The second strong memory these dear Prawns connect me to is my time spent many many moons ago as a line cook in a very small hole in the wall restaurant in Seattle, working under a Spanish Chef. It was just him and I when I first started .. pasta and lots and lots of tapas, just a beat before Tapas became all-the-new-restaurants-popular in Seattle. All of the Tapas we did were simple simple a few ingredients and a hot black iron skillet .. just the way I like it. This dish was just that! Prawns with their flavor imparting shells left on served sauteed with xvOlive Oil + fresh crushed garlic sauteed golden until intoxicatingly crunchy -or- Prawns + garlic oil + white wine which left the garlic pale and softly creamy in its sauce.
I loved both preparations.
.. and the third sweet memory is from New Years Eve 2014 .. an important food memory that kicked me into gear to begin <the taste experiment>!
Because my little guy was in his downward spiral of not eating anything, my desire to make the family meals that I love had also gone into a downward spiral of desperation [so dramatic]. I had received another lovely Jamie Oliver cook book from my husband for Christmas and was yearning just yearning and yearning to make one of his menus from the book .. and I said to myself "you know what? I am going to do this! I don't care if my boy does not eat a single bite and I am making the entire menu [corn seafood chowder~paprika grilled prawns~shredded raw root vegetable salad with a cilantro yoghurt dressing & frozen strawberry slushies] ..and NOTHING extra for my little picky eater boy ..no pasta ..no nothing!"
We sat in the dining room as a family and I lovingly set the table and placed all of the beautiful dishes down and we sat to eat ..I was ready for a 'picky eater food battle' with a full glass of wine in hand. That meal was the turning point! Why? it is incredibly and shockingly simple ..my sweet little boy knew it was a fun occasion, we had *nothing* he had ever had made that way before and he tasted almost everything .. and devoured the paprika prawns! He ate all of those Prawns as fast as we could keep re-filling his little plate ..and I had tears in my eyes.
Such an eye opener for Mom ..and a profound moment where I realized that I was doing everything wrong when it came to feeding my son. Because I had already started reading Karen le Billons book and in turn began searching for a new way of thinking I knew I just could not turn back ..
One year ago and so much has changed! ..and oh my dear my little boy has come such a long way and so has his Mom ..we are definitely still not without our struggles at the family meal and he is still just as wonderfully discerningly stubborn with eating as usual ..and yet as those who have followed me throughout this year know, it is just so incredibly, so much better! We no longer battle or push our son ..and just as my own father did with me as a child ..we only hope and ask for a taste. All the while trusting our little boy will find his own way of enjoying the family meal as long we provide the tasty and well varied positive eating experience.
<<Paprika Prawns aka Shrimpy's>>
Heat a sauté pan to medium high and pour a good glug of Olive Oil in the pan - crush in one [or more] garlic clove and sauté just a little - while the garlic is still white add a handful of prawns - sprinkle paprika all over the top of the prawns [as much as you like] and sprinkle a small pinch of salt over the top as well - sauté until the prawns are pink and juicy - adjust flavour with more salt/paprika - cut up a good loaf of bread/baguette into slices and place on plate - arrange prawns over the bread slices and pour over any remaining juices and some fresh xvOlive Oil - Mmmm
a variation- garbanzo beans are added with the prawns - underneath the bread slices on the plate smear some dollops of hummous with xvOlive Oil - place Prawns and the leftover juices over the top - sprinkle fresh grated lemon zest of one lemon [or more] over the prawns
a note-one reason I love making prawns for a meal [especially lunch] is for the zero time to de-thaw from frozen by just soaking in a bowl of cold water until soft [15 aprx minutes] and then draining and drying out on paper towel .. last minute decision making at my best!