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Read it and eat it: The Andalucian Friend and bowl of prawns and polenta

An action-packed thriller, Alexander Soderberg's book goes hand in hand with recipes from Try This At Home.

The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Soderberg is a turbo-charged, highly sophisticated thriller that pairs perfectly with prawns and polenta.

Eat It.

Prawns-and-Polenta-from-Try-This-At-Home-by-Richard-BlaisPrawns and Polenta
Recipe adapted from Try This At Home by Richard Blais
Serves 4

12 head-on large prawns or jumbo Black Tiger shrimp (plus 1 for the sauce—see below)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus (optional) more for garnish
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE SAUCE
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, finely diced
1 large prawn or jumbo Black Tiger shrimp, shelled, deveined, and finely minced
2 anchovies, mashed, or 1⁄2 teaspoon anchovy paste
1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup Tomato Sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

FOR THE POLENTA
2 cups whole milk
2 cups low-sodium broth
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
1 cup instant polenta
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1⁄2 teaspoon white truffle oil (optional)

1. Put the 12 prawns in a bowl or large resealable plastic bag, add the oil, garlic, parsley, sage, rosemary, lemon zest, salt, and pepper, and mix until well coated. Cover, or seal the bag, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, to make the sauce: Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until just crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the minced prawn, anchovies, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring to break up the prawn, until the anchovies are dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce is very thick, about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Keep warm over very low heat until ready to serve.

3. To make the polenta: Bring the milk, stock, and salt to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the polenta in a slow, steady stream, then whisk until very smooth. Cook, whisking, until the polenta begins to bubble and get very thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the butter and truffle oil, if using. Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Cover to keep warm.

4. To cook the prawns: Heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove the prawns from the marinade, shaking off the excess oil, and grill, turning once, until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

5. To serve, divide the polenta among four large plates. Place 3 prawns on the polenta on each plate, and drizzle the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the chopped herbs and serve immediately.

Read It.

The Andalucian Friend Book Excerpt

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