Fish and prawn pirão

The Guardian - Feast - - Feast -

Prep Cook Serves 25 min 1 hr 25 min 6

12 raw head-on, shell-on tiger prawns

¼ tsp sweet pa­prika 6 gar­lic cloves, peeled and crushed 105ml olive oil Salt

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

3 toma­toes, finely chopped (300g net weight)

1 scotch bon­net chilli, left whole but with a length­ways slit cut into it

3 tbsp tomato paste 5g co­rian­der leaves, finely chopped, plus 2 tbsp whole leaves, to serve

4 sea bream fil­lets (about 120g each), skinned and cut in half 250ml shell­fish or fish stock

1 green chilli, finely sliced (and de­seeded if you pre­fer less heat)

2 tsp whitewine vine­gar 150g coarse cas­sava flour or quick­cook po­lenta

1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve Pirão is a tra­di­tional dish from the north-east of Brazil made by beat­ing coarse cas­sava root flour into hot stock. It’s typ­i­cally eaten along­side a fish stew called

but I be­lieve it de­serves main-dish sta­tus in its own right. You can get coarse cas­sava flour on­line, and in Brazil­ian and West African shops (where it’s called

fail­ing that, use the same amount of quick-cook po­lenta.

mo­queca, gari);

For the mar­i­nated prawns, twist off the prawn heads and put them in a bowl. Leav­ing the tails in­tact, peel and dis­card the prawn shells, then de-vein the prawns and use a small, sharp knife to open them up so they are semi-but­ter­flied. Put the prawns in a medium bowl with the pa­prika, half the gar­lic, two ta­ble­spoons of oil and a quar­tertea­spoon of salt. Mix to­gether and leave to mar­i­nate for 20 or min­utes.

Mean­while, heat three ta­ble­spoons of oil in a large, heavy­based saucepan on a medium flame, then fry the prawn heads, stir­ring, for about five min­utes, un­til crisp and bright pink. Use a potato masher (or metal whisk) to crush the heads and re­lease their liq­uids and flavour into the oil. Strain through a fine sieve, re­serv­ing the oil, and dis­card the heads.

Re­turn the oil to the pan and put on a medium-high heat.

Add an­other ta­ble­spoon of oil and the re­main­ing gar­lic, and fry for a minute, stir­ring, un­til lightly coloured. Add the onion, fry for three min­utes, then add the toma­toes, scotch bon­net, tomato paste, co­rian­der, fish and a tea­spoon and a quar­ter of salt, and fry for five min­utes, stir­ring ev­ery now and then. Pour in the stock and 850ml wa­ter, turn down the heat to medium and sim­mer for 15 min­utes.

Mean­while, com­bine the green chilli and vine­gar in a small bowl with an eighth of a tea­spoon of salt.

Lift out 120g of the fish from the stock and set aside. With the pan still on a medium heat, sprin­kle the sur­face with a third of the cas­sava flour or po­lenta, whisk­ing con­stantly as you go to avoid any lumps. Don’t worry about the fish break­ing apart – that’s the in­ten­tion. Slowly pour in the re­main­ing cas­sava flour or po­lenta in two more batches, whisk­ing con­stantly. Once it’s all fully in­cor­po­rated into the stock, turn down the heat to low and whisk for eight min­utes more, un­til the mix is thick­ened and bub­bling, then turn off the heat.

Put a large, non­stick fry­ing pan on a high heat and, once very hot, lay in the prawns, spaced apart, and sear for 90 sec­onds on each side, un­til golden. Scrape the prawn mari­nade into the pan with the re­served fish, and warm up.

Trans­fer the pirão to a large, shal­low bowl and top with the prawns and fish. Toss the re­main­ing co­rian­der with the mar­i­nated green chill­ies, and spoon over the top. Squeeze the lime and driz­zle the re­main­ing two ta­ble­spoons of oil over, and serve.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.