So I got an email from the Herald about a promotion to win a new fridge, and I could do with a new fridge, and the promotion required me to pick some ingredients and invent a dish with them. So I went to all the trouble of writing out this recipe and after I entered it turned out it’s a random draw to win. So, that was a waste of time, so here’s my recipe. I picked: prawns, chillies, ginger, fresh herbs and beans.
And it got a little out of hand. I haven’t had much sleep.
1. Heat some oil in a pan and add the finely chopped chillies and grated ginger WITHOUT burning them. If you burn them, you’ve done it wrong. Just to be clear: don’t burn the food.
2. Now bend your head down over the pan and breathe in the gingery chili fumes. Damn, doesn’t that smell good? When your wife comes over and tells you to stop putting your nose so close to the hot pan, tell her, “I KNOW MY BUSINESS, WOMAN. YOU JUST GET BACK TO WATCHING THE OLYMPICS.” She will appreciate it in the long run, and in fairness, you do know your business.
3. Oh, start a pan of water boiling. No salt, though, because you’re putting beans in it, and you don’t salt bean water. Keep in mind what your granddad always told you. “If Stewart Island doesn’t secede from this damned country, the terrorists have already won! And don’t salt bean water.” I bet you used to think he was crazy, but you know better now.
4. Don’t burn the food.
5. Oh, chop the herbs, too. And don’t pronounce it “erbs”. Annoys the hell out of me when you do that.
6. You want to know what herbs they are? Do I have to do EVERYTHING here? Whatever herbs you like. Parsley, coriander, mint, I don’t know. Go wild. I’m not your dad.
7. I’m not your dad.
8. Right, just kind of fry those prawns in the ginger-chili oil. If you have any children, make sure you say in a squeaky voice, “Noooo! Noooooo! It burns! You’re killing us and eating us!” This will teach them family values like comedy and voice acting. If they have nightmares later, explain to them that nightmares are God’s way of telling them that you know your damned business. YOU KNOW YOUR DAMNED BUSINESS.
9. Oh, about five steps ago you should have prepared a bowl of ice water, so I hope you did that.
10. Put the trimmed beans in the now boiling water. Do not under any circumstances immerse your hand in the boiling water.
11. Are those prawns cooked yet? Is the damned stove even plugged in? Should I have made that one of the first steps, idiot?
12. Right, after like two minutes drain the beans and dunk them in the ice-water bowl for a bit and then pull them out. I hope you didn’t burn them.
13. Make sure you’re getting lots of oil over all of the prawns while you’re cooking them, and they should probably be cooked now or something. How long has it been, anyway? What day is this?
14. Um. Season everything. Don’t season too much or too little. I recommend seasoning just the right amount, but hey, I also name my shoelaces and imagine them having fights with each other over who gets to marry the coffee plunger, so I don’t really recommend you do anything I say or do.
15. Mix the beans with some halved cherry tomatoes and most of the herbs. Then put the prawns on a plate with the beans/tomatoes/herbs and put the last little bit of herbs over the top of the prawns.
16. That’s called “plating”, if you can believe it. You “plate”. Pretty on the nose, isn’t it. Might as well call the whole process “fooding”. What are you doing in the kitchen? Oh, fooding, and then I’ll plate.
17. Anyway, that’s probably about it. Maybe some balsamic drizzle over the beans and tomatoes.
18. I’m not your dad.