Chef Michael's Sautéed Prawns


A favorite at Besaw's, this easy appetizer is sure to win over hungry bellies this Holiday Season. This is a great dish for entertaining because of its simple preparation. Plus, it's a kid-friendly finger food.

I start out with 21/25 Domestic Prawns. Let me translate that: shrimp and prawns are sold by the count. The count refers to the number of individual shrimp in 1 pound. So for instance, when you buy 1 pound of 21/25, expect to get 21-25 fairly large prawns. Domestic means that they are coming from right here in the USA. These can be purchased already cleaned, or you can clean them yourself.

Cleaning prawns is easy: start by running your finger down the stomach of the prawn, removing its legs. Then remove all of the shell except the tail segment--we'll want to leave the tail on for our grab-handle. Next, run a knife down the back of the prawn, opening it up to remove the vein. Now we are ready to go.

This is what we'll need:

4 prawns (about 1/4 pound)

1/2 t chopped garlic

1 C white wine

1 T butter

1/4 t smoked paprika

salt & pepper

1 slice brioche, toasted

microgreens or chopped parsley, for garnish

In my version, I use 4 prawns per order. Start with a hot sauté pan and a drizzle of olive oil. Place the prawns into the pan, letting them sizzle for about a minute. Add your garlic, and let it simmer for another minute. This gives the garlic time to release those oils we love so much. Deglaze the pan of prawns with the white wine. Simmer for about 2 minutes or until the prawns are a golden orange and not blue or translucent. Reduce the liquid in the pan by half and add the butter. Butter will bring the sauce together and round out the flavors. Last, but not least, add a touch of smoked paprika and salt/pepper.

Present your prawns over a piece of toasted brioche, pouring the sauce around the base of the toast. Garnish with a little microgreens or chopped parsley.

If you make it to the other side of the kitchen with a full plate of these you're a lucky cook. They are light, delicious, and a quick and simple appetizer.

Enjoy!