Cooking Demonstration - Basil Prawns with Rice Pilaf

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When we went on our first cruise I was excited to see more than one Cooking Demonstration, as well as a visit to the Galley as part of the daily on-board program. I’m not ashamed to say that I spend most of my waking hours thinking about food…

I was probably the first in line to get into the Marquee on Cooking Demo days! I don’t think I have ever missed a Cooking Demonstration in all the cruises we have done.

I have been lucky enough to try one of the prepared dishes too (you know how you have to jump up & down and wave your arms around and generally act a little crazy to get noticed… yes that was me!)

On your next cruise if they offer a visit to the Galley, don’t miss it – it’s fascinating to see how that well-orchestrated machine pumps out thousands of meals daily.

The following recipe was made at that very first Cooking Demonstration on our very first Cruise all those years ago and I still remember it well.  It was featured on the main dining-room menu that night, so we were able to taste what we had seen prepared.

I had to have the P&O Holiday Cookbook as a holiday souvenir (of course), and I was thrilled to find that recipe inside.

So in the spirit of all good foodies I want to share this perfect spring dish with you.  It is made with easy-to-find ingredients and I hope that it evokes some feel-good Cruising memories for you as you enjoy it.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row gap="15" full_height="yes"][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]

Basil-Marinated Grilled Prawns with Rice Pilaf

Serves 4

(Adapted from the Recipe in the P&O Holidays Cookbook)

For Tomato Sauce

1T Olive Oil

2 Cloves Garlic, crushed

4 Eschallots, finely chopped

4 t Fresh Thyme Leaves

1kg Vine Ripened Tomatoes, peeled seeded & diced

50g Caster Sugar

1T Red Wine Vinegar

For Pilaf

1 ¼ Cups Basmati Rice (rinse until water runs clear then drain well)

2T Olive Oil

100g Butter

1 Large Red Onion, Finely Chopped

2 Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped

½ C White Wine

2 C Chicken Stock

2T Parsley, finely chopped

For Prawns

4 Wooden Skewers (Soak them in water for about 10 minutes before using to prevent from burning)

16 Large Green Prawns, peeled but with tails intact

150g Basil Pesto

2 T Pine Nuts (toasted)

Lemon or Lime Cheeks to Serve


For the Tomato Sauce:

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.

Add eschallots, garlic and thyme – cook until the onion has softened (about 5 mins).

Add tomatoes, sugar & vinegar – reduce heat to low

Add 1/3 C water & simmer for about 10minutes.

Stir occasionally until the sauce is thickened.

Season well with Salt & Pepper and set aside.

(You can make this earlier in the day, and then just heat it through when you need it).

For the Pilaf:

Heat Oil and half the butter over a low heat.

Add onion & garlic and cook until soft (about 5 mins)

Add the rice and stir well to coat in the oil.

Add Wine, increase heat a little to simmer - reduce by half.

Add Stock, S&P and bring to the boil.

Once boiling, stir well, reduce heat to low then cover and cook for 12min.

Remove lid and stir with a fork then cover with a clean tea-towel & replace lid and leave to sit for 10min.

Then add the remaining butter and parsley and fluff up with a fork.

For the Prawns:

Season with Salt & Pepper.

Thread 2 prawns onto each skewer.

Brush on both sides with about ½ the Pesto.

Heat a pan to medium and cook prawns for about 2min each side until just cooked through.

Plating Up:

Place Pilaf on plate and Prawns on top.

Drizzle with Tomato sauce and extra pesto.

Sprinkle over some toasted pine nuts.

Serve with a lemon/lime cheek on the side[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_column_text]












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ENJOY with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc

I have adjusted the recipe slightly from the original – just a tweak here and there to enhance the final product.  If you love cooking like I do you will probably appreciate that it is impossible to follow a recipe exactly, so feel free to make your own changes too if you like!

The main change has been in the amount of liquid to cook the Pilaf in – I found the original recipe resulted in rice that was too wet.

I would love to hear about your favourite dishes and/or recipes that you have recreated from your Cruising Holidays – tell us about them below:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]plate licked clean[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]