I often wonder what you think of me. Whether you have a vision of a gastronomically diverse guy labouring endlessly over a hot desk to create recipe ideas and ingredient lists, or maybe someone with culinary nous that can compile a recipe in the same way you decide how many sugars to have in your tea?
Well, today it’s a case of raiding the fridge and a bit of potluck, which also happens to serve up a very neat lesson as to why experimenting in the kitchen is so important to developing cooking skills, as like so many things in life, it’s the little unplanned events which are often the best.
The story, goes a little like this…
I was at home, alone and didn’t have any lunch. My mood, for some unknown, fleeting reason had betrayed any motivation I could conjure that day, which meant I was disinclined to go outside and buy lunch.
I turned with sombre hope to the fridge and freezer, which generously poured out prawns, wraps and tomatoes. A fleeting glimpse of being satiated sparkled through my mind’s eye. But there was something missing, I felt it needed something more, some leaves, some frilliness, some lightness of some sort. Salad was nowhere to be found, the only leaf-like ingredient was a bag of coriander, whereupon a crucial mix of hunger and laziness brought about a plan.
Coriander is a very popular herb around these parts (in our flat, that is), so there’s often some cowering in the fridge. However, I’ve never considered using it whole, stalks ‘n’ all, in anything other than a curry paste. However, the depths of demotivation know no bounds so I grabbed a handful straight from the bag and put it in the wrap, along with the quickest sauce I could think of, which I’ll call ‘bâtard Marie Rose’.
What followed was abundant joy and palatal pleasure as I realised that it really works. Micro leaves and mixed salad be damned, just stick a handful of soft-stemmed herbs in your sandwich and join the aromatic revolution! Vive la coriandre!
How to store corianderOnly recently did I discover the best way to store fresh coriander, which is one of the reasons I always have some on hand. The local shop sells huge, cheap bunches of the stuff which are normally way more than I need. The way to store coriander is in the fridge, and you need to keep it covered to prevent it from spoiling.
Place your bunch of coriander in a carrier bag and loosely roll it up. Store it in the bottom of the fridge and you should find it will last for a week or longer.
Aromatic prawn and coriander wrap
By Gavin Wren
8 large cooked prawns
A handful of coriander (About 8 sprigs)
1 large tomato, sliced
1 red chilli, sliced
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons mayonaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon hot chilli sauce
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
Lay the wrap on a plate and spoon a nice foundation of sauce onto it. Lay your coriander sprigs top to tail on top of the sauce. Then layer up the tomato, prawns and finally chilli.
Roll it up and eat!