Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Grilled Spot Prawns over Pasta

I love almost everything about living in Marin County, with one notable exception: there is no Oriental grocery here. Not a single Chinese market in the entire North Bay. So, being surrounded by the Bay and the Ocean, whenever I want fresh seafood, the closest place to go is 99 Ranch in El Cerrito, cross the bridge.

It's hot here again, over 100F, good time for grilled seafood (if you can get it home), so I put the cooler with an ice pack in the trunk and crossed the bridge. And there I became a lucky owner of half-dozen live spot prawns, the tastiest of all shrimps ever, and, as a bonus, local and ecologically sound.

At least they were live and very active when I bought them. By the time I got them home, they were barely moving, but still the freshest and finest shrimps. I just rinsed them with running cold water and rushed them to the grill. About 2 minutes on each side, salt-pepper later.

The prawns taste like little lobsters, and are pride and joy of the West Cost. But oh, they are expensive!

Served over my homemade pappardelle, with roasted tomato sauce: put some olive oil, sliced red onion, sliced garlic, red tomatoes cut in half, cut side up, in a baking dish. Season with sea salt, fresh pepper, a few sprigs of oregano, and more olive oil. Roast at 350F for about an hour. Puree in a blender.

If the heads and shells are not eaten (they are edible if fried crisp, thet's what they do in sushi bars), they should be (and were) saved for stock. In fact, I already made the stock and froze it for the future.

Wine: 2007 Veramonte Sauv. Blanc, very well chilled.

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