Moroccan prawn and potato hotpot
Serves 4 as a main or 8 as a starter. Most of the work is in preparing the ingredients (steps 1 to 5) – what chefs call ‘mise en place’. The cooking is easy – all in one pot, for about 20-25 minutes on the hob.
- If you are using frozen prawns make sure they are fully defrosted (preferably in a fridge for several hours or overnight).
- Separate the green and white parts of the spring onion, trimming the root of the white and any straggly outer green leaves. Finely slice the whites, then the greens.
- Finely grate the peeled ginger (a Microplane grater is really good for this). Finely chop the chillies.
- Skin the tomatoes by cutting a cross through the skin on the base of each and then scald in boiling water for about 30 seconds until the skin starts to come away. Transfer to a bowl of cold water to cool the tomatoes down, then peel. Cut each into quarters and remove the pulp and seeds, before chopping the tomato flesh.
- Peel the potatoes (or scrub if they are new potatoes with fresh skin). Cut the potatoes into even width slices – about 0.7cm thick. Make sure you use waxy potatoes, or they will start to disintegrate when cooking.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan (with a lid), and add the spring onion whites. Crush the garlic into the pan too and let it cook on a moderate heat for a couple of minutes.
- Add the ginger and chilli to the pan and continue to cook for a minute before adding the smoky paprika. Yes – you really do want that much!
- Stir in the potato slices, making sure they get coated with all the wonderful spices.
- Add the chopped tomato flesh, vegetable stock, palm sugar and large pinches of sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.
- Don’t worry if it doesn’t look like enough liquid to cook the potatoes – more liquid comes out of the tomatoes.
- Bring to the boil, then quickly put the lid on and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for up to 15 minutes – until the potato is nearly tender. If the hotpot still looks quite dry, then add a little more vegetable stock.
- Add the raw prawns and mix through the dish, letting it continue to cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. If you are using cooked prawns instead they will only need 2 minutes to warm through.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop the parsley leaves. Stir the spring onion greens and ¾ of the parsley through the dish right at the end, and save the rest for garnish.
- Ladle into bowls, making sure there is an even distribution of prawns and the flavourful broth. Sprinkle the remaining parsley on top and serve.
- Serve this with a White Rioja or Moroccan Red wine.
- Most of the work in this dish is in preparing the ingredients – what chefs call ‘mise en place’. Once that is done, then the cooking is easy – only one pot, and about20-25 minutes.
- If you only have sweet paprika, reduce the sugar by half.
- Save the parsley stalks for next time you make stock – just pop them in an airtight container in the freezer.