffles, and tiny strawberry bits, served from a hollowed-out wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, with a bit of the cheese mixed into the risotto. It was probably among the 10 best dishes we have ever tasted. The strawberries were a complete surprise in such a savory dish, and we only became aware of their presence when we noticed a few tiny seeds in the risotto.
Too bad you have no rice. Too bad none of us have any truffles....
If ALL you have is prawns, parmesan cheese and strawberries, we’d serve the famous dish Prawns with Parmesan Cheese, and have strawberries for dessert. If you’re leading us on and you also have a little garlic, herbs, olive oil, and perhaps an onion, a few peas and a little pesto?, a good choice might be this Ensemble Of Prawns And Peas for an entrée with fresh strawberries for dessert. (If you had a drop or two of good balsamic vinegar, you might sprinkle that on the strawberries and serve them alongside shavings of your excellent Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for an elegant dessert course).
Ensemble Of Prawns And Peas
30 medium-size prawns or shrimp
3 bay leaves, broken in half
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp or more salt
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 cups shelled fresh peas, or use frozen peas
1/3 cup pesto
Freshly ground black pepper
Remove the shells from the prawns and cut them lengthwise halfway through from the top so that they look like butterflies. Remove the alimentary tract. Wash the prawns in cold water, drain them, and set aside.
Put 2 quarts of water in a saucepan and add the bay leaves, fennel seeds, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bring the water to a simmer. Meanwhile, sauté the onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until it is transparent. Add the garlic and sauté 2 minutes more. Add the peas and stir well. Cook the peas for about 3 minutes, or until they are just done.
Put the prawns in the simmering water and let them cook for about 2 minutes. Remove them from the water and mix them in with the peas and toss well. Add the pesto and toss again. Serve immediately on hot plates, or let it cool and serve at room temperature.