Mary Kennedy offers a tasting of prawns for starters!


  • for the prawn in tomato and serrano ham:
  • 100 g ripe tomatoes (peeled , halved, seeds removed)
  • 0.5 a small red chilli (seeds removed)
  • 1 small onion (peeled)
  • 1 small red pepper (seeds removed)
  • 1 large clove of garlic (peeled)
  • 1 tblsp flat leaf parsley and basil leaves
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 slice serrano ham slices (finely shredded)
  • 5 g plain flour
  • pinch of sweet paprika
  • salt and pepper to season
  • chopped fresh flat leaf parsley to garnish
  • for the prawn bisque:
  • dozen prawn heads and tails
  • 5 ml brandy
  • 25 ml white wine
  • 0.5 a carrot (peeled and diced)
  • 1 celery stick (diced)
  • 1 onion (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • sprig of basil
  • sprig of fresh thyme
  • sprig of fresh tarragon
  • 10 ml cream
  • for the deep-fried prawns:
  • 4 large dublin bay prawns (shelled and left whole)
  • 10 g flour
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 10 ml milk
  • 20 g kataffi pastry
  • hot frying oil


  • For the Prawn in Tomato and Serrrano Ham:
  • Preheat oven to 180ºC. Put the tomatoes, chilli, onion, red pepper, garlic and herbs in a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Put one tablespoon of olive oil into a a pan over a medium heat, pour the puréed mixture into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Gently heat the mixture for 15 minutes, stirring occassionally until it reduces. Transfer the mixture from the pan into four small ovenproof ramekins and fold in the serrano ham.
  • Mix the flour and paprika together in a shallow bowl and lightly dust the prawns with it. Heat the remaining oil in a very hot pan and quickly sear the prawns on both sides until golden. Place the prawns on top of the tomato mixture in the ramekins and drizzle over any oil from the pan. Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes.
  • For the Prawn Bisque:
  • In a large pot fry off the prawn heads and tails. Add the brandy followed by the wine and flame it off to remove any excess alcohol. Add in the carrot, celery and onion and cook for a few minutes, then cover the prawn heads with cold water. Bring to a boil, stir in the basil, thyme and tarragon and reduce the heat to a simmer and leave for one hour. Strain the liquid off and stir in the cream and pour into a small clear shot glass.
  • For the Deep Fried Prawn:
  • Place the flour in one bowl and season, the kataffi pastry in another and beat the milk and egg and place the mixture in a third bowl.
  • Dust each prawn in the flour, then dip in the egg mixture and using dry hands roll the prawns in the kataffi pastry making sure they are fully covered. Place in a deep fat frier untill the pastry is golden brown.
  • To Serve:
  • Place the Prawn in tomato and Serrano Ham on a serving dish, place the Prawn Bisque in the middle and place the deep fried Prawn alongside. Serve immediately.

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