Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Greek-style baked prawns with tomato and garlic.

Prawns on the barbecue can be boring, especially if they're cooked even a few seconds too long, because they dry out.

Baked with white wine, they stay moist and have an enhanced flavour. Just make sure you buy Australian ones, because you never know what the Chinese ones have been swimming in, but I'm sure you can imagine, given recent news stories.

Peel, devein and clean two dozen large prawns, retaining heads and tails, and fry quickly in olive oil, barely a minute each side. Throw in four diced garlic cloves at the same time so that they will fry briefly but not burn. Now tip in a cup of white wine, shake pan, cook another 30 seconds and then put the lot into a casserole. Speed is the essence.

Tip half a dozen finely diced, very ripe truss or roma tomatoes (or a can of diced tomatoes) into the same frypan, add a few torn basil leaves and a good shake of cracked black pepper. Warm through.

Cut a piece of fetta cheese into a dozen cubes of the size you would add to a greek salad. Place these over the prawns in the casserole and tip over the warmed tomatoes. Bake ten minutes until cheese starts to melt.

Serve with crusty bread to dip into the juices, a bowl of jumbo black olives flecked with chili and herbs, and a large carafe of very cold white wine. Serve on a blue and white checked tablecloth and you could be in Greece.

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