Words and photos by Andrea
I have thing for table setting and “mise en place”, and I was lucky enough to marry a person who loves to cook and does it extremely well: you can call him Chef Baco!
We thought about combining our two passions to create this section of the journal that will be dedicated to inspire you with recipes and mise en place ideas, proposing handcrafted brands to set the table and seasonal ingredients for your menus.
Are you looking for inspiration to surprise your beloved one to celebrate Valentine’s day tonight? Here you go with a simple and super tasty recipe and a romantic table setting idea!
This is an easy and quick recipe. The trickiest part is the prawn cleaning step, but we will provide some tips to make it easier. Chef Baco proposes this recipe as a starter, but it can also be made as a main course simply doubling the doses indicated below.
400 gr of fresh prawns
Salt and pepper q.s.
Maldon salt q.s.
Extra virgin olive oil q.s.
Wholemeal sourdough bread (4 very thin slices per person)
Wash the prawns with cold water and clean them removing the head, the shell and the intestine. First of all you remove the head, but do not throw it away: the prawn’s head is the most delicious part of the prawn and you can also use it to garnish the plate. Second step, you remove the rest of the shell and the intestine: the easiest way to remove the intestine is to break the shell pushing it all over the prawn and removing it pulling it from the tail. You will see that a black filament (the intestine) will come out easily together with the shell.
Cut the cleaned prawns into small dices. Season them with some salt and black pepper and squeeze the grapefruit over them.
Place the tartare ring over each starter plate and put 1/2 of the diced prawns inside the ring, then press it a little bit and remove the ring .
Cut a piece of grapefruit’s peel and squeeze it over the tartare: handle the peel from the inside/white part and stay close enough to the prawns so they can get its scent! You can then place the peel in the middle of the tartare as decoration!
Slice thinly the bread, rub each slice with some washed rosemary and place them in a hot pan adding some extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Once they get golden and crispy place them on the plates.
And now the final touch! In a little bowl prepare a mix of lemon, extra virgin olive oil (the olive oil should be 2 times the lemon you used) and a pinch of salt. Mix it energetically with a fork to blend together all the ingredients. Once you get an intense yellow sauce , pour it over the tartare using a table spoon. Add a sprinkling of Maldon salt and decorate the plate with the prawns’ heads.
Have you ever heard of “corredo”? Corredo is a beautiful Italian tradition : when we get married our mum or grandmas give us a precious set – usually hand-embroidered – including bed sheets, towels and table cloths. I am deeply in love with all the corredo pieces I got from my grandma and I use them all for special occasions. The table cloth you can see in the images below is one my dearest pieces.
The plates are hand-made by one of my favourite artisans in Caltagirone, Sicily : Ceramiche Pistone. They are unique bespoke pieces made in kiln and decorated by hand with traditional Sicilian ceramics’ colours and motifs.
The glasses are vintage, I bought them from an antique dealer in Zurich.