Food & drink

James St Recipes: Niall McKenna's prawns with garlic and chilli, and crème caramel

Niall McKenna's prawns with garlic and chilli
Niall McKenna

NOW that we are entering into the busiest time of the year for restaurants and the cookery school, our dinners at home become even more important, as they are centred around family time.

This time brings us great joy as it is at this time of the year that we sit with our kids and plan next year's holiday or reminisce on last year's.

We were lucky enough to visit Palma this year and both our children are at an age where they love trying new dishes, especially when away from home, meaning we can plan our holidays around food and visiting restaurants.

In a recent chat with the kids, we discussed how these two dishes reminded us of our travels. The fresh prawns flavoured with garlic and chilli and the créme caramel are quick and easy to make even for someone new to the kitchen.

Why not try these dishes at home or if you want help cooking these recipes, have a look at our cookery classes which also make for a great Christmas gift.

For more information about our cookery demonstrations at Waterman Cookery School, visit


28 large prawns

2 red chillis, deseeded and finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

10g flat leaf parsley, picked and roughly chopped

5g capers in brine

Extra virgin olive oil

Maldon sea salt

1 lemon, quartered


Wash and peel the prawns - you can buy these at St George's market or your local fishmonger/supermarket. I'd recommend using fresh and not frozen.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan and make sure it is smoking hot before you put in the prawns.

Toss the prawns in the pan and after one minute add in the chillis and garlic, stirring with a wooden spoon.

Season with the Maldon salt and black pepper.

Do not let the garlic burn and if you need to, turn the temperature down.

Once the prawns have been in the pan for no more than two minutes, add in the parsley and serve with a wedge of lemon.


Niall McKenna's crème caramel



500ml milk

3 eggs, plus 2 yolks

100g caster sugar

2 drops vanilla extract

2tbsp Grand Marnier (optional)


140g caster sugar

3tbsp cold water


Place the sugar in a small non-stick pan, add in the water and place on a gentle heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Once all the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat and allow to bubble. The mixture will become thicker and should start to turn golden - do not stir.

Once golden, remove from the heat and place into the crème caramel ramekins (oiled).

Place ramekins in deep roasting tray and pre-heat the oven to 160C.

To make the crème, place the milk in a pan and bring to a simmer.

In a bowl, place the eggs, the egg yolks and sugar and whisk together. Once combined, gradually add in the milk using a whisk. Add in the vanilla and strain the mix before pouring it into ramekins set with the caramel.

Place an inch of boiling hot water into the roasting tray, ensuring you do not spoil the caramel in the ramekins and bake for 15 minutes in the oven until the custards are just set.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Then, chill in the fridge overnight or for up to four hours before serving. These can be made in advance.

To serve, run a knife around the top of the ramekin and place a dessert plate on top and turn over. To serve, shake gently and the caramel and crème should slip away from mould.