Armagnac is a unique kind of wine-based brandy from Gascony, southwest of France. Today we are not going to sip it after dinner but it will be one of the main ingredients of our recipe, which will fire up our taste buds.
3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
300 g of fresh shell-on king prawns
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
6 tablespoons of Armagnac (around 50 ml)
Black pepper, freshly ground
Put the prawns in a bowl, add two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest and thyme. Stir them gently and let them marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Place a large frying pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin oil and the garlic. Allow it to sauté for 30-40 seconds. Add the prawns with the marinate mixture and a pinch of salt. Turn up the heat and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they turn bright pink in colour.
When the pan is really hot, add the Armagnac, agitate the pan around a little and the alcohol should catch. Be careful when you do that as the flame will rise about 15 inches high.
Let reduce the sauce for approximately 10 seconds and serve immediately with some freshly ground pepper.
This recipe is a perfect starter to serve with a chilled glass of dry Prosecco, the Italian answer to crisp, well-made sparkling wine, at a reasonable price.