When I think of Middle Eastern food, I have to admit, shrimp is not the first thing that comes to mind. I think more of lamb, hummus, baba ganoush, falafels or baklava than I do of shrimp and seafood. But there are a lot of Middle Eastern seafood dishes as well, especially in the countries that border the seas. I made a delicious Middle Eastern recipe with prawns that originated in the fishing villages of Beirut, Lebanon. It was made with very simple, basic ingredients that I keep on hand all the time. If I can, when I make ethnic dishes, I like the whole meal to be as ethnic as possible. This dish was no exception. I made sauteed prawns with lime and cilantro that I served over couscous with some roasted vegetables seasoned with typical Middle Eastern spices, warmed pita bread and hummus. I finished it all with one of my favorite chardonnays that had hints of apples and melon, which paired very nicely with the warm aromatic spices in the vegetables and the fresh lime and cilantro of the prawns.
Sauteed Prawns with Lime and Cilantro
1 1/2 lbs large prawns, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 TBSP garlic
1/4 red pepper, diced fine
3 TBSP olive oil
2-3 TBSP lime juice
2 tsp minced lime peel
1-2 tsp black pepper
salt to taste – easy on the salt though, because the lime juice will add a little “saltiness” to the dish.
1 bunch cilantro, chopped rough
In a hot skillet, saute the garlic, lime peel and red pepper in olive oil for about 1-2 minutes, then add the shrimp and continue to cook until the shrimp is completely cooked.
When the shrimp is cooked, add the lime juice and the cilantro. Mix everything together thoroughly and serve over cooked couscous, rice or pasta.
This is one of many, many variations of this simple and delicious recipe. As with most recipes, there is not just one way to make it, but many. Make them way you like them.