…or Julie’s Prawn and Pepper Chowder

It happens to all of us – we have great plans for a fish supper but catch nothing. It would be just too much to pay for stale fish of the species we catch, so the only thing to do is to buy something we don’t usually catch – in this case prawns, and possibly a tin of anchovies. For four people you will need:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 rashers of bacon, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 large (or 2 small) red peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 225g tomatoes, skinned and chopped (or cheat and use a tin)
  • 900ml chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 40g long-grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 50g peeled prawns, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • handful of whole peeled and cooked prawns
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Fry the onion, bacon and garlic gently in oil until soft. Add almost all of the minced peppers and continue frying for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stock, rice, vinegar, bay leaf, salt and pepper, and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes until it is all soft and mingled. Discard the bay leaf, and add the chopped prawns and parsley. Simmer for another 6 minutes. Serve in warm bowls, garnished with whole prawns and the remaining chopped red pepper.

Where did those anchovies come in you may ask? If you like the salty flavour, try anchovy bread with it. Take a French baton loaf, and make an anchovy butter by mashing a tin of anchovies with 100g of unsalted butter. Cut slits in the bread and stuff the slits with anchovy butter, as you would for garlic bread. Wrap in foil, and bake in an oven at 180deg C for 15 minutes.