…from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? You might be asking yourself… “why Mozambique Prawns?” Some of you may know that I spent the better part of 3 or 4 years going back and forth to Lisbon, Portugal. During the time of colonial Portuguese rule of Mozambique many southern African foods were brought back to Portugal. One such item was large prawns and you can still enjoy them today in Portugal’s many seaside restaurants.
Mozambique is an African nation located in the southeast of Africa whose long Indian Ocean coastline is dotted with popular beaches and offshore marine parks. In the Quirimbas Archipelago, a 250km stretch of coral islands, mangrove-covered Ibo Island has colonial-era ruins surviving from a period of Portuguese rule. The Bazaruto Archipelago farther south has reefs that protect rare marine life including prawns.
While Mozambique is famous for the quality of its fresh seafood there is a heavy Portuguese influence felt in dishes such as Peri-Peri (hot and spicy) Prawns and Peri-Peri Chicken. It is a cross-cultural country between food and music—Mozambique is famous for its traditional music, especially its marimba bands. Marimba bands made it all the way to Brazil in South America.
You’ll see that this recipe calls for Amarula, a cream liqueur from South Africa. It is in the same family as Bailey’s (Irish) Cream. It is made with sugar, cream and the fruit of the African marula tree which is also locally called the Elephant tree or the Marriage Tree. It has a light alcohol content of 17% by volume (30° proof) and is a wonderful ingredient for both sweet and savory dishes.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Marinade time: 30-60 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For the cashew nut Amarula satay
14 ounces cashew nuts
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Amarula
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
For the piri-piri prawns
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chili flakes
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 fresh mild red chile, seeded, deveined and chopped
1-pound large raw prawns, deveined with shell and head on
1 fresh lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the cashew nut Amarula satay sauce
To grill the prawns
ChefSecret: If you don’t have access to a grill, you can cook the prawns in a griddle pan. Heat the pan until it is smoking before adding the prawns. Turn the prawns after two minutes and cook until just pink and cooked through.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “In life, in order to succeed, you must do the thing you thought you could not do. That does not apply to haircuts during quarantine.”
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