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When I cook for my friends I quite often like to have a theme to the dishes, so once I’d decided on Chicken Burritos as a main course for this particular lunch, I was looking for something to have as an appetiser. There are generally frozen prawns in the freezer, so why not mix them with typical South American salads, tomatoes, peppers, sweetcorn, add a spicy sauce sharpened with lime juice and have a prawn cocktail?

My guests loved it!

Per person

8 large prawns in their shells

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon quinoa – black or red look good, but if you have neither then the white is fine

1 tablespoon diced green pepper

1 tablespoon diced red pepper

1 tablespoon sweetcorn kernels

1/2 small avocado diced

Lettuce leaves to decorate your dishes

For the dressing

1 small clove of garlic

Fresh red chilli – finely chopped

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh coriander leaves or the same of green coriander seeds

zest and juice of 1/2 a small lime

Boil the quinoa until tender.

Drain and put in a bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients.

Peel the prawns reserving the heads and skins.

Fry the prawns in olive oil until just cooked. Remove to a plate and let cool.

To the same pan add the heads and skins. Fry gently squashing the juices out of the heads with a wooden spatula.

Once the prawn heads are cooked and have given out their juices, add the coconut milk and water. Mix well scraping any solid bits at the bottom of the pan into the liquid and squashing the the heads again to add yet more flavour to the dressing.

Let cook down a little and then take off the heat.

With a pestle and mortar crush the garlic, chilli and coriander with a pinch of salt.

Strain the dressing into the mortar and then mix well.

Add the lime zest and juice, mix again, then add the dressing and cooled prawns to the salad and mix to cover all with the dressing.

Line your serving dishes with leaves and pile on the cocktail.