Friday, March 5, 2010

Quick-boiled Prawns with Winter-Summer Yellow Pear Tomato, Avocado, Cilantro Guacamole

An invitation to an appetizers potluck party was the inspiration for this recipe. That and the kiwis that had been holding (I thought) in the fridge while we were on the Atlantic seaboard for 2 weeks.
Now I think that kiwi guacamole spritzed with lime juice sounds like a stunning dip to go with prawns. Just not made with overly fermented kiwis. Sigh. Another time perhaps.
As in all cases when one ingredient does not cooperate, you find one that does. The petite organic yellow pear tomatoes that are coming to California from Mexico right now fit the bill. Sweet, tart, not too big a carbon footprint. Our borders do touch, after all.
The avocados are pure California. Organic, buttery smooth and rich, they pair well with the finely diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro notwithstanding. And yes, I do realize how lucky I am to have it growing right now in my northern California coastal garden.
This guac is a wintertime treat, bringing the sunny olé! flavors of summer to brighten our still-gray skies and our chilly tummies. Make it just before you're going to take it to a party or serve to guests.
Be sure to use plenty of sea salt when you boil the prawns, and boil them quickly - blanching really - no more than 1-2 minutes, then get them out of there and into an ice bath.

Definitely a crowd pleaser, this.

Quick-boiled Prawns with Yellow Pear Tomato, Avocado, Cilantro Guacamole
Christine's original recipe
(print recipe)
Makes enough for a crowd of 20 or so

40-60 medium prawns, preferrably USA wildcaught, peeled, tails left on, sandtrack removed*
2 tablespoons sea salt
4 large avocados
1 cup finely diced yellow pear tomatoes
juice from 1 Meyer lemon
1 tablespoon
green garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced, seeded jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
pinch red pepper flakes (more if you like it hotter)

Prep all of your ingredients, except for cutting the avocados, ahead of time.
Have a large bowl of ice and water standing by to receive the cooked prawns.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of sea salt.
Toss the prawns into the boiling water and allow them to blanch for 1 to 2 minutes or until they turn bright pink. Do not overcook them.
Immediately drain the water from the pot and put the prawns in the ice water to stop the cooking. Let the prawns cool then allow them to drain in a collander until ready to use.
While the prawns are cooling and resting, take an avocado and cut it in half lenghthwise. Remove the pit and scoop the pulp into a medium bowl. Repeat with the remaining avocados.
Mash the avocado pulp with the lemon juice until the mixture is buttery but still has some lumps.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients (no, not the prawns) and adjust the salt and seasonings to taste.
Put the finished guacamole in a clear glass bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap down on the top of the guac to keep it from browning.
Arrange the prawns around the guacamole bowl and you're ready to party.

Cook's Notes:To remove the sandtrack from the prawns, I use a sharp knife and make a cut down the back of the prawn from the head to just above the tail. If the sandtrack is still there, this will reveal it and you can pull it out. I've had many a prawn that still had the sandtrack intact. It's your call whether to remove it or not.

Buen provecho!

Copyright © 2005-2010, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved


  1. Great idea for a blog here! Really detailed and I can appreciate the effort, however I couldn't easily hit the add friends button for the google box.. thing. ;) Please, check out my blog also!


  2. What a tasty dish & so well presented too, Christine!!

    MMMMMMM,...My husband & I will love this dish!

  3. Beautiful presentation, christine! Thanks for commenting at my Shadow Shot Sunday post! :)

  4. Hi Sophie, Are avocados easily found in Brussels? Hope so! :)

    Thank you so much Mary. I enjoy your photos and words so much; they are always inspiring.

  5. I've missed you, Christine!

    I have been removing intestines from the bag of raw, frozen shrimp I bought last week that I ordered a deveiner. I did not know it was called a sandtrack in a prawn. Thanks for the info!


  6. I've always called it a sandtrack, Mimi, but I can't recall if I was told that what it's called, or if I just made it up. :)
    I've missed you and all my food blogger friends too, Mimi. I wish there were enough hours in the day/week/month to keep up with everyone. You're in my RSS reader so I read every post you put up. Hope all is well in Wisconsin!

  7. Hi Christine,
    Thanks for commenting on my blog, I love having new friends drop in at the Presbytere.
    The guacamole recipe sounds divine, must try it as soon as the weather warms up.

  8. Good to see you here, Maggie!

  9. Now that mon mari is trying to gain weight we have avocados in the house all the time... This is a great idea - never thought to do guacamole with shrimp.... or to pair kiwifruit with it. Love new ideas.

  10. I found it to be a delightful pairing, Katie. And avocados are so good for you. There's nothing not to love about his. :)

  11. Looks really good

  12. This looks totally amazing...two of my favorite foods! YUM! I am looking forward to meeting you at Camp Blogaway!

    Stockpiling Moms

  13. Hi Melissa,
    I'm looking forward to meeting you, too.


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