This year for Mother's Day, I decided to be a little selfish and make something just for me. I am a mother too after all, so why not make what I want? My mother loves this dish too, so no losing for her. My husband likes it too, and so do my daughters = quadruple win. There, I am not being selfish at all, just sharing what everybody loves. What is it, you may ask? It is a plate of garlicky, buttery yumminess with just a little spice. Just try it, you'll see
For the Mojo de Ajo:
1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup olive oil
1 head garlic, peeled and chopped pretty finely, but don't get too carried away
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
juice of 1 lime
In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the olive oil, garlic, salt and red chile flakes. Turn the heat as low as it will go and simmer until the garlic starts to brown. This should take about 20-30 minutes. It will be a little difficult to actually see the garlic to tell if it is browning or not because the butter will bubble up. Just spoon some out and have a look at it every few minutes. Whisk in the lime juice and set aside. This will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
For the Rice:
1 cup long grain white rice, rinsed
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons good, dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon Dark Chile Powder (I like the one I get from Whole Spice)
1 3/4 cups water
Put all ingredients in a small, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a low simmer for 20 minutes. (If you are using some other fancy rice, follow the water and timing directions on the package). Fluff and keep warm.
For the Prawns and Garnish:
12 giant Blue Prawns, peeled and de-veined (or a bunch of smaller ones, but the blue prawns are more like lobster and that pleases me.)
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
salt to season
1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cherry bomb peppers, thinly sliced (these are fat, red peppers that have the same sort of heat a jalapeño does. If you can't get your hands on those, use a combination of jalapeño and some red pepper for color)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, also some whole leaves for garnish
4 green onions, chopped
Season the prawns with salt, then toss them with 1 Tablespoon olive oil. I like to do this in a quart-size ziplock bag. Set aside while you make your garnish. In a small saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, stir about for a minute or so, then add the peppers. Season with salt, and when the shallots and peppers have softened, turn off the heat and toss in the chopped cilantro.
Next, fire up your grill. If you don't have one, well, that would make a good mother's day gift, now, wouldn't it? She would be easily convinced that Dad would do more of the cooking...what a gift that would be....Anyway, get your grill good and hot and place your prawns on the grate. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until they are just cooked through. Time to plate. Put a portion of rice down first, a layer of shallot/pepper mix, then arrange 3 prawns per plate on top, sprinkle with green onions and spoon Mojo sauce over all. Don't be shy with the sauce and make sure you don't leave the garlic behind! The whole point of this is to drench the rice in garlic sauce. Soooo good. Garnish with a cilantro leaf and prepare for the oohs and aahs.