This is our prawn version of Fish en Pappillote, which sounds super fancy but actually just means “fish in a bag” (it’s French). Finely sliced potato, vegetables, topped with fish, some basic seasonings, herbage of some sort, then baked inside a foil parcel. This method of cooking seals in the moisture and flavour inside the bag, and has the added benefit of less washing up.
- 600 gms potatoes , peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 100ml thickened / heavy cream
- 2 - 3 tbsp butter (more = richer!)
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 20 - 24 prawns/shrimp , peeled and deveined, tail on or off
- 100 gms mozzarella or other melting cheese of choice
- 2 - 3 bunches asparagus , trimmed then cut in half, fat ones vertically cut in half (Note 1)
- Finely chopped parsley
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes or until just cooked.
- Drain potatoes, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Toss to coat.
- Meanwhile, place the cream, butter and garlic in a heatproof bowl. Microwave 30 - 40 seconds on high, until butter melts when stirred. If time permits, cool (place in fridge to speed up). (Note 1)
- Preheat oven to 200C/390F (standard) or 180C/350F (fan/convection) or BBQ on medium high with hood down.
- Tear 4 x 45cm/18" pieces of heavy duty foil (Note 2).
- Divide potatoes among foil sheets. Top with cheese, then prawns and asparagus, then drizzle over cream sauce.
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley.
- Bring the long ends of the foil together over the prawns, then fold down to seal, then fold in the sides (watch video, it's easy!)
- Place on a baking tray or BBQ and cook for 10 minutes (small prawns) - 12 minutes (medium prawns). (Note 4)
- Serve immediately - do not leave them sitting around inside the unopened packet, the prawns and asparagus will overcook and leech water, making the sauce watery.
1. Asparagus – Break or cut woody ends off asparagus (woody ends will break of naturally), then cut in half.
2. Cooling the sauce thickens it (because of the butter) so when you pour it over the prawns, it coats it more thickly. That way when you open the packet, there is cream sauce on the prawns. But it is fine to skip the cooling because you will want to squidge the prawns in the cream sauce pooled at the bottom of the foil packet anyway!
3. Heavy duty foil is available at supermarkets and it is slightly thicker than normal foil. It is insurance to avoid the foil packet from leaking. You could use paper inside the foil if baking, or a double layer of foil. Or live dangerously and risk it with a single piece of normal foil! Do not use paper if cooking this on the BBQ – it will burn.
4. Raw prawns hang straight, cooked prawns form a “C” shape, overcooked prawns curl tightly into an “O” shape. Take a peek to ensure prawns are cooked – they should not be translucent, they should be opaque.
5. OTHER VEGGIE IDEAS: Anything that will cook in 10 minutes inside the foil. Thinly sliced carrots, frozen corn or peas (thaw them so they don’t bring down the temp of the packet), broccoli (split in half lengthwise), finely sliced fennel, onion, baby or normal spinach (bunch them up on one side), pumpkin or sweet potato instead of normal potato (cook them per recipe), green beans, quartered brussel sprouts.
6. Nutrition assuming 2 tbsp butter and 3/4 cup cheese is used.