Saturday, February 21, 2015

French Fridays with Dorie - Vanilla-Butter-Braised Prawns


Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is Vanilla-Butter-Braised Lobster – I opted for Vanilla-Braised-Prawns instead and served them (three per person) on a bed of Lemon-Steamed Spinach.




Poaching in butter is a technique most often used to cook fish and shellfish gently, resulting in an elegant flavor and a silky texture. Add some real vanilla here, real like the scraped seeds from a fresh, incredibly flavorful Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean, and you are in for a real treat.




The sweet richness of the butter-braised prawns was tempered here by the bright citrus flavor of the lemon zest in the Lemon-Steamed Spinach (also one of my beloved Dorie recipes).This side dish is a breeze to prepare and I was lucky to come across a big bunch of fresh spinach at the store – I also explained the recipe in the parking lot to a fellow shopper who was wondering how to prepare fresh spinach. You see, my dear compatriots are rather fond of their already prepared frozen spinach from that rather well-known company in Northern Germany.




Honestly, we were thrilled with this recipe, all but the youngest taste tester who just could not make herself take a nibble, although she loves fresh spinach prepared this way, she could not explain why the prawns smelled like her favorite homemade dessert (semolina pudding). But the rest of my beloved lunch crowd was sad that the portions I served were rather small. No reason to whine, there will be a next time, no doubt!

To see whether the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed this week´s recipe, please go here.

For copyright reasons, we do not publish the recipes from the book. But you can find the recipe for “Vanilla-Butter-Braised Lobster “ on pages 324-25 in Dorie Greenspan´s cookbook "Around my French Table".

32 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful presentation. I served sautéed spinach with mine too.

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    1. Rosemary, thank you ever so much - elegant food seems to call for an elegant presentation. We loved these praws together with the spinach and could not get over the incredible smell and amazing flavor.

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  2. I had never heard of this technique before now, but then again, cooking shellfish is not my forte. Your prawns look lovely.

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    1. Gaye, I had heard about this technique before - not uncommon to butter braise lobsters and prawns etc. and adding vanilla to the butter is also not that unusual although I had never made a recipe like this but I will certainly make this one again...
      Thank you for your comment,
      Andrea

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  3. haha, eine nette Familiengeschichte ueber Griesbrei und Vanilla Prawns... Ich waere nie auf die Idee gekommen, echte Vanille zu verwenden, aber in Verbindung mit Butter klingt es richtig gut, zumal Lobster ja recht suesslich schmeckt und hier ueberall guenstig zu bekommen ist...
    Einen schoenen Gruss aus dem unter einer dicken Schneedecke liegendem und sonnigen Frederick. Von Rosmarinblueten kann ich auch nur träumen... Der Rosmarin ist total braun und sieht gar nicht gut aus...

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    1. Liebe Wally, hier spielt das Wetter ein wenig verrückt - mal ist es schon frühlingshaft warm(und da denkt mein Rosmarin es wäre Zeit zu blühen) , mal ist es wieder richtig kühl (wie heute)...Die Vanille in der Butter war unglaublich lecker - ich hätte natürlich auch gerne Hummer zubereitet, aber du weißt ja selber, was für ein Luxus der hier ist. Mit Prawns hat das Gericht ja auch toll geschmeckt und ja, unsere Kleinste hat gesagt "sieht aus wie Fisch und riecht nach Grießbrei..." war zu nett...
      Ganz liebe Grüße,
      Andrea

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  4. I'm glad you all (except for one) enjoyed this. I hope Charlotte will be as adventurous an eater as your children. I love the idea of serving this on spinach. I wish I had thought of it.

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    1. Jora, the Lemon-Steamed Spinach seemed to help the Prawns to nestle in nicely on the lunch plates- the fish just needed a bit something for presentation and the combination worked very well. Planning on making this recipe again soon.
      Charlotte is on her way to become a wonderfully adventurous eater because you cook so many wonderful things and offer them all to her - could not ask for more, dear friend!

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  5. The best plate presentation always. I am glad that most of your crowd liked this dish. Kudos to you for helping a fellow shopper out with a new cooking technique. I was thrilled to meet my fellow Doristas. It was a great day.

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    1. Diane, thank you very much - those fellow shoppers often ask for recipes and although I am always happy to oblige, I always wonder wether they actually retain any of the info...or I just get too overly excited when explaining a recipe...
      So very nice that you got a chance to meet Susan, Katie and Mary!

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  6. I can just imagine you carefully and very correctly explaining to your fellow shopper colleague how to cook spinach. I hope you also explained that a huge amount of spinach cooks down to 1/4 of a cup! That will be her big surprise. How the world changes. When I grew up, in the midwest, most of the year our veggies were frozen, Birds Eye and Green Giant. Now if it's not fresh, I usually don't make it. Several of you used shrimp instead of lobster but no one used scallops. I like that I made this once (with Susan and John) but probably will not make again. Your photos are beautiful, as always, my dear.

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    1. Mary, I certainly explained that recipe carefully and with so much enthusiams that I completely put her off cooking fresh spinach for the rest of her life...well, the trials of a foodie...seriously, I believe I do get a tad too enthusiatic when explaining recipes...I used prawns because the lobster is a wee bit expensive around here and considered quite the luxury item and I really enjoy these fresh prawns from my fish monger. We loved this recipe, all of us except Imken who is a of the strong conviction that vanilla bean seeds belong in her beloved semolina pudding rather than in a buttery sauce for fish.
      Thank you fo your kind coment - I saw on fb that you had a great time with Emma and Clara - they look so grown up, happy and beuatiful!
      All the best,
      Andrea

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  7. Beautifully plated, Andrea! I loved this combination, too!

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    1. Thank you, Liz! The Lemon-Steamed Spinach together with the Vanilla-Butter-Braised Prawns was delicious indeed!

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  8. Hello Andrea, your dish looks splendid! As a couple of our CCC groups Posts came into my inbox on the lobster, I was thinking about you and wondered what the availability on lobsters might be in Germany. Using shrimp seems like a nice way to prepare this dish, though I am admittedly having a hard time wrapping my brain around the vanilla- but everyone seems to have enjoyed it so I'm sure it is good. I did a webinar with the International Association of Culinary Professionals last week with Dorie Greenspan, it was very interesting, and of course, your Dorista group came up in her interview as well! See you again soon as we move closer to the 28th!

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    1. Peggy, what a great comment - thank you for letting me know about the webinar - I had read about it and I am sure that it was so interesting and I am a tad bit jealous now - I am delighted that the French Fridays with Dorie group came up, it is a group of outstandingly talented and devoted bloggers, homecooks and friends.
      We are moving closer to the Cottag Cooking Club deadline at the end of the month - this month we had some really delicious fare from Hugh´s book again.
      "See" you soon, dear friend,
      Andrea

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  9. I never though about adding vanilla to prawns, I'm really intrigued by this flavor combo Andrea. I need to try it asap!

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    1. Mike, this is not the first time that I have seen butter paired with vanilla for a savory dish - I have seen variations of this recpe with added cardamom and ground ginger for example - they always sounded delicious to me but until last week I had never tried this. And now I am convinced that thsi is a fabulous flavor combination.
      Thanks for your kind comment,
      andrea

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  10. What a lovely presentation…the lemon spinach looks and sounds like a wonderful match. Unfortunately, I did have vanilla poached lobster once at a restaurant. Even though good, the sweet smell of vanilla seemed to interfere with the wonderful taste of the lobster…I think I'm like your youngest. :)

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    1. Karen, our youngest will be delighted to hear that she is not the only one who cannot wrap her mind around fish and vanila. Do you remember telling me about dining at Alfons Schuhbeck´s restaurant in Munich - he actually prepares a dish quite similar to Dorie´s recipe - prawns, vanilla , butter and other spices...I came across his recipe by chance the other day - I met him, again, two weeks ago - quite impressed by all he does. So after following his cooking show, I did a bit of research with respect to some of his recipes.
      Thank you for your very kind comment - hope the winter weather is taking a bit of a break,
      Andrea

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  11. Hi Andrea,vanilla poached prawns look so elegant,beautiful over the greens.We love having lemon cupcakes with vanilla butter cream...never thought how it would taste in savory dishes...but looking at your beautiful dish...we are sure it will be a delicacy combining these two flavors in a savory way....thanks for ever inspiring with your wonderful recipes and amazing food clicks...Have A Wonderful Day!!! :-)

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    1. Dear Rakesh and Swikruti, what a nice compliment, thank you ever so much! I know that you use a lot of lovely spices in your cooking and I always enjoy learning about your dishes - now the vanilla worked really well in this dish and I have a feeling you would have loved this recipe as well.
      Andrea

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  12. The prawns look delicious. Your presentation is lovely.

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    1. Thank you, Geraldine - glad you enjoy my presentation!

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  13. I really wish that I had thought to put something green on my plate :-)
    Those prawns do look very happy sitting on top of that plate!

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    1. Thank, Cher, the prawns were quite happy sitting there on their bed of fresh spinach and we were quite the happy eaters!

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  14. That is adorable with the aroma confusion. I can see how that could be mildly off-putting. :) As always, your plating is absolutely gorgeous and I loved the spinach with it, too!

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  15. When they're asking for bigger helpings, you know the recipe is a success!

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  16. This must be one of the most unique preparations of lobster or prawns that I have seen! I must try it based solely on your recommendation! Vielen Dank! David

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  17. Stunning presentation.
    Art.
    I want to devour. xx

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  18. These prawnslook so good Andrea...I can imagine the hint of vanilla, actually sounds really delicious. I love the you served on a bed of spinach...beautiful photos!

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  19. Vanilla Butter Prawns?!
    Damn inventive. I have to taste this! Brilliant!

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