Prawn & Macaroni Bake

Archaeologists tell us that humans have been eating crustaceans from prehistoric times. Today fish and seafood, specially lobster is the most sought after dish when dining out. These foods weren’t discovered by mankind, they took advantage of every available food resource as a result of which it is no wonder that people who lived near water naturally took advantage of the foods offered by these resources.

It is said that shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can bake it, broil it, grill it, sauté it, deep- fry it- just about anything!

Though in taste and appearance shrimps and prawns are alike, there are a few differences: Shrimps are smaller than prawns and is usually harvested from salt water whereas prawns are bigger and harvested from fresh water. Shrimps have claws on two out of five pairs of legs whereas prawns have claws in three out of five pairs of legs, but they are interchangeable and no one would find out unless you have the tiger prawn staring at you!

A shrimp in the USA is a prawn in Australia.

By any chance are you looking for a warm and filling casserole for dinner tonight? If so, here’s the bake for you. It’s so easy and so good. It’s comforting and let me tell you this particular bake will be devoured in no time. In one sitting. It happens at home too.

Pasta is a family favourite and any pasta will do. It’s fun to cook with and in this case it’s the macaroni that complements the lovely prawns. This bake is delicious, has the right amount of spice and  is filled with flavour. It is said that food is the garden of happiness and smiles, and you cannot go from there without it casting it’s magic spells on you. So true.

This bake brings back a very fond memory – I had made a huge bowl of this particular bake for a dinner at home and we were quite a crowd. I noticed during dinner, since it was a buffet, this particular gentleman did not move too far away from this bake throughout dinner time. He just loved it. Weeks later when my husband met him, he would go back to the dinner and make it a point to mention this particular bake. Months later, when I met him, I was taken aback when he brought up the bake again. I was a happy person that day. Hoping this will be one of your favourites too.

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Ingredients:

  • Cooked Prawns- 2 cups
  • Macaroni- 1 cup (boiled)
  • Onion-  1 minced
  • Green chillies – 5 minced
  • Ginger -1″ piece minced
  • Tomato –  1 minced
  • Capsicum -1/2 minced
  • Parsley – 1 tbsp
  • Chilly flakes – 1 tsp
  • Butter – 3-4 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper
  • Aginimotto – a pinch (optional)

White sauce:

  • Milk – 3 cups
  • Cornflour-4 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cheese – 2 tbsp

Breadcrumbs to sprinkle on top

Method:

  • Cook prawns in 3-4 tablespoons of water along with salt and pepper on a medium flame and stir. There should be no water remaining.
  • Boil macaroni in lots of water to which oil and salt has been added. Rinse under cold water. Add a tsp of oil to the cooked macaroni and toss lightly.
  • In butter, fry onion, gr. chillies, and ginger minced. Do not brown.
  • Add minced tomato and fry well.
  • Add prawns, macaroni, capsicum minced, chilly flakes and parsley.
  • Add salt, pepper and aginimotto. Mix well.

For the White sauce:

  • Mix cornflour in milk and on a medium flame, stir till thick.
  • Add salt, pepper, and grated cheese.

To assemble:

  • In a greased dish, spread a thin layer of white sauce, on top spread the prawn mixture.
  • Top with white sauce, sprinkle breadcrumbs and bake in a preheated oven -180deg c for 25 -30 minutes.
  • Serve hot with garlic bread.

Chefs tips:

  • Two cups of prawns are equal to 1/2 a kg, so you will have to pick up a kg of fresh prawns.
  • You could substitute fresh crab meat for the prawns.
  • Prawns should be cooked for two – three minutes till just tender and the water should be kept to a minimum as possible.
  • You could add celery if available.
  • In case you want the bake spicier, you could increase the chilly flakes and pepper.
  • For the recipe of garlic bread, you could check out my previous post on Cheesy greens.
  • Serves 4-6 .

 

It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat atleast once a day. That’s what human life is all about- enjoying things. – Julia Child

 

Till my next post

Cheers,

Rose

 

 

 

 

 

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