k Prawn, Chorizo & Padrón Peppers with Saffron Aïoli k
Although these canapés/tapas are super quick and easy to put together, the flavours are anything but. Entice your guests with this gorgeous combination of smoky and savoury with a touch of sweetness – they really provide an amazing taste profile once you take a bite.
Pimientos de Padrón are the epitome of a tapas and are massively popular in Spain and here on the White Isle. These darling Padrón Peppers eaten whole literally melt in your mouth.
They are generally mild, but one in every handful will be surprisingly spicy. The slight bitterness with a lingering pepper flavour works perfectly with the sweetness of the prawns and the saltiness of the chorizo.
Here I have used gorgeous Ibiza red prawns that are regarded as a bit of a delicacy.
When raw they have a beautiful deep burnt orange hue that remains once cooked, but be careful not to overcook the delicate flesh. Obviously Ibiza red prawns are not that readily available so substitute these with regular tiger prawns.
The chorizo I’ve used is an Iberico Bellota, made from the meat of the black-footed (pata negra) Iberian pigs that roam freely and feed on acorns.
The nuttiness of the acorns comes through in the meat and fat, and even better, the fat is actually good for you as it is rich in oleic acid – just like olive oil! This chorizo really is the best of the best and so worth it.
Ultimately what we have here is deliciousness on a stick – and who doesn’t like that? Grab a stick with one hand, fill the other with a glass of bubbles and you’re good to go!
10 large uncooked prawns tail left on
2 cloves of crushed garlic
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon sea salt & pepper
10 padrón peppers, cleaned
Premium quality chorizo cut into 1.5cm cubes
A splash of sherry vinegar
For the Saffron Aïoli
Small pinch saffron strands
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Juice ½ lemon
300ml olive oil
1. Soak mini wooden skewers in water for about 10 minutes so they will not burn when they are grilled.
2. Put the prawns into to a bowl and add the garlic, smoked paprika, salt & pepper and mix to coat.
3. Place one cube of chorizo through the skewer followed by a padron pepper and then a prawn. Continue making all 10 skewers, place them on a tray.
4. Heat an outdoor BBQ or indoor grill pan to medium-high heat.
5. Brush grill with some olive oil, grill skewers until dark and lightly charred on the first side, it will take about 3-4 minutes.
6. Turn over with tongs, and cook in the second side until the peppers are charred and the prawns are cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Remove to a platter.
To Make the Aïoli
In a small bowl pour 1 tbsp of boiling water over the saffron and set aside. Put the garlic, egg yolks and mustard into a food processor or blender. Blitz into a paste and very slowly dribble in the olive oil to make a thick mayonnaise-style sauce. When everything’s come together add the saffron, saffron water and lemon juice, then season to taste. The aïoli will keep covered in the fridge for up to 2 days. Garnish a platter with lime slices and fresh herbs such as parsley and thyme.