Spot Prawns are here!

Last night’s dinner found us foraging on Chinatown’s Gore Street (Vancouver, BC). There we were lucky enough to pick out a couple of pounds of spot prawns with change from a $20 bill. These guys were so fresh some were jumping right out of the shallow tank!

Once home, we enjoyed them with a dill and mushroom risotto. Tinhorn Creek Okanagan  VQA Pinot Gris 2009 had just the right acidity to cut the richness of the risotto. Plus we do tend to use a little butter…). And it sports some citrus and tropical fruit flavours that picked up on the sweetness of the prawns.

True confessions. We sucked more than a few of the spot prawns heads ‘a-head’ of the meal. That was in the kitchen, because Partner in Calories (PIC) can’t bear to watch. Moreover, the Hired Belly can’t stand the thought of wasting all that deliciousness that prawns tuck away in their brains. Plus, who knows? There’s a remote chance it might even make us smarter!

One tip on prawn boiling (max two minutes) that we forgot to mention previously. It pays to throw the prawns into very cold water as soon as they come out of the pot, in order to stop them cooking. And to keep the flesh firm.

As usual, the best meals are made always with the freshest of ingredients!

Cornish crab and Blacksmith Scrumpy Cider make for a great match—and if you forgot the crab crackers a rock off the beach will work just fine! Tim Pawsey photo

A tasty flashback

That had us thinking back to almost exactly a year ago, when we were enjoying one hefty Cornish crab and Scrumpy Cider. We were overlooking picturesque Mullion Cove, in Cornwall, on the stunningly beautiful, windswept Lizard Peninsular, near the southernmost tip of the UK.

The Cornish crab is considerably bigger than BC’s equally tasty Dungeness crab.  Both require very careful handling, not only to avoid their vice-grip claws (which don’t let go as long as they’re alive). But also their razor sharp jaws that can slice open a finger in seconds.

We were lucky to get an almost 2 kg. crab from Kelynack Cornish Fish, in Mullion village, who ship all over the UK. Their seafood winds up as far away as St. Andrews, Scotland. They were also were generous enough to lend us a pot big enough in which to cook it. I made a tamale mayonnaise to go along with the firm and dense white crab meat.

The match this time? Crisp and clean, apple toned dry, Cornish Scrumpy Cider. ’Poor man’s Champagne,’ my dad used to call it. He was right, too.


The Canada Connection

Mullion Cove from above, on a peaceful, early summer’s day, Tim Pawsey photo

Mullion Harbour, which is situated on the South West Coast Path, is a historic site in the care of the National Trust.  Renowned for its natural beauty it’s also known for ferocious storms. They built the harbour in the 1880s, to help the local pilchard fishermen, who had suffered several disastrous seasons.

The Marconi monument at Poldhu Point – Tim Pawsey photo

Of interest to Canadians is nearby Poldhu Point. It was from there, on December 12th, 1901, Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the first radio Morse code signals. They made it across the Atlantic to Signal Hill, overlooking St Johns, Newfoundland.

© Tim Pawsey 2010