Life can be difficult. Though, it has a habit of heaping more of the stinky stuff on some less fortunate than others. As I write this, I feel compelled to give examples. Think of poor Donald Trump, unqualified, unhinged (if his Twitter feed is anything to go by) and unable to run the country. Think also of poor Viv Nicholson, the “Spend, Spend, Spend” lady who’s dreams came true when she and her husband won a €3,000,000+ (at today’s rates) prize on the British Football Pools. Dream turned to nightmare when the consequences of instant wealth and a propensity for splashing the cash conspired against her. She died in 2015, having had a brief spell in the tabloid spotlight, followed by an extremely difficult time in obscurity and poverty. Think too of people like me, who recognise that it doesn’t have to be that hard. It usually is not the stuff that comes our way but the way in which we handle it that defines us. So, when a large bag of frozen Argentinian prawns came my way, I had an opportunity to win big and do some good.
Poor Viv Richardson is a lesson to all of us lucky enough to win big (or small). Also, I suppose it’s not fair to compare the tiny hands of the golden haired mogul trying to grip the levers of power with trying to get to grips with a dinner for four. But, I needed something to introduce this really easy and delightfully tasty Spicy Prawn Couscous.
- 32 large uncooked prawns
- 200 grammes of uncooked pearl couscous
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 6 large spring onions
- 1 hot red chilli
- 1 bulb of single clove garlic (or 3 cloves ordinary)
- 2 inch (5cm) piece of ginger root
- White of an egg
- 400 grammes of green beans
- 2 teaspoons of ras el hanout
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 handful of parsley
- 1 handful of coriander
Cook the couscous, following the pack instructions (12 minutes in unsalted water, drain and add some olive oil to stop it sticking together). While this is going on, play the lotto but remember the salutary lesson above). Chop the peppers, spring onions, beans, chilli, ginger, garlic, parsley and coriander. Get everything pretty small, so it will mix as well as the Donald at a hooker convention.
Whip the white of the egg to get a light foam. Add the prawns to the egg.
Heat some oil in a large wok. Add the prawns a few at a time and cook until nearly done. Reserve them. Wipe the wok clean. Fry the garlic, ginger and chilli in the wok until the aromas start to fill the kitchen. Add in the beans and stir fry for a minute or two.
Add the soy sauce. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add in the spring onions and give them another minute. Add the peppers, salt, pepper and ras el hanout. Stir to combine everything. Add the couscous and repeat the process. Chop and add the parsley and coriander. Reintroduce the prawns and pretend you are Stormy Daniel’s lawyer (give it a good stir).
Heat some bowls and serve straight from the wok (what else would you do). You may never win big or end up running a large country but, you will probably be the better of it. Don’t let that put you off winning big by cooking this little delight.