June 22, 2022
Mystery flavours from Ljuana’s kitchen
The team of Design & decor are thrilled to have Ljuana Xuereb on board sharing her delightful recipes with us all.
Ljuana, is a self-taught cook who has been curious about food since she was a child. Hailing from an extended, multicultural family, she had access to different ingredients and savoured different flavours from a very young age.
Fast forward a few years, she met her now husband who simply lives for good food. This made Ljuana push herself to get creative and inventive in the kitchen, serving memorable meals whilst striving to use local, seasonal and sustainable produce.
Working from her home, Ljuana believes that everyone is capable of cooking amazing food in their own kitchen. All you need is a sprinkling of love!
SERVES 2 (as a starter)
Prep. time: 20mins
Cooking time: nil
A seafood lovers delight. This dish is perfect to serve on those hot summer days, with no cooking involved. It is relatively easy to prepare yet quite impressive. It is also a great dish to serve as part of a larger selection of antipasti to share.
22 fresh local white prawns
3cm piece of fresh chili
Zest of half a lemon
8 mint leaves
½ tsp fine sea salt
A good glug of EVOO
Optional to decorate
1 spring onion
2 lemon wedges
1. Start by preparing the prawns. Peel, devein and butterfly the prawns.
2. Place a sheet of cling film on your work surface and lay half the prawns flat next to each other barely touching in a rough rectangle. Cover with another piece of cling film and set aside. Repeat the same with the remaining prawns.
3. Using the back of a large cold frying pan, gently but firmly press down on the prawns until they are at a thickness of about 2-3mm. The prawns should be uniform in thickness and have merged together to form one solid piece.
4. Choose the prettier side so that will be the top of your carpaccio. Gently peel off the cling film paying attention not to disrupt the carpaccio.
5. Chop the chili and the mint as finely as possible.
6. Scatter half the chili, mint, lemon zest and salt evenly over the prawns. Cover again with the cling film and press gently with the frying pan. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.
7. Place the carpaccio in the fridge and chill for at least 15 mins or up to 2 hrs to allow the flavours to merge together.
8. While the carpaccio is chilling, cut the spring onion into 5cm pieces and slice very thinly. Place the onions in a bowl of cold water, cover and place in the fridge. This reduces the sharpness from the onion flavour but also makes the onion curl up slightly.
9. To serve, remove the carpaccio from the fridge and drain the onions.
10. Place the carpaccio top side down on your work surface and very carefully peel off the bottom cling film. Lift the carpaccio from the remaining cling film and hold it on the palm of your hand. Place a serving plate over the carpaccio trying to center it. Quickly flip the plate and peel off the remaining cling film.
11. Place a heap of spring onion to one side of the plate, top with the lemon wedge and finish off with a nice drizzle of good quality EVOO.