Prawns are a great Aussie Christmas tradition. This fine-dining inspired recipe for prawns comes with a velvety smooth Lemon Myrtle and Vanilla Bean Hollandaise sauce, which also goes well with poultry and steak. Prawns can be barbecued, grilled in a pan or even bought cooked and peeled for convenience. Dairy- and gluten-free.
Growing up in a family where cooking for Christmas began a week before the actual Day, seemed quite the norm for me. As meals were planned and prepared in advance, you could smell Christmas in the air days before the actual celebrations began. Then there was carp. Yep, carp. Swimming in the bath tub, waiting to be prepared in aspic or a la Grecque… both very traditional dishes at the Polish Christmas table.
Since moving to Sydney, not much has changed when it comes to my family’s Christmas. The same traditional – quite heavy for the Australian summer, dishes grace the Christmas table.
Whenever I mention these stories to Mr Chipconnoisseur, he shakes his head in disbelief at the amounts of time and effort going into the food. I have to be honest, as much as I love cooking, preparing food for a week prior to any celebration, no matter how significant seems a little excessive.
I am yet to host my own Christmas lunch, but I think that when the time comes, I will mix and match the best of both worlds and traditions. Hassle-free cold seafood will feature prominently on the table with a good serving of this festive and slightly native Lemon Myrtle and Vanilla Hollandaise sauce for dipping.
So, tell me, what unusual Christmas traditions will you be keeping alive or what new ones are you happy to introduce in your own home?
The following recipe was created for Brookfarm, using their wonderful first cold pressed Lemon Myrtle macadamia oil which can be found in many delis and online. Lemon Myrtle powder can be found in most Australian delis and some supermarkets.
Grilled Prawns with Lemon Myrtle and Vanilla Hollandaise
For the Lemon Myrtle Prawns:
- 12 large green or banana prawns
- 2 tbsp Brookfarm lemon myrtle macadamia oil
- ½ tsp dried lemon myrtle
For the Lemon Myrtle and Vanilla Bean Hollandaise:
- ⅛ cup Brookfarm lemon myrtle macadamia oil
- ½ tsp dried lemon myrtle
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp honey
To prepare the Lemon Myrtle Prawns:
- Split the prawns (do not cut through the shell) from the belly side with a sharp knife and place in a clean bowl.
- Mix together oil and dried lemon myrtle. Pour over the prawns and toss gently with tongs to spread the marinade evenly around. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes in the fridge.
To prepare the Lemon Myrtle and Vanilla Bean Hollandaise:
- In the meantime, prepare the hollandaise.
- Place oil and lemon myrtle in a small pan. Cook over low heat just until the herbs begin to sizzle. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place egg yolks and lemon juice into a food processor or measuring jug and pulse or whisk with an electric whisk until pale and slightly foamy. Add vanilla bean paste and honey. Continue to whisk or pulse as you add the warm oil in a thin trickle (reserving the last tablespoon or so that may contain the herbs to pour over prawns just before grilling). Set Hollandaise aside until serving.
To cook the Lemon Myrtle Prawns:
- Preheat barbecue or grill pan until hot. Cook prawns for 3 minutes on each side.
- Arrange cooked prawns on a platter decorated with some salad greens and serve with the hollandaise for dipping.