Food & drink

James Street South Cookery School: Prawns with Garlic and Creme Brulee

Prawns and Garlic from James Street South Cookery School
Niall McKenna

THE season is upon us when alfresco dining and group gatherings become the norm as we look forward to summer and sharing food with friends.


This week’s recipes are two which are proven crowd pleasers and are great to pull out for big events as they are so easy to prepare and make and delicious with it, which always helps.


The prawns are a real favourite of mine and are the perfect appetiser when sitting in the garden waiting for the barbecue to warm up. The creme brulee is another favourite as it is a dish which can be completed in advance and it can be used with a multitude of flavours.


The Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink is well under way and now that April is almost over, I hope you have been out and about supporting the fantastic local producers who are brewing and distilling some truly exceptional tipples.

We are working very closely with Yardsman brewery and we put a video up last week with Gallopers for my beer-battered fish and chips recipe – check it out at


Two local gins are also making waves among connoisseurs, namely Shortcross and Jawbox, two fine examples of how ‘Brewing and Distilling’ rightfully deserves its own month of recognition during the Year of Food and Drink in Northern Ireland.




The reason this dish is so good is that it takes barely any time to cook and if you buy great, fresh prawns then the taste is even more delicious.


12 large prawns, in their shells

Sea salt

3 gloves garlic, thinly sliced

3 dried chillies, chopped

100ml olive oil

1 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley (chopped)


You can cook this dish two ways, either in a frying pan or in a terracotta pot. If using a frying pan, keep the prawns in the shell; otherwise, peel the prawns, leaving the tail on and place in the terracotta pot.


Sprinkle the prawns with sea salt. Place the olive oil, garlic and the chillies into the terracotta pot and place on a high heat. If using a frying pan do exactly the same. When the garlic starts to brown add the prawns and keep on a high heat until the prawns are bright pink, this should literally take just a minute.


Remove from the heat and sprinkle over the parsley and serve. Be careful as the terracotta pot will be hot to touch.




4 yolks

25g caster sugar

300ml cream

20g pistachio paste (this should be available in good delis or cook shops)


Start by scalding the cream in a pot and add in half of the sugar. Once dissolved, remove from the heat and set to the side.


In a separate bowl, beat the remaining sugar with the egg yolks. Pour the warm cream over and, using a whisk, add the pistachio paste and mix thoroughly.


Using a sieve, pass the liquid through and divide into serving dishes or ramekins.


Cook in a bain-marie at 130C for 30/40mins – a bain-marie can be made by filling a deep roasting tin with an inch of water. Place the serving dishes into the roasting tin, making sure that no water is mixed with the brulee mix. The water should come to about half way up the side of the individual dishes.


Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then dust with sugar and brulee with a blow torch or under a hot grill until the sugar is caramelised. Be careful when serving as the dish will be hot.

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