From the Kitchen – Every Last Drop

by Joan Saunders | photos by Kathryn Alvarez Photography – 

This dish had me salivating even before I’d made it. Come on: bacon, prawns, coconut milk and sun-dried tomatoes? These glorious ingredients meld together so wonderfully and, not surprisingly, this recipe has become one of my favourites.

What I love about it as well is that it is cooked in just one pan. It’s decidedly unfussy, yet still seems very sophisticated. Served with some pasta or, as I prefer, focaccia bread, it’s a fabulous way to celebrate prawn season.

I know that prawns can, and should, stand on their own, but sometimes leaning into some complementary layers of flavour allows us to relish our local bounty in new ways. This recipe highlights what we can enjoy right now: some fabulous prawns along with lemon, a bit of parmesan, coconut milk and spinach. If you’re like me you’ll find yourself scooping up every last savoury, delicious drop.

Coconut Milk & Spinach Prawns
4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
around 600g (1.3lb) uncooked prawns or jumbo shrimp (peeled and de-veined)
salt, pepper
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1   1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
crushed red pepper flakes
1 jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 package baby spinach (clamshell of 142 grams)
juice of 1 lemon
fresh basil leaves for garnish (if desired)
crusty bread for serving (optional)

Put chopped bacon in large, deep skillet over medium heat. Cook until bacon is very crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Leave extra fat in pan.

Add the olive oil to bacon fat in the pan; heat over medium heat. Pat the prawns dry. When oil is shimmering, add the prawns and some salt and pepper. Cook, flipping the prawns once, until they are pink and opaque. It shouldn’t take too long: about two minutes on each side. Add garlic, rosemary, oregano, paprika and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Continue stirring and cooking until garlic is fragrant. This will only take a minute or so.

Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes; cook for another minute.

Pour in the wine; scrape up any browned flavours from bottom of skillet. Bring to a simmer. Cook until liquids are reduced a little, about 3 minutes. Stir in can of coconut milk, then spinach and parmesan. Return mixture to a simmer and cook until the spinach is wilted, which will be about 3-4 more minutes. Turn off heat and mix in lemon juice.

You can either add the bacon now or keep it separate and sprinkle it over the top. Garnish with fresh basil.

Serve with some crusty bread. Focaccia is always good with this (see recipe in Seaside’s October 2023 issue, or below for another option), as it’s perfect to dip into the yummy sauce.

Easy Focaccia
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp instant yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
flaky sea salt
1-2 tsp rosemary leaves (optional)

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast. Add the water. Using a rubber spatula, mix until the liquid is absorbed and a sticky dough ball forms. Rub the surface of the dough lightly with olive oil. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 2 hours.

Butter an 8 or 9-inch round baking dish or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil into centre of the pan. Deflate dough by releasing it from the sides of the bowl; make the dough into a rough ball. Place dough ball in middle of prepared pan. Roll the ball in the oil to coat it all over, then pull or push dough gently with fingers to fill the pan. Let rise again for 30 minutes. No need to cover the dough.

Preheat oven to 425°. Pour a tablespoon of oil over dough. Rub your hands lightly in the oil, then using your fingers, press down to create deep dimples. If needed, gently stretch dough again to help it fill the pan. Sprinkle with rosemary (if using) and then with flaky sea salt.

Bake for 27-30 minutes, until underside is golden. Let cool on a cooling rack. Slice, then dip into the sauce and enjoy.

Adapted from:
Half Baked Harvest Every Day, Tieghan Gerard, published by Clarkson Potter

Shopping Cart