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Member recipe

Prawns in Butternut Squash

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Serves 4

This is based on a Brazilian favourite, a festive dish called Camarao na Moranga, which is a large pumpkin filled with prawns in a spicy, creamy cheese and tomato sauce. Butternut squash is easier to serve individually and tastes lovely. You can't buy pimenta-de-cheiro here, but chili flakes work very nicely. My final change is to omit cream because butternut squash goes well with a slightly sharper sauce.

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  • 4 small butternut squash: halved, seeds removed, and placed in roasting pan, cut side up
  • 24 Slices of ginger
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • Prawn filling for 4 people:
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 medium tomatoes, de-seeded, and preferably peeled too
  • Salt
  • 1 basil leaf
  • Coriander, ground
  • 800g or up to 1Kg shelled Prawns, no heads, no tails
  • Chilli flakes or fresh pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp cream cheese (E.g.: Philadelphia or St. Moritz)
  • Coriander, roughly chopped


    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C).
    2. Roast squash circa 40 minutes: in a roasting pan lined with 1 or 2mm water, and with 3 slices of ginger placed on each half squash. Grind over salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and then roast until flesh is tender.
    3. Remove the slices of ginger.
    4. Place on plates with dark green salad to one side & ladle prawns into and over squash.
    5. Garnish with roughly chopped coriander.
    6. For the filling, while the squash is roasting, place a large cooking pot on the cooker.
    7. Briefly fry the garlic, and then add the chopped tomatoes.
    8. Add basic seasoning to taste --at least salt, 1 basil leaf, and powdered coriander-- and fry (on medium heat) for 2mins or until tomato juices begin to bubble. Add chilli to taste.
    9. As soon as the prawns turn pink or have warmed through, add the cream cheese cautiously and to personal taste. The sauce should be a soft pink, but not overly creamy, taste it and make sure you are happy that the tomato-cheese balance is good. Serve as per step 4.

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8th Sep, 2018
Simple, stunning & very tasty - using four small butternut this is a delightfully stunning & moreish starter. There are a number of mistakes in the recipe, but any cook should be able to work around these & produce a visibly exciting & mouthwatering result. Simple, effective & will definitely be making many more times! Was a crowd pleaser!
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