June 4, 2012

Spot Prawn Season

We look forward to this time of the year the way kids look forward to Christmas, counting down the days on the calendar.

BC is very fortunate to have a strong, sustainable spot prawn fishing industry.
With the fishing area just a couple of hours north of Vancouver, we have access to these delicious sea-bugs for 4-6 weeks, beginning in mid-May.

Three pounds, bought from the boat and taken straight home.

Usually we sautée them with a little white wine and garlic, but this year we thought we'd start off by grilling a few, with a little salt, as an appetizer.

Japanese mayonnaise has a little more vinegary zip, according to Aya.

One of us was raised in North America, and grew up eating only the fat, white tails of shrimp and prawns. The other has enjoyed the amazing, acquired taste of the tomalley all her life. She somewhat regrets sharing her enthusiasm for this delicacy, since it is now eagerly devoured by all members of our household.

The grilling was such a success that we never got around to sautéeing any of them. We just stood there in the kitchen, reveling in the soft flesh and blackened leg tips. Absolutely, outstandingly spectacular.

Except for this bit. Don't ever bite into it. Srsly. Bleh.

We usually turn to a very reliable Sauvignon Blanc to go with our prawns, but our good friends at Liberty Wines on Granville Island recommended this tiny Languedoc appellation, Picpoul De Pinet (#7 on this map), and it did not disappoint. Bright, acidic and with a little more mineral than Sauvignon Blanc, it was an excellent match for the prawns. A steal at $18.

Interestingly (for one of our regular readers, at least) Picpoul De Pinet is also the principal grape in the famous vermouth Noilly Prat.

*A reminder to anyone digging into spot prawns or other shellfish: keep the shells in your freezer for making bisque! Aya's recipe will appear in an upcoming post.
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