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BBQ Prawn, Ciabatta and Pancetta Skewers with Salsa Dragoncello

Tobie's Rosemary Skewered Prawns Xmas 2013

This is a lovely little combination of several things I have made in the past. Using rosemary sprigs as skewers is not essential to this dish but the flavour that is released is fantastic and so I would recommend using them if you can, otherwise just use normal skewers. You can soak the sprigs/ skewers in water if you wish but as the prawns cook rather quickly it’s not really necessary.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the prawns:

12 medium green king prawns
12 slices of flat pancetta
½ small loaf of ciabatta
4 large rosemary sprigs or 12 smaller ones
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly cracked pepper

Salsa dragoncello

3 slices of ciabatta, crust removes
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Pinch of sea salt
4 anchovy fillets
Small handful (1/4 cup) picked tarragon, coarsely chopped
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  • Remove almost all of the rosemary from the sprig leaving just around 5cm of rosemary intact at the end of the sprig
  • Peel and devein the prawns removing the head and leaving the tails intact.
  • Cut the half ciabatta into cubes of around 2cm cubed. Wrap a strip of pancetta around each piece of ciabatta.
  • Place a piece of the cubed bread wrapped in pancetta up to the end of each skewer, fold a prawn over itself and pop it on the skewer pushing it right up to the bread. Repeat this process allowing for three prawns and three pieces of bread on each rosemary skewer. Alternatively this can be done on smaller pieces of rosemary using just one prawn and one piece of ciabatta.
  • To make the salsa dragoncello, place the bread in the vinegar and allow it soak for 15 minutes.
  • Place the garlic into a mortar with a pinch of salt and pound using a pestle until you have a paste; incorporate the anchovy into this mixture. Remove the pestle and place aside. Squeeze out any remaining vinegar from the bread and place into the pestle along with the chopped tarragon and stir using a spoon, gradually add ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil just a little at a time until it has emulsified. Season with freshly cracked pepper.
  • Brush the prawns with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and grill/ BBQ over a high heat for 3-4 minutes turning every minute or so.
  • Serve the cooked prawns with the salsa dragoncello drizzled to the side.