Summer is hanging in there by its fingernails, clutching desperately at the fading light as nights start to close in. And you have to admire its gutsiness as temperatures remain stubbornly in the high teens.
This dish is an ideal way to pay some respect to the season, but also to bring some heat to your belly after dark. It’s bright, colourful and redolent of heady Latin nights. And, at the same time, manages to be warming and comforting. A dish for all seasons.
With the spicy sausage, tomatoes and rice, it’s based loosely on jambalaya. And like it’s Creole progenitor the dish has a deep and languid spiciness. All mellow warming notes with some underlying heat.
This spiciness underpins the piquant sweetness of the tomato sauce , while parsley brings a blast of fresh herbiness, and helps mitigate the pungent garlic. Prawns add a jaunty sea-saltiness and hints of beach side fun, completing the dish.
Unlike jambalaya it’s pretty quick to assemble and so perfect for a weekday evening. You can throw it together, sit back and think wistfully about drinking Mojitos in the Caribbean heat.
Spicy prawn, chorizo and tomato
Serves two-three people with rice and veg
This is a very malleable dish and so good for a last minute dinner. So long as it has the base elements of chilli heat, spicy warmth, seafood and spicy sausage in a tomato sauce, you should be fine.
Turmeric and allspice would be great additions and cinnamon and cloves would also add something, although you wouldn’t want to be too heavy handed with them. You could also add more seafood or change the chorizo for any other sort of spicy sausage.
1 pack of raw prawns
2 chorizo sausages – sliced into thick rounds
2 onions – finely chopped
1 stick celery – finely chopped
2 carrots – finely chopped
A couple glugs red wine
1 tin of chopped tommies
2 cloves garlic – finely sliced
1 birds eye chilli – finely sliced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 quarter tsp cayenne pepper
1 pinch saffron
1 bay leaf
Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and add the onion and chorizo. Soften for a few minutes, stirring occasionally then add the carrot and celery. Stir and fry for a couple more minutes.
Add the garlic and chill, stir in for a minute or so, then add the cumin, coriander, cayenne and saffron. Stir for 30 seconds before glugging in the wine. Let it bubble down for a few minutes then add the bay leaf and tinned tomatoes.
Turn the heat down and let the mix simmer for about thirty minutes. Add the prawns and stir until they are pink. Serve over rice.