The simplest supper: Garlic and Lemon Butter Prawns

The other night I was trying to take the Boyfriend out to dinner but, after ringing a few restaurants only to be informed that they were booked solid, I soon gave up that idea. That’s what happens when you wait until 4pm on the Friday afternoon of a bank holiday weekend to try and make your reservations!

So it had to be something special from our own kitchen then. The only problem being that I wasn’t due home until after 5pm and he would arrive less than an hour after me – not much time to do anything that involves long slow cooking. On the way home I wandered into the Fresh Choice supermarket in Merivale, looking for inspiration and it was there, in the freezer section, that I discovered it. Frozen prawns! Admittedly it doesn’t sound like much to be excited about but these were no naked pink cooked little shrimp, but rather whole raw full-shelled fully-fledged prawns that – apart from their frozen state, obviously – looked ready to swim away given any opportunity. Not that they would have gotten any with the alacrity that I grabbed them and whizzed them home.

After defrosting – something which, according to the packet, could be sped up by immersing the prawns in cold water for just eight minutes – the cooking was just a matter of minutes. I heated some butter with a drop of olive oil (the mixture ensures that the butter doesn’t burn too easily) in my big frying pan, added some chopped garlic, then the prawns and let sizzle until cooked. All the dish needed to finish it off was a squeeze of lemon juice and the prawns were ready for eating. I had cooked some pilau rice to go with accompany it but next time I think I’ll just get some good crusty bread to mop up the delicious buttery juices from the pan. Rice isn’t a good mopper although believe me, we tried! Finger bowls wouldn’t be a bad idea, though, seeing as you have to peel the prawns one by buttery one. Deferred gratification is a wonderful stimulus to the appetite.

If I was going to have serve rice with the prawns again I might add chilli alongside the garlic and lime, instead of lemon, juice. Maybe it won’t be long until this recipe is re-visited…

Garlic and Lemon Butter Prawns
Raw prawns – 250g
Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
Butter – 25g
Garlic – 2 cloves, finely chopped
Lemon – ½

Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic and the prawns. Cook over a medium heat for about five minutes until prawns are pink and cooked. Squeeze half lemon over pan and serve immediately.

Serves 2



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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