This recipe makes a delicious starter for a dinner party or a show-stopping snack that really shows off the tropical flavours and vibrant colours of Brazil. Nearly all the preparation can be done a day in advance which will leave you more time to spend with your guests.
- 6 large tiger prawns, shells and heads on
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 red chilli, halved lengthways, deseeded and thinly sliced
- Olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
For the stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Prawn shells
- 1 small onion, chopped
- Thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, sliced
- 200ml coconut milk
- Light soy sauce
- Fish sauce
For the salsa
- Half a ripe mango, cut into ½cm dice
- Half a red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- Juice and zest of half a lime
- 2 tablespoons olive oil.
For the crushed avocado
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 tablespoon soured cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
- Juice and zest of half a lime
- 2 slices of sourdough bread cut from a small oval loaf
To prepare the prawns
Remove the shells and devein the prawns, keeping the heads on. Keep the shells to use in the stock.
Put the prawns, garlic, chilli and olive oil into a bowl, cover and marinate in the refrigerator until needed.
To make the stock
Heat the olive oil in the casserole on a low to medium heat, add the prawn shells, onion and ginger then fry gently for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the coconut milk, bring to the boil and reduce by a third, season with half a teaspoon of soy sauce, half a teaspoon of fish sauce and salt and black pepper.
Strain the stock into a container and discard the shells and vegetables.
Allow to chill and refrigerate until needed.
To make the salsa
In a bowl mix the mango, red onion, basil, chilli, lime juice and zest, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
To prepare the crushed avocado
Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and then the flesh. Roughly chop the flesh, put in a bowl along with the soured cream, coriander and juice and zest of half a lime. Season with salt and pepper.
Place a layer of cling-film directly onto the avocado mixture, this will prevent the avocado from turning brown, and refrigerate until needed.
To cook and assemble
Remove all items from the fridge, gently heat the stock in a small saucepan.
Heat the grill on a medium heat setting; meanwhile brush the sourdough slices with a little olive oil. Test the temperature of the pan – see Cook’s notes - and when hot enough place the bread onto the grill and toast on both sides. Remove and spread one side of each slice with crushed avocado and place on a stoneware serving platter until needed.
Test the temperature of the grill again with a little water and, if hot enough, add the prawns and cook for 3 minutes on each side. For the final 30 seconds, turn down the heat and pour in the remaining marinade of chilli, garlic and olive oil.
Remove the pan from the heat. Carefully place three prawns on top of each slice of avocado toast and spoon over the pan juices.
Spoon the mango salsa around the toast, then drizzle with stock.
Serve with a hot water and lemon finger bowl.
- To check if the grill is hot enough add a few drops of cold water to the hot surface. If it sizzles and the water evaporates almost immediately, it is hot enough and ready for use. If the water produces steam and has no sizzle, heat the pan for a little longer and repeat the test again.
- You can peel the prawns and make the stock and salsa the day before and refrigerate until needed.
- Take care not to burn the garlic when cooking or it will taste bitter.
- Any leftover stock can be frozen for up to two months.