Seriously... BC Spot Prawns, these little pink beauties are nothing short of incredible.
I'm a massive seafood lover, despite my eldest daughter being completely revolted by the passion I feel for my version of #VancouverTakeOut. I'm hoping one day, I can convince her with these lovelies.
Seems like every day there are more headlines about shrimp or prawns from other countries, being pumped up, feeding on feces, or our western silent collusion in destroying habitats due to our voracious hunger for these yummy creatures. Making BC Spot Prawns our staple prawn all year round is my goal for this year's cruising.
True, it's a much more laborious undertaking than crabbing. While we can easily find a yummy crab dinner in anywhere between 30 and 100 feet, you have to drop a prawn trap to 300 or 400 feet to get a decent plate full. Hauling all that line into the boat by hand, with a 10lb weight in the trap to prevent it from drifting away, is certainly a muscle straining exercise (so my husband tells me). But once you pull that trap into the boat, and see your catch, there is nothing more exciting to me. I feel like a kid at Christmas every single time.
The last time we were prawning was in the summer, up my beloved Indian Arm. A glorious sunny day, we chugged out on our Fane to pull the crab and prawn traps from the night before. I am new to prawning. This last year in 2016 was our first attempt. On our first pull, I was so excited to see them. How beautifully feisty they are. Slapping their tales as a means to dodge my hand. Plump. Pink. I was mesmerized.
However, I was quite caught off guard by one thing... their dayglow orange eyes, looking up at me from the trap and the slow fade to black as they flip their last flop. A reminder that these vivid creatures are special, magical almost. It was sad to watch the orange fade to black, so I vow to respect them in my kitchen and do them appropriate honours. These are not seafood to be squandered. They are a precious delicacy.
We caught many last summer. A great taste of what is to come in my casual prawning career. I experimented with cooking them a few different ways but the consensus was, poached in garlic butter, bit of lemon, shells on - the only way to go! Don't forget, tons of fresh calabrese for dipping.
BC Spot Prawns in Garlic & Lemon Butter
Melt the butter, and mix in the oil and garlic. Once the butter has melted and the pan is a nice medium temperature (not too hot or the garlic will burn), throw in your beautiful pink prawns. Leave them just a minute a side, and turn them over. After that one more minute, turn off the heat, throw the tarragon on them, drizzle with the lemon and top them with a good fitting lid for another two minutes. Don't turn the heat back on. They have enough heat in the pan to cook through and will poach in the lovely buttery lemon oil.
Serve with a fresh batch of my Calabrese bread. Then sit back, pour a glass of wine and watch the stars come out over the sea at night, sharing these beauties with someone special.
HI, I'M KATE
A Captain's daughter, who became a Captain's wife. I remain always, a mermaid out of water looking to get straight back to the sea, whenever possible.