Seafood Salads: Prawn & Avocado Salad with Creamy Hot Pepper Sauce

The prawn & avocado marvel on the plate.

The prawn & avocado marvel on the plate.

I usually make this prawn & avocado salad as a side to accompany grilled fish. That way you can make use of your grill to cook the peppers, the prawns, your main fish course, and grill your bread, too, if you wish.

Ingredients for 2 to 3 people

About 2 lbs (1 kilo) of fresh prawns (only 50% will be edible meat once the prawns are cleaned)
2 perfectly ripe avocados
3 green onions (aka scallions)
3 to 5 small cherry peppers
1 16-ounce container (about 450 grams) of crème fraîche or sour cream
lemon juice, salt and pepper

Instructions

Make the pepper sauce first. Clean the peppers by slicing the tops off and removing the seeds with a teaspoon. Grill the peppers over hot coals or blacken over a range top burner, turning them frequently so they blacken evenly. Place the blackened peppers in a  large glass bowl and cover with foil. When they have cooled enough to handle, removed the blackened skins. At this point, the brave of taste bud should sample one of the cooked peppers to judge how hot they are after cooking (peppers always vary in this, in my experience). If they are sweet bordering on hot, go ahead and use all five. If they are very hot, use three, or even two. This is truly a matter of personal taste. Put the flesh of the peppers in a large clean bowl and mash with a fork until they break down. Then add your cream and blend with a wand mixer until you have a smooth, pretty pink sauce. Salt to taste, starting with a couple pinches. Store the sauce in the fridge while you move on to the prawns.

Cleaning prawns is a bitch. It’s time consuming and thoroughly unpleasant work. I recommend using whatever tools you have at your disposal (read: spouse or adult child) to help with the task of removing the shells and de-veining. If you are new to this task, have a look at this video demonstration courtesy of About. It’s very good. 

If your grill is still hot, put your cleaned prawns on a large piece of heavy duty foil, folded over and sealed, and place on the grill. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. Watch them closely (cut a little hole in the foil). They are cooked when the flesh has turned white and pink. Remove the foil container to a plate, tear open the foil a bit (being careful not to burn yourself) and let cool to room temperature. If you are not grilling, you can saute the prawns in a little butter and lemon juice until they are white and pink. Let them cool.

Slice the green onions. Take the pepper sauce from the fridge and let rest at room temp a few minutes.

Put the prawns in a low, wide bowl. Add the onions and a few squeezes of lemon juice and toss well. Open your avocados and slice or dice them (however you prefer) and gently toss with the prawns and onion. Now arrange the salad on your serving plate,  drizzle generously with the pepper sauce, and dust with fresh ground pepper (optional). This salad is great with a baguette or good sourdough. The extra pepper sauce, should you have any, is very tasty on omelettes or steamed or grilled vegetables. Enjoy!