Mandarin & Smoked Chili Griddled Prawns

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By renowned chef Maria Elia


Pierce each of the chilies with the point of a knife and place on a hot griddle pan until the skins are blackened. Remove, cool, then peel away the charred skin. Cut in half lengthways, scrape away and discard the seeds. Finely chop the chili and set aside half for dressing. For the marinade mix the remaining half chilies with 2 tbsp. each of olive oil and Mandarin marmalade.  Coat the prawns in the marinade and marinate for at least 30 minutes/overnight.

To make the mandarin chili dressing:

Whisk together the chilies, remaining marmalade, 75ml of olive oil and a dash of vinegar, season with a pinch of sea salt. For a smoother dressing, use a hand blender/liquidizer to blend adding a dash more olive oil to thin a little.

For the cauliflower skordalia:

Cut the cauliflower into florets and set aside four of them. Cut remaining florets into small even sized pieces, place in a saucepan with the milk, garlic and a pinch of sea salt. Cook over a low heat until the cauliflower is tender. Drain the cauliflower, reserving the milk; liquidize/blend the cauliflower and garlic cloves until smooth, add a glut of extra virgin olive oil and season to taste, adding a little-reserved milk if necessary to make a nice, smooth consistency, keep warm.

Carefully, thinly slice the remaining florets lengthways on a mandolin. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, once hot, add the florets and season with sea salt and pepper and sauté until softened and just colored. Remove the prawns from the marinade, season with sea salt and cook on preheated griddle/frying pan for about 1-2 minutes on either side. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of cauliflower skordalia onto each plate, top with sautéed cauliflower and King prawns then drizzle with Mandarin chili dressing and sprinkle with torn basil leaves. Serve.


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