Prepare to be amazed at how often chocolate makes it into Spanish cooking. The Spanish have a life long love affair with chocolate and it turns up in the most unexpected recipes. Like this one. Combining two of my personal favourites. Prawns and chocolate. I would never have imagined this could work well. But, I am pleased to tell you, it works very well indeed. Sumptuous is the right word to sum up this meal which, unsurprisingly, hails from those very inventive Basque based chefs.

Ingredients

  • 8 large raw prawns (shrimp) in the shell
  • 15 grams of dark, bitter sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of seasoned plain, all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of pale dry sherry
  • Juice from one large orange
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2.5 cm piece of fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 small dried chilli, seeded and chopped
  • salt and ground black pepper

Preparation

Peel the prawns, leaving just the tail sections intact. Make a shallow cut down the back of each one and carefully pull out and discard the dark intestinal tract. Turn the prawns over so that the undersides are uppermost. Then carefully slit them open from tail to top using a small sharp knife. Cut them almost through to the central back line.
Press the prawns down firmly to flatten them out. Coat with the seasoned flour and set aside. Gently heat the sherry and orange juice in a small pan. When warm, remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until melted. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for two minutes until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add the prawns, cut side down and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown with pink edges. Turn the prawns and cook for a further two minutes. Return the garlic mixture to the pan and pour the chocolate sauce over. Cook for one minute, turning the prawns to coat them in the sauce. Season to taste and serve hot.