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The "Come dine with me" prawns

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Yes, so I admit it, in my dim and distant past I was once a Come Dine With Me Contestant. This has led to world wide infamy mainly based on the fact that it has been repeated many times over the past four years, in both global hemisphere. Only recently, friends Hazel in Australia and Louise in New Zealand, were pleased to inform me via Facebook that they had seen me on TV.

Based on this, I thought I would start off my food blogs with my "as seen on TV" prawns pil-pil accompanied by fennel bread. Duncan Murray, who's wave is now equally as infamous as I am ( those of you who saw the programme will know why ), has kindly agreed to provide some wine suggestions, just like he did on the show.

CDWM Prawns Pil Pil


Prawns pil pil - starter for 4

  • 2 garlic cloves,  finely chopped
  • 2 red chillies,  finely chopped ( if you like the heat, leave the seeds in )
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 500ml passata
  • 400g frozen prawns, defrosted
  • 1/2 tsp  sugar
  • 4 star anise
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Divide garlic and chilli between four terracotta or other shallow ovenproof dishes.  Add 1 tbsp of oil  and 125ml of passata to each dish, finishing with a pinch of sugar and a star anise.

2. Season with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir well and cook in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the the oil is starting to separate and the edges are starting to blacken. 

3. Add the prawns and cook for a further 5 minutes.

 eat with

Fennel bread ( made in bread maker )

  • 1 1/2 tsps dried active yeast
  • 275g (10 oz) bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp  sugar
  • 2 tbsp dried milk powder
  • 1 good glug of olive oil
  • 175ml (6 fl oz) water


Duncan's wine recommendation


"We can recommend a cracking white from Spain that would go marvellously with spicy prawn pil pil. It is the Torrenava Rueda made from the Verdejo grape variety. Rueda is gaining an enviable reputation for producing fresh, crisp and fruity wines and this is no exception. With gooseberry, lemon and grapefruit citrus this will complement the spiciness of the dish without overpowering the prawns." 

Torrenava can be found in Duncan's Market Harborough shop or in the online shop.

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