Thursday, June 12, 2014


Carabinero With Linguini and Baked Tiger Prawn
During a recent visit to Lobster Place in Chelsea Market, we noticed a display of jumbo size shrimp with a striking bright red color.  The sign indicated that they were harvested from the deep-sea Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Spain and have a high fat content making them tender and sweet. Since this was the first time that I saw Carabineros, I was anxious to try them.  .

Carabineros at Lobster Place
Next to the Carabineros were beautiful jumbo (U-2) Tiger Prawns, weighing at least 8-9 ounces each.  I thought that they were perfect for a lobster stuffing and purchased two of them.

Tiger Prawns (U-2)
I wanted to make the Carabineros using another new product that I also bought at the market:  Colavita Limonolio Oil, a lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil imported from Italy.  I thought the Carabineros should be sautéed in the oil with some butter, fresh garlic, capers, and a touch of freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley and served over linguini. 

Colavita Limonolio Oil
Later I learned that Carabineros translates as "police" reportedly because the color of their shells matched the red uniforms that the Spanish Customs Police once wore. The Carabineros distinctive red color does not change when cooked (as does a lobster shell changes from blue to red).  Their flavor was more robust than any other shrimps or langoustines that I ever had and literally melted in my mouth.  Although I removed the heads and shells of the Carabineros before cooking them, many Europeans consider the heads a delicacy, so next time I'll make them whole.
Tiger Prawns
Prepped Carabineros and Tiger Prawns

For the giant Tiger Prawns, I opted to make a lobster stuffing since I had lobster meat left over from my Lobster Newburg dish.  Many recipes for stuffed prawns suggest broiling them, but I baked them in a 350 degree oven using unsalted butter and the Limonolio Oil.  The prawns were very sweet and tender and the stuffing was extremely moist.  This was a perfect accompaniment to the sautéed Carabineros.

Serves 2

2 Carabineros (U-10), about 1/3 pound, peeled and deveined*
2 Tablespoons Colavita Limonolio Oil
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
1 Tablespoon capers, rinsed
1 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tablespoons flat leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
8 oz. cooked linguini

In a heated sauté pan, add Limonolio oil and butter.  After the butter melts, add the garlic and capers and sauté being careful not to brown.  Add lemon juice and stir. Add Carabineros and sauté for about five minutes, turning over as necessary.  When Carabineros are done, place each one on a separate plate of cooked linguini.  Sprinkle with parsley and lemon zest and serve.

*or whole including head and shells

Serves 2

3/4 cup lobster meat, cooked
1 stick unsalted butter (divided)
2 Tablespoons minced shallots
2 Tablespoons chopped green onions
1 stalk celery, finely minced
1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 cup unflavored bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Salt, to taste
1/3 egg, well beaten (about 2 oz.)

Limonolio Oil

Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan. Sauté the minced shallots, green onions, and minced celery in the butter. When the mixture becomes translucent, add the minced garlic. Sauté an additional minute or two.  Add a second tablespoon of butter and the breadcrumbs; stir to melt and incorporate the butter into the breadcrumbs, adding more butter, as needed. Stir in paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme leaves and salt. Stir in the beaten egg. When mixture is cooked (5-10 minutes) fold in the lobster meat.   

Meanwhile, have the prepared split prawns ready on a baking sheet that has been lightly coated with the oil.  Stuff the pawns with the lobster mixture. Sprinkle the tops lightly with paprika and dot with pats of butter.  Drizzle with more oil.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, or until top of mixture is nicely browned.  Use accumulated pan juices for a topping.

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