Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Prawns and Spiced Carrot

We had been out Friday night to celebrate the man's birthday for a not entirely fabulous dinner at the newly opened 32 Great Queen Street - no prizes for guessing where to find it. Should have realised it might not be perfect when I had to repeat my name four times when I made the booking as the background noise was so loud the woman I was speaking to couldn't hear me. We were hit with a barrage of sound when we entered - so loud I had to point to my name on the reservation list because I didn't want to yell any louder. Starters were ordinary - sweetbread terrine for my sweetheart that tasted not one iota of offal and steak tartare for me, nice garnishes of parsley and capers but the meat was only thinly flavoured. Mains were much much better - fillet topped with foie gras for my man served medium rare though he was not asked at the time of ordering how he would like it cooked, and slow cooked neck of lamb with dauphinois for me and a very good green salad to share. All through the meal we had to shout to be heard above the din of the room, not my idea of a treat. Wouldn't go back.

So my offering for party tea Saturday night had to be good. I was already confident about the main course which I'd started the prep for last week, planned to buy the best looking cake at the market for dessert but had nothing determined for starters. Asked the man what he'd like, and after rejecting parma ham and mozzarella as probably too heavy could only come up with mango as being light. Not entirely helpful! Set off a brain wave though and so decided the starter would be fresh prawns set off by grated carrot dressed with a spiced vinaigrette. Light and special - though not mango. I bought the prawns from Shellseekers - their seafood is invariably fresh and fabulous and straight from the Dorset coast. They were small and sweet and just needed the oomph from the dressing and the crunch of texture from the spring carrots to make a fabulous dish.

Prawns with Spiced Carrots

200g/7oz fresh shelled prawns
200g/7oz carrots, scraped and grated
Lettuce leaves, washed and torn
1 tbspn lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

It's mostly about arranging things attractively on to plates then shake the oil and juice and seasonings in a jar and drizzle over.

Very light and quite sublime.


Julie said...

That spiced orange oil looks so inviting, I'm already thinking of all the foods that would be complimented by this.
Thank you

bron said...

Do try it Julie - it's lovely and works as a dressing and to cook with - nice with roasts as well as stir fry