Forkful's easy suppers: Prawn and avocado tostadas
This week, I'm taking inspiration from Mexican food, or the Mexican food that I've eaten in San Francisco at least. Tostadas translates as "toasted" and in Mexico and parts of Latin America, it's a dish comprised of a small toasted tortilla layered with toppings ranging from fish or meat topped with vegetables and creamy avocado. Done well, it's a crunchy, creamy mixture of toasted textures.
I've talked about them before in this column but if you're looking for great Mexican ingredients in Ireland, visit Picado on South Richmond Street in Dublin, or online at picadomexican.com. The shop, which is closed for holidays between August 1 and 12, is stocked with real corn tortillas, a wide variety of chillis dried, smoked and in pastes, and they chipotle sauces and hot salsas.
Shop owner Lily Ramirez-Foran also runs regular cooking classes from the shop, so keep an eye on the website for those.
I felt like whipping up a version of a tostada using prawns and some lovely fresh corn on the cob. I used regular prawns for this recipe, but I would recommend seeking out langoustines, aka Dublin Bay prawns, from your fishmonger if you want to make more of a splash with your tostadas.
The taste comparison between these little lobsters and the more ubiquitous prawn, mostly flown in frozen from overseas, is incomparable.
But Dublin Bay Prawns are not something that you're guaranteed to find in your supermarket aisle. For fresh fish and shellfish, you're always better off going to a fishmonger if you're looking for variety. If I was on the hunt for Dublin Bay prawns in the city centre, I'd try the fish counter at Fallon & Byrne, Kish Fish in Smithfield or Fitzsimon's Fishmongers in The Green Door Market.
Prawn and avocado tostadas
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
1 ripe avocado
Half a lime
1 small carrot
1 fresh corn on the cob, in the husk
2 large handfuls of fresh prawns
Knob of butter
Generous pinch of cayenne pepper
4 small corn tortillas
4 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
1. Remove the avocado flesh from the avocado skin into a bowl and discard the stone. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Use a fork to crush the avocado, making it chunky or smooth, as you prefer.
2. Peel the carrot and use a cheese grater to roughly shred it. Remove the corn from its husk and use a sharp knife to slice the corn away from the cob.
3. Heat a bit of butter in a frying pan and add the prawns. Add a good pinch of cayenne pepper and fry the prawns until they are pink. If you're using pre-cooked prawns, you can do this stage too, just fry until the prawns are warmed through. Add the fresh corn on the cob (or the tinned variety) to the pan for about 3 minutes, until warmed through.
4. Next, toast the tortillas. When the tortillas are toasted, top with a dollop of creamy avocado. Divide the prawns and corn between the four tortillas. Top with shredded carrot.
5. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime into the natural yoghurt. You can add a little bit of water to the yoghurt if you'd like to drizzle it onto your tostada.
6. Serve the prawn tostada with a drizzle or dollop of lime yoghurt and an extra little pinch of cayenne pepper. Scatter some fresh coriander over the top and serve with fresh lime wedges on the side.
This week's storecupboard essential:
Corn tortillas: Picado Mexico is a great place to go in Dublin (or online at picadomexican.com) for corn tortillas, but it can be hard to find small corn tortillas. I often grab a few wraps from the supermarket and use a sufficiently sized plate to cut the wrap into a small tortilla. I use the leftover scraps to make tortilla crisps in the oven. Yum.
Photo: Mark Duggan