Garlic prawns are a diamond coming from Catalan cuisine. As an appetiser for a dinner party, or one of the many tapas you tuck in to over a glass of wine and some good conversation, garlic prawns are sure to be a hit. Serve in cazuelas de barro (earthenware ramekins) for a particularly authentic approach. Cold-water prawns are sold ready-cooked, either peeled or with the shell still on. Warm-water prawns are rarely peeled, but are sold raw and cooked in the shell. Both types of prawns, when sold raw, are likely to have been frozen at some point, even if you buy them chilled: check the label before purchasing if you want to freeze them. If you’re not intending to use the prawns immediately, it’s best to buy them already frozen.
1 ¼ kg raw prawns (shrimp)
80 g butter, melted
185 ml olive oil
8 garlic cloves, crushed
2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
crusty bread, to serve
Preheat the oven to 250°C. Peel the prawns, leaving the tails intact. Pull out the vein from the back, starting at the head end. Cut a slit down the back of each prawn.
Combine the butter and oil and divide among four 500 ml cast-iron pots. Divide half the crushed garlic among the pots.
Place the pots on a baking tray and heat in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling. remove from the oven and divide the prawns and remaining garlic among the pots. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, or until prawns are cooked. Stir in the spring onion. Season to taste. Serve with bread to mop up the juices.