Bar Americain's gulf prawns and cornmeal

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time22 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy

For the cornmeal

960ml to 1.2L of prawn stock
150g yellow stoneground cornmeal
100g grated Cheddar cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

For the shrimp

250g thickly sliced double-smoked bacon, cut into lardons
2 tbsp pure olive oil
20 large prawns, shelled, deveined
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 spring onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
1) Bring 960ml of the stock and 2 tsp of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal or polenta and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the cornmeal is soft and has lost its gritty texture, whisking every few minutes, about 15 to 20 minutes. If the mixture becomes too thick, add the remaining stock and continue cooking until absorbed. Add the cheese and whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

2) Place the bacon in a medium pan over medium heat and cook until golden brown and crisp and the fat has rendered. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.

3) Remove all but 2 tbsp of the bacon fat from the pan and place the pan back on the heat. Add the olive oil and increase the heat to high. Season the prawns with salt and pepper, and add to the pan with the garlic. Saute until golden brown on both sides and just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove the prawns to a plate. Reserve the garlic oil to drizzle over the finished dish.

4) Divide the cornmeal among four bowls and top each with five prawns. Drizzle the top with some of the bacon-garlic oil that the prawns were sauteed in, and sprinkle with some of the green onion.

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