Skull Island tiger prawns with fermented pumpkin, black garlic puree, espellette pepper, green shiso and pepitas
Recipe courtesy of Jacob Davey from FRDC's TV show Seafood Escape with Andrew Ettinghausen
Cooking difficulty: Difficult
Preparation: 5 days
Cooking: 1 hour
Save the poaching liquid for use in accompanying sauces or for soups or stocks.
A chilled batter may produce a crisper coating. A light tempura batter and beer batter are particularly suited to seafood.
The seafood can be lightly seasoned with herbs, salt and pepper, sprinkled with lemon juice or white wine and dotted with butter or basted with oil. Low-salt soy sauce and coriander can also be used.
Once frozen, seafood can be removed from the "freezer", unwrapped, dipped under cold, running water, and then re-wrapped for freezing. This coats it with a glaze that helps reduce dehydration during its time in storage.
If the seafood is to be served cold, it should be covered to retain moisture and flavour and then placed in a chiller for an hour or even overnight.
1 butternut pumpkin
2 tbsp pepitas
½ tsp espellette pepper
300 ml shellfish stock (recipe below)
4 U/6 Skull Island prawns (peeled with heads removed)
100g peeled black garlic
10 ml sherry vinegar
20 ml water
10 ml olive oil
20 sprigs of baby green shiso
12 threads of prawn cracker
2kg prawn shells, no heads, frozen
80ml olive oil
1 celery stick
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme
60 ml brandy
60ml semi sweet sherry
200 ml white wine
6 tomatoes (pureed)
1l fish stock
Water to cover
Peel and cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds.
Reserve the top half for pumpkin sheets.
Chop the bottom half into 8 equal slices place in a sous vide bag and weigh the pumpkin. Add 2 percent of salt to the sous vide bag.
Seal the sous vide bag and leave at room temperature for 4 days.
Once fermented, slice the pumpkin in to 12 x 2 cm diamonds reserve the trim.
For the puree, blend 250 g of fermented pumpkin trim.
Place in a pot and reduce to 150 g, place back in blender and puree with 50 g butter.
For the pumpkin sheets, thinly slice pumpkin and cut into 8 cm x 8 cm squares. Season with salt and olive oil and freeze between plastic sheets for at least 12 hours.
Black garlic puree
Puree the garlic with 10 ml sherry vinegar, 20 ml water and 10 ml olive oil.
Season with salt.
Puree 100 g peeled prawns with 50 g tapioca flour.
Divide into 2 sous vide bags measuring 200 x 140 mm and vacuum on full.
Spread the mixture as evenly as possible and steam at 100 degrees for 10 minutes then cool in an ice bath.
Remove for the sous vide bags, slice as thinly as possible and place in dehydrator for 2-3 hours.
Deep fry at 180 degrees for 5-10 seconds.
Reduce shellfish stock to 40 ml, cook 10g butter to light beurre noisette and add to shellfish stock.
Gently sweat the mirepoix in the butter in a separate pan until just softened. Set aside.
Spread the shells in one even layer in the trays and roast in the in oven for 10-12 minutes at 180˚C. Stir occasionally to get even colour, taking to a light roasted colour, too dark will make the sauce bitter and the shells will take on a little colour in the pot.
Have the pot ready on the heat and add the olive oil. When the shells are golden, transfer to the pot and colour some more in the hot oil. Do not burn!
Deglaze the trays with a little white wine and add back to the wine.
When the shells are nicely coloured and have a good aroma, add the softened mirepoix, brandy and sherry and reduce by two thirds.
Then add the wine and bouquet garni and reduce by half.
Stir every now and then to ensure the shells don’t catch.
Add the fish stock and the tomato puree and mix all together.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Do not skim off the oil as it holds a lot of flavour and colour.
Take off heat and then strain, pushing a little on the shells to extract the sauce. Cool.
In a small pot cover the pepitas with sunflower oil.
Place on a medium heat, occasionally stirring.
Once the pepitas begin to fry and pop, strain them out and immediately season with salt and espellette.
Begin by cooking your prawns on a hot chargrill (preferably charcoal). They will take about 1 minute each side, remove and divide each prawn into 4 pieces, then dress in a small amount of shellfish jus.
Defrost the pumpkin sheets and carefully place in the centre of a hot serving plate.
Place some pepitas on top of the pumpkin.
Using piping bags, arrange dots of both the pumpkin and black garlic purees over the pumpkin slices.
Place the prawns and continue with the pumpkin diamonds and green shiso.
Finish with 1 tsp of shellfish jus and a few prawn crackers.