Saturday 6 September 2014

Prawns with lemon butter sauce and tagliatelle

I have been a little remiss with my postings lately. Although I have cooked and experienced wonderful food of late, I've not found the time to share them with you. Not good enough I know, but there you are.
The past month or so has been more than a little distracting. Firstly, our dowager Sadie dog has been very unwell, actually on 'deaths door'.  It has been very, very upsetting to see our faithful companion stop eating and slowly lose weight. After many trips to the vet, antibiotics and much tempting with tasty morsels, she has finally turned the corner - thanks to (would you believe) freshly cooked, London Pride sausages! Our vet tells us that although this is good news, we still may only have limited months with her, due to the state of her kidneys etc. In the meantime we take good care of her, and make sure she rests in the sunshine. She will see her final days, in as much comfort as possible. Long walks with Sadie are no longer on our daily to do list. So the man and I have taken to going for walks on our own, just to get used to the idea of life without our dog!
Secondly I made a trip to Christchurch to spend time with family and to attend an Asian cooking class at the luxurious Otahuna Lodge in Tai Tapu This wonderful opportunity was a fantastic treat from my dear friend Deb, actually a birthday present she shared with lucky old me!
We had a gorgeous day eating, drinking and learning new techniques. An experience I will never forget. The staff at Otahuna Lodge are world class! And should I ever win Lotto I plan to book the whole place and invite all my family and friends to enjoy a weekend of Jimmy's cooking and the Otahuna experience.
I also managed to get along to a 'Wellington on a Plate' dining moment at the Ortega Fish Shack and Bar  It is such a great place, decor rustic with very classy food. Our first course was Prawns in lemon butter sauce on fresh tagliatelle. I could have picked up the bowl and licked it. A gorgeous dish that begged to be wiped clean with my piece of bread. (I made apologies for my lack of table manners but then noted everyone else followed suit!)
On a Friday night I had a go at making my own version of this dish. The result was superb if I say so myself. It is not a recipe for any one with fish allergies, or on a dairy free, carbo free, low fat diet. No sir ree!
Sauce just before it was served
Get everything ready before you start the pasta
So, so delicious
Prawn and lemon butter sauce on fresh tagliatelle (serves 2)
Prawns 6-8 for each person - depending on your appetite
Lemon - cut into 8ths (skins on)
Butter - about 2tbsp
Cream  - about 1/4 cup
Parsley - a small handful, finely chopped
Garlic - 1-2 cloves - finely chopped
Remove shells from prawns and de-vein (leave the tails on if you so wish) and set aside.
Boil a pot of lightly salted water, add the amount of tagliatelle you need for two. Cook to al dente.
Note: The quantities for the following sauce will depend on how many you are cooking for. 
While the pasta is cooking, make your sauce.
On a low heat, heat a medium size non-stick fry pan with about 2tbsp of butter (or more if you like more richness). Be careful not over cook or burn, it will spoil the final result.
Add the garlic and 4 pieces of lemon, squashing them to obtain the juice as the garlic cooks. You need the lemon, it cuts through the richness of the butter and gives your sauce a lovely flavour.
After a few minutes, add about 1/4 cup cream, add a pinch of parsley and warm through,.
Remove from heat and strain into a bowl.
Clean the pan, add a little olive oil and more butter if you wish. Toss in the prawns and cook for a few minutes until just done.
Remove from heat and set aside. Pour your butter sauce back into the pan, add a little salt to taste.
Add remaining parsley and warm through.
Serve pasta in a warm bowl, pile on cooked prawns and drizzle your sauce on top.
This is one of those decadent dishes you can save up for a celebration dinner for two. It is perfect with a lovely little chardonnay!