Sautéed Fresh Water Prawns* with English Peas and Fresh Morel Fricassee, and Madras Curry Sauce
By Xavier Deshayes - Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, DC

Serves 6 (as an appetizer)

Ingredients for the curry oil:
1 C olive oil
2 t Madras curry

Pour olive oil into a bottle with curry. Place bottle in a double boiler and leave for 15 minutes in boiling water. Leave bottle in double boiler while it gradually cools off. Prepare curry oil the day before intended use.

Ingredients for the prawns:
12 prawns, cleaned, de-veined, shells removed (save shells)

One hour before serving, place prawns in a mixing bowl with the curry oil. Let them marinate until cooking time.

Ingredients for the Madras curry sauce:
1/4 C onion, chopped
1/4 C celery branch, chopped
1/4 C leek, chopped
1/4 C carrot, chopped
1 t Madras curry
1 t tomato paste
1/2 C cognac (brandy acceptable)
2 C chicken stock
1 C half & half
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

In a medium-size pot, heat olive oil and butter. When hot, add all chopped vegetables. Sauté vegetables at medium heat until soft. Add prawn shells and curry, mix well and let cook until shells become pink. Add tomato paste, mix well and let cook for 3 minutes. Pour in cognac and let cook until reduced to a dry stage. Add chicken stock and half & half, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Strain the liquids, bring the sauce back to a quick boil, then reduce heat while adjusting the seasoning. Finish with 2 teaspoons of soft butter. Preserve sauce in a warm place.

Ingredients for the peas and morels fricassee:
12 oz. morel mushrooms
1 lb. English peas, removed from pods, cleaned
6 oz. diced, cooked onions
1/4 C mushroom or vegetable stock
10 oz. tomato, diced
1 t parsley, chopped
1 t chives, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Quickly blanch peas in boiling water and quickly cool them down in an ice cold water bath. Strain peas and put aside.

In a hot and oily sauté pan, sear mushrooms and let them release all the liquid. Strain liquid and, in the same pan, sear mushrooms with oil and butter. Add salt and pepper to taste and sauté mushrooms for 5 minutes at medium heat. Add the cooked, diced onion and let cook for another 2 minutes. Deglaze pan with 1/4 cup of the mushroom stock and keep cooking for 3 minutes. Add English peas and butter, sauté all ingredients together and adjust seasoning.

To Serve:
At the last moment, remove prawns from the curry oil marinade. Season prawns and cook them in a very hot oily sauté pan. Cook both sides until golden color, about 2 minutes on each side.

At this time, drop the chopped fresh herbs and diced tomato into the morel mixture.

Place the morel fricassee in the center of the plate. Dry prawns on a paper towel to remove extra oil, if necessary. Place 2 golden prawns on top of the fricassee. Spoon the curry sauce all around the prawns.

*Seafood Watch: recommends farmed fresh water prawns from the U.S.


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