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Bloody Mary Pepper Prawns

This really did taste like a Bloody Mary, and it was so fantastic, we were still talking about it the next morning! Prep time is ten minutes and cooking time about the same: it’s hard to believe that something so good could be so easy. Serve in the center of the table for sharing, with celery sticks and some good crusty bread to mop up the sauce. No need to wait for Sunday Brunch — have a Bloody Mary tonight!

Bloody Mary Pepper Prawns

3 tbs. olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 fat clove garlic, thinly sliced
½ tsp. celery seeds
1 lb. large, raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 tsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. each cayenne pepper and black pepper
2 fl. oz. vodka
3½ fl. oz. tomato purée
3 tbs. tomato ketchup
few shakes of Tabasco, depending on how hot you like it
celery sticks and good crusty bread, to garnish and serve

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add the shallot and fry for 1-2 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and celery seeds and sizzle for 1 minute more. Toss the prawns with the cornstarch, cayenne pepper, and black pepper, then add to the pan. Stir-fry for 1 minute, or until they just begin to turn pink. Add the vodka (stand back as it may catch fire) and bubble until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Add the tomato purée, ketchup, and Tabasco with a good pinch of salt and cook for a minute or two more, giving everything a good stir. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with celery leaves and serve with celery sticks and bread for mopping up the sauce.

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