See food, eat food!

colourfulA friend of mine is on a ‘see food’ diet. She sees food and eats it.

This friend is tall and definitely not overweight. But she loves to go on silly fad diets and then when they don’t work out, she gets frustrated and goes on her ‘see food’ diet.
So, when she called to say that she’ll be over for dinner, I knew most conversations would ultimately end with her complaining about her imaginary weight gain.  I dragged myself to the kitchen, checked my refrigerator for a quick recipe and found some frozen prawns. Yes! Sea food!
Made a quick prawn cocktail and some broccoli soup to go with it. The recipe can be made in a healthy and an unhealthy way, depending on the dressing. I chose the cheese sauce dressing instead of the vinaigrette. Serves my friend right for fussing over food so much! 😉
Prawn Cocktail
300 gm Prawns (fresh or frozen) de-veined
Lemon Juice from a small lemon
Salt
Olive Oil
Half Cup Water
Pepper
Fresh Spinach Leaves
Bell Peppers, one red & yellow each
Mushrooms halved
Cheese sauce, according to taste
To soften the frozen prawns, I added half a cup of water with salt and brought it to a boil. Once the water dried up, I removed it from heat and drizzled olive oil, pepper and lemon juice over it.
To make the prawn cocktail, I sauteed the vegetables in a teaspoon of olive oil. I did not add salt as the cheese sauce has enough salt. Added the prawns and the cheese sauce and done!
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Grilled Prawns with Lemon Butter Rice

Sometime in July 2010, Prash and i went to Udaipur. While the lakes, palaces and the narrow, busy lanes are what Udaipur is usually remembered for, it is this low profile German restaurant there that has drawn us to Udaipur several times after that visit. A very unusual yet beautifully done place, this restaurant offers sumptuous Mediterranean food on its limited menu. There we had some amazing Greek gambas (shrimp/prawn) with lemon butter rice. The restaurant served us 6 large prawns on a bed of great-tasting rice. The second time we went to the same place a year later, the restaurant ran out of large prawns and served us some medium prawns. We were cool with it, obviously but the owner, a sweet German, himself came up to our table to apologize and even gave us a discount for not having large gambas in stock 🙂 Now, that’s what you call a real ‘atithi devo bhava’ attitude! Check out my version of the Greek gambas with lemon butter rice, dedicated to the love of my life and the good times in Udaipur!

Greek Gambas with Lemon Butter Rice

About: Marinated prawns grilled to perfection, served on a bed of tangy, buttery hot rice

Ingredients: (Serves 2 )

For the gambas:

Large Shrimps/Prawns (u can also use medium prawns) 500 gms

Garlic 1 clove finely chopped

Juice of half a lemon

Butter 200 gms

Salt

Pepper

Red chilly flakes or powder

For the rice:

Basmati rice 2 cups

Juice of half a lemon

Salt

150 gms Butter

How to go about it:

Clean and devein the prawns. Make sure you remove its digestive track- the black thin line that runs on its body. Leave it in a colander while you make the marinade. In a bowl, mix chopped garlic, butter, salt, pepper and chilly powder/flakes. Mix it well and add to the prawns. Give it a good mix to coat the prawns with the marinade, while taking care the prawns do not break. Refrigerate or simply keep aside for 30 minutes.

Wash basmati rice, add 2 cups of water and bring to boil in a pan. You can also add a teaspoon of oil at this stage to ensure the rice does not stick. Another way of cooking rice is to pressure cook it but cooking it in an open pan and draining the remaining water takes out most of  the starch in the rice. As basmati cooks pretty soon, I turn off the gas in 7-8 minutes and cover it for 2 minutes before draining the water. Stir with a fork, add butter, salt and some lemon juice. Keep aside till the prawns are ready.

Next, spread the prawns on a microwave safe plate and place it over the grill in the oven till it is cooked perfectly. You can also put the prawns on skewers and grill on the barbeque. To serve, place rice on a plate and add prawns in the centre on top of the rice. Enjoy 🙂