Celebratory French dish for your Christmas table | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Prawns Thermidor

“The most indispensable ingredient of all good home cooking: love for those you are cooking for.”—Sophia Loren

Some believe that their grandmother is the best cook. My admiration for my late lola Nena Fabic’s cooking made me treasure my heritage and express my love for my family through cooking. Lola Nena taught me to preserve our traditions.

I always watched her in the kitchen, doing her mise en place. She had a vast supply of seasonings, herbs and spices, and I was impressed at how she managed to use them for the tasty dishes she made.

Lola Nena influenced me to be interested in cooking. Whenever she cooked for the family, she was always cheerful. She nourished us with delectable Filipino and Spanish food.

Ivyn Malabanan

Whenever there was a birthday or special occasion in our family, I became the one designated to go to the wet market for ingredients and cook for that special meal.

After college, I took a two-year diploma course at the Center for Culinary Arts in Katipunan, to further hone my skills in the kitchen. I also learned from chef Reggie Aspiras’ classes.I helped manage my father’s comedy bar businesses, Punchline, Laffline and Metro bar, for 10 years, handling events, catering and shows.

Before the pandemic, I was working as operations manager in our family’s direct-selling business and I also had my own canteen to operate. I was a working mother of three, earning my own money.

After the lockdown, business slowed down, but my oncologist husband and I forged ahead. Now as a stay-at-home mom, I sell my tender, oven-roasted cochinillo and lechon de leche with stuffing. My husband helps me. He finds it therapeutic, a welcome break from daily wearing of personal protective equipment and treating cancer patients.

I’m sharing here a French dish that my family loves. It’s something to consider adding to your holiday table.

Prawns Thermidor

Prawns Thermidor

1 kg prawns or sugpo, butterflied

2 pc shallots, minced

¼ c button mushrooms, minced

¼ c celery, minced

¼ c green bell pepper, minced

2 Tbsp Chef Reggie’s cooking wine

2 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp oil

½ c heavy cream

2 Tbsp panko bread crumbs

Mozzarella cheese or any quick-melt cheese

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Butterfly the prawns and carefully remove the meat from the shells. Make sure to keep the heads and shells intact. Set aside meat and shells.

In a sauté pan, add butter and oil. Sauté the prawn meat, shallots, mushrooms, bell pepper and celery until soft.

Add cooking wine and reduce. Season with salt and pepper. Add heavy cream and panko crumbs. Mix until the consistency is slightly thick.

Stuff the prawn shells with a generous amount of the prawn mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese. Place stuffed prawns on a baking sheet. Bake the prawns until the shells become pink and the cheese melts.

Serve and enjoy! —CONTRIBUTED INQ

The author is the cook behind @bibengs_kitchen, named after her childhood nickname.

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