Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Prawns with homemade mayonnaise

Up until a few years ago I didn't like prawns. In fact, I didn't like anything that could crawl or still had legs, claws or antennas.
Then I started going to this tapas place around the corner of my old house in Amsterdam. I would go there with either my roommate and best friend A. and/or my boyfriend M. Both of them were crazy about the gambas al ajillo. With fascination and disgust I looked at those little animals and watched how they were devoured. The head was jerked off, and then the rest of the skin. Taking the bowels out and then, finally, they could eat this poor little pink thing. Not so appealing, but the smell of garlic and oil..hmmm.
Finally I took a bite. Since then I am sold and now I skin these little mama's without any scruples what so ever.

I also love eating them plain, with some homemade mayo, toasted bread with butter and some lemon juice. Just put everything on the table, and let everybody clean the prawns themselves.
Take 100 g of unpeeled, cooked prawns per person.

Mayonnaise (around 1 cup)

1 egg yolk
1 small teaspoon Dijon mustard
2,5 dl sunflower oil
little bit of lemon juice
salt and pepper

* mix the egg yolk with the mustard with a (electric) whip (NL: garde)
* add just a drop of oil and mix
* add another drop and mix and continue this way until it's getting thick and creamy
* dribble in the rest of the oil slowly while whipping continuously (I tend do it too fast and have to start over - very annoying)
* stir in some lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste

* don't use olive oil for your mayonnaise, or use half olive and half sunflower oil, because otherwise the olive oil flavour will dominate the mayonnaise too much.
* make sure all the ingredients of the mayonaise are on room temperature
* you can use frozen prawns if you skin them while they are still frozen. This way they won't get soggy (I got this tip from my 'aunt-in-law' who is a food journalist/writer and great cook)

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