Spaghetti with Jumbo Prawns and Tomato Sauce, Flamed with Ouzo

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

And for as long as I can re­mem­ber the chef-de-cui­sine has been, and still is, An­dreas Ge­or­giou, a vet­eran di­rec­tor of menus of count­less func­tions: from Ro­tary and nu­mer­ous busi­ness clubs to wed­dings, chris­ten­ings, prod­uct launches, char­ity fundrais­ers, em­bassy and govern­ment bashes and lots more. I have had the plea­sure to work with him over the years: cook­ery com­pe­ti­tions, press lunches, small group meals and for spe­cial ed­i­to­rial fea­tures such as the Cyprus Gourmet’s “Cook­ing with Beer”.

The food was al­most al­ways good and the event well or­gan­ised – with the pos­si­ble ex­cep­tion of a some­what ill-ad­vised se­ries of “Theatre Din­ners”, in the 1990s where tim­ing went awry.

In those heady days of boom, be­fore the bust, wine im­porters were lav­ish in their pro­mo­tions, or­gan­is­ing splen­did af­fairs to in­tro­duce new wines or pro­duc­ers. One such re­joiced in the name of “Gala Din­ner”, in which four, five or even six cour­ses, were matched to a spe­cific wine. An all in­clu­sive price cov­ered food and drink. Le Crème de la Crème of Ni­cosia, Li­mas­sol and Paphos flocked to them.

I re­call one such Gala Din­ner at the Hil­ton, at­tended by around 100 people. The price was mod­est, the menu three-cour­ses with a main dish of the most ex­cel­lent roast beef, pre­pared to per­fec­tion by An­dreas Ge­or­giou’s team (be­lieve me, you have to be a good chef, with good servers, to bring hot roast beef to ev­ery per­son on ev­ery ta­ble in peak con­di­tion). The wines were ex­cel­lent, from a noted Bur­gundy house. We en­joyed the meal im­mensely and said so a day or two later to the im­porter. “Ah”, he said, “Thank you Patrick, but I had many com­plaints from Cypri­ots, who wanted much richer food and much more of it”.

An­dreas is al­ways cour­te­ous, oblig­ing and ef­fi­cient. Asked a week or two ago for a cou­ple of recipes, he obliged within a few days. They look good, as be­fits a ho­tel chef’s cre­ations, and they taste good.

The aniseed flavour of the Ouzo (or Pernod) goes in­cred­i­bly well with shrimp or prawns. If you can find North At­lantic prawns these have the best flavour. 24 peeled raw jumbo Prawns, head on cook’s note) 600g cooked spaghetti 80ml Ex­tra Vir­gin Olive Oil 150g chopped onions 50g chopped gar­lic 80ml Ouzo (or Pernod) 200g chopped toma­toes 20g chopped pars­ley 20g Chopped fresh basil Salt & Freshly Grounded Black Pep­per

(see 1. Heat the olive oil in a non stick pan and over a mod­er­ate heat fry the prawns for a minute or so each side. 2. In the pan add onions, gar­lic and sauté un­til golden brown. 3. Flame with ouzo. Re­duce juices by half. 4. Add toma­toes, pars­ley and basil and cook for about five min­utes. 5. Re­move pan from heat. 6. In a large pan, salt and boil plenty of wa­ter and cook the spaghetti in a rolling boil for 9 – 11 min­utes un­til cooked through to your lik­ing. 7. Drain spaghetti and form out por­tions into a pasta plate and add the prawn mix­ture. 8. Gar­nish with some pars­ley leaves. 9. Serve with a crisp, well chilled Xynis­teri. If your prawns are frozen, start by de-frost­ing them. If you can­not find good jumbo/King Prawns, use the smaller va­ri­ety of frozen cooked ones, de­frost them and start the recipe at (2). Just stir in the prawns to the sauce af­ter (5).

It is bet­ter to cook the spaghetti be­fore or while you are cook­ing the sauce, be­cause prawns must not only NOT be over-cooked, but should be served as soon as they are done.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Cyprus

© PressReader. All rights reserved.