I'm particularly fond of a prawn roll, as good for lunch as it is for an easy dinner, eaten curled up on the couch in front of a fire. Personally, I don’t like too many ingredients on my roll – all you really want is the taste of the banana prawn, a delicate sweet flavour, and the warming spiciness of horseradish. I’ve included a recipe to make your own rolls, so you can be even more impressive.
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Mix the mascarpone, horseradish and lemon juice in a bowl; you really want to taste the lemony tang. Season with a good amount of salt.
Place a large pot of water on the stove and add enough table salt so it tastes of the ocean. In two batches, lower your prawns in the water and cook for 3-4 minutes, making sure to turn the water down if it starts to boil rapidly. A nice and gentle poach and your prawns being just cooked is what you're after.
Scoop the prawns out of the pot and put them straight into a bowl of iced water to cool. Give them a few minutes before taking them out, removing the head and peeling the shell. Use a small sharp knife to run down the back of the prawn so you can take out the intestine.
To construct your panini, cut the roll in half, spread both sides with a nice amount of butter and a good dollop of the mascarpone. Arrange the prawns on top, followed by the iceberg and pickle. Give it all little drizzle of olive oil, some seasoning and then close.
Get a plate and go sit in front of the fire.
• You can easily use a bought roll instead of making your own, but do make sure it's the right type; you need something soft and a little fluffy.
• Horseradish is in season in winter and you’ll find it is extra delightfully spicy.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Suresh Watson.
Plate 19 cm from The Chef and The Cook. Prawns from Cleanfish Australia, 10 Baker St, Banksmeadow, NSW.