Monday, July 16, 2007

Prosciutto Wrapped Prawns – Sorry Pancetta, we’ve met someone else

Yes, another "I'm still in New York" re-run, but as soon as I'm done with this post I'm going to finish editing a very nice Key Lime Pie recipe that my Mom made today. It's an old family tradition, 2 days before any major shoulder surgery the patient makes pie for good luck. This pie will go perfectly with the Prawn recipe below. This was originally posted here way back in February, so keep in mind none of the new A/V equipment was around then. It's really easy, and can be done on the stove top or on a grill. Enjoy!

One of my favorite summer time food moments is that first perfectly sweet, ripe and juicy melon, wrapped with a thin slice of Prosciutto. This recipe is inspired by that same combination, only this time the cold sweet melon is being replaced by hot sweet prawns.

I’ve seen this dish on many menus, but the prawns are usually wrapped with Pancetta (Italian bacon). I find that Prosciutto works so much better since it cooks, and crisps up faster, and allows for us to not over cook the prawn. The Pancetta is usually thicker and fattier and by the time it’s cooked through the prawns are overcooked, and have suffered severe “shrinkage.”

Please note in the clip I don’t salt the prawns before wrapping. When we pan sear the skewered prawns, the salty Prosciutto is all the seasoning we need. Also, watch for a trick I’ve used several times before, using a smoked paprika to give the final product a “char-grilled” character.

As far as seasoning, I went very minimalist this time. Other additions to this recipe can include garlic, hot peppers, and fresh herbs like basil or tarragon. I love serving this on “
beans and greens” (pictured in photo above) which is a side dish I learned from my Uncle Bill and can be seen here!

1 pound prawns, peeled and de-veined
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbl orange or tangerine zest
2 tbl olive oil
8 thin slices of Prosciutto


Anonymous said...

that looks awesome!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi again! I'm back for our second comment-date. This one won't be quite as superficial as the last though; I feel if our e-food teaching relationship is going to be fruitful (okay, bad pun, I admit), there will need to be a few questions and more in-depth discussion along the way.

LOL, okay, enough with the dorkiness... a real question now:

What's the reason that you skewer (did I spell that right?) through the tail end first? You made the point a couple times, so it must be important, but I don't quite understand why.

Unknown said...

Jewel - Just want to take a stab at your question (pun intended). I always skewer shrimp head first because that is where most of the meat is and it's just easier that way.

Chef - Great recipe and I agree! I've always liked Prosciutto over Pancetta, especially when the Prosciutto is cut thin.

Chef John said...

Thanks catherine, I hope you make it soon.

and to Jewel, with all due respect to my friend catherine, I always do the smaller tail end first. Since that part is so thin its important to get the skewer exactly in the center of the tail so it doesnt tear off during cooking. Also I find it easier to hold the larger end to make this precise penatration. Once I have the tail skewered in can continue up the the large (and easier) head section where I can pretty much skewer almost anywhere and be fine (more meat to work with).

As always I encourage people to do things that works best for them! Good luck and remember your not a real cook until one of the skewers slips and goes under your finger nail! Its a kitchen right-of-passage. So you have that to look forward too. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Our e-food relationship just got deep an meaningful! LOL!

Thank you both. :-)

Anonymous said...

This recipe just tasted great, I have tried this recipe and post it on my blog.

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp Recipe

Thank You for sharing this wonderful recipe:)

Anonymous said...

Your recipies are always great. I won't be surprised if this one got even better. By the way, Could I use beef bacon instead?? I know you will hate this question... hahaha

Chef John said...

any bacon is good bacon! do it. i love all questions.

Carolyn™ said...

I usually presoak the skewers, as these are cooked for such a short time I gather it wouldnt be necessary for this dish :)

Great beach party dish :)