George, aka Kitchen Goddess (see her fabulous blog here), is in the middle of writing her first cookbook (see here for details). I know for a fact that it takes time and passion (more about that in a few weeks) to do that, especially if you have to manage a home, a dog, and a demanding job. But George has plenty of fantastic recipes, and lots of energy, and I'm sure she'll have huge success with her project.
To show my support, but mostly because this recipe caught my eye and got my tastebuds salivating, I have cooked this recipe of hers. The title of her post was Rush Hour. Hers was a midweek dinner, mine was a Sunday lunchtime rush.
I know that Sunday is fathers' day at the playground, but we like to go all together, even if I often end up sitting down with a book or a magazine while Maya and her Dad (notice the capital D here) go up and down slides and run about. So quite often, I end up in a frenzy in the kitchen cooking a quick meal of steamed veg and carbs and we all share because I can't be bothered to make us grown ups a more refined dish.
Well, not today, thanks to George. I did steam some green beans and potatoes for Maya (she likes her food quite plain, I feel lucky she even considers green beans -or broccoli- as food otherwise she'd eat only pasta, couscous and Kartoffeln). Anyway, I looked forward to a fast but tasty meal and the harissa prawns and saffron rice George shared were just that.
I happened to have everything lurking about the fridge/freezer. Some leftover sweetcorn (canned, for salads), some frozen peas, some frozen prawns, some longlife light cream and some harissa. Even some sherry, which I never know how to use, and some saffron, brought back from my hols in Lanzarote.
I am reluctant with prawns ever since I read that their extensive farming is harmful both to the environment and to the people who grow them. Now I only buy the small cold sea ones (in tins) or the quality labels. These were organically farmed ones, a bit expensive but not an every day thing either.
I must say that I took liberties with the proportions, using only a pinch of saffron threads and as a result, my rice didn't turn as yellow as George's so I added a pinch of turmeric to it.
Well, we both really liked this combination. The rice was different than my usual plain basmati, adding some sherry and some vegetable stock really was an improvement. The creamy harissa sauce was impossibly easy (heat cream, add harissa, then prawns) but nonetheless delicious. I would have added some fresh chopped coriander to sprinkle had I had some (but mine died on me while I was away), but it wasn't necessary. And with the prawns over the rice, and the harissa cream poured over both, the flavours mingled and made for a very moreish dish.
I would have liked to present a better picture of the finished dish but after one click, the batteries in my camera went dead, and having none ready to replace them, I had to settle for this one (yeah, the sun was shining!)
Thanks for this fab recipe, George! and fingers crossed for your book :-)