Recipe: Brighten up your evening with popcorn prawns and pineapple salsa

Try making Charlotte Smith-Jarvis' popcorn prawns for dinner. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Try making Charlotte Smith-Jarvis' popcorn prawns for dinner. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis shares her recipe for an easy dinner to enjoy in the shineshine.

How nice was the weather at the weekend? I swear the thermometer hit 25C in my garden (which is admittedly a bit of a sun trap). When the sun's beaming down like it has been, there's nothing I like better than laying about with a good book, a cold glass of vino and some nibbles.

My go-to snack when it's hot (either here or overseas) is prawns. Big. Small. Fried. Steamed. Smoked. Doused in garlic butter. I'll take them any way they come.

One of the very best ways to serve these sweet little crustaceans though is as seafood popcorn. Fusing Cajun and Creole cooking, these tiny nuggets are just the thing to munch on as the spring sun sets of an evening. The cornmeal batter seems thick, but puffs up to give the prawns a nutty, crunchy popcorn flavour and texture, while the zingy salsa cuts through with freshness.

The recipe works with chicken or monkfish too. If you want to serve yours in popcorn cartons like I have here, find them at notonthehighstreet.com

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Popcorn prawns with pineapple salsa

(serves two)

Ingredients

As many king prawns as you like, peeled, deveined and each one cut into three pieces, 50g cornflour, 100g fine polenta, 50g plain flour, 1/4tsp salt, pinch cayenne, 1/2tsp fresh ground black pepper, oil for frying.

For the salsa: 1 medium pineapple peeled, cored and cut into 1cm dice (put the core into a jug of iced water with slices of lemon for a nice infused drink), juice of 1 lime, 1 red chilli seeded and finely chopped, ½ red onion peeled and chopped

Method

Mix together the ingredients for the salsa and set aside. Heat oil in a deep fat fryer or half fill a medium saucepan with oil and heat to 180C.

Mix the cornflour, polenta, plain flour, salt, pepper and cayenne together and add just enough water to make a thick batter. Dip the prawns in the batter one by one and carefully spoon into the hot oil. When they turn golden and rise to the surface they are cooked. They take less than a minute.

Serve hot with a salad and the salsa. I like a glass of Adnams Mosaic on the side too.

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