Friday, December 28, 2012

Lizzie Hewson's Garlic Prawn Burgers


Like a blue-tinged monster from the deep, I've finally surfaced from a month of what can only be described as personal admin hell. If you've ever quit your job, thrown a house party, scrubbed and moved out of said house, juggled a rather complicated love life and started a new job in a new city, all while trying to fit in your Christmas shopping, you may have some idea of the kind of coals that I've been grilling myself over. Maintaining a scrap of finesse while gathering the motivation to actually, you know, do things like my hair every god damned morning has been full-on, so please ignore my absence from this space. 

Writing here has loomed in the back of my mind like an ever-present white elephant. But I've missed you, and I hope you'll be reassured to find that I've returned from battle laden with burgers for you all. These burgers belong to Lizzie Hewson, a beautiful friend of mine who is a sensational cook. This girl is at the produce market just about every weekend. She's slow-roasting lamb shoulders and whipping cream for tiramisu quite nearly every time I speak to her. She grows corn in her backyard. CORN! She's also lucky enough to represent some of the greatest restaurants and brands in Sydney (but seriously, ask her how many times she's eaten Quay's snow egg).

Lizzie's recipes are varied and effortless. They seem intricate from the outset but are simple and clean once you get started. Which is all part of their charm. She's a whiz, this gal, and was sweet enough to spend an afternoon teaching me how to make my favourite dish of hers, which soon enough will be released in her cookbook next year. 

The book will be a collection of recipes collated for cooks who want to be better, but aren't so sure where to start. You might be moving out of home and wish you'd paid more attention to your mother when she put dinner on the table night after night. Perhaps you just want a fail-safe ream of recipes that work every time, or an easy menu for a special occasion. Either way, you'll find what you're looking for in the pages of her book, keep an eye out for her name. 

Prawn burgers! Genius. Crisp fried in Panko crumbs for crunch, with tiny pops of capers and the grassiness of parsley, these should be at the top of your summer menu. Don't go easy on the mayo, either. 

Thank you to Sophie Roberts for the beautiful photography in this post.

Garlic Prawn Burgers with Lemon Mayonnaise 
Recipe by Lizzie Hewson
Makes 8 burgers

600g raw prawns - peeled
3 garlic cloves - peeled and minced
zest of 2 lemons
half bunch of parsley - chopped
half cup of baby capers - drained
Panko crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)
vegetable oil for shallow frying
8 soft white buns
baby cos lettuce
juice of half a lemon
1 quarter cup whole egg mayonnaise 

Mince the raw prawn meat by chopping it up finely with a sharp knife. Mix in garlic along with capers, parsley and zest of 2 lemons. Using your hands, mould the sticky prawn mixture into patties that are roughly 10cm wide and 2cm thick. Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, this helps the patties hold their shape. You can leave the patties covered in the fridge for up to a day.

For the lemon mayo, mix together lemon juice and mayonnaise. Set aside.

When you’re ready to serve, gently dip your patties into the Panko crumbs to coat. Heat a thin layer of oil in a non-stick fry pan until hot (you can test to make sure the oil is hot enough by dropping a bread crumb into the pan, it should sizzle). Place two patties into the pan and cook for 3 minutes, or until golden. Carefully flip and cook for a further 2 minutes on the other side.

Remove patties and place on paper towel to drain. Spread a thick layer of lemon mayo on your white bun, then add lettuce leaves and top with a prawn pattie, plus more mayo if desired.