Have you ever tried the baked prawns with tomato, mushroom, peppers, onions and garlic – Karides Guvec, in Turkey? This popular all-in-one pot dish is served in fish restaurants in Turkey as a starter hot mezze and simply irresistible. Raki, Turkish spirit, is a popular and traditional drink to accompany Karides Guvec and seafood in Turkey.
Traditionally, prawns are cooked here with plenty of vegetables in a one big earthenware pot (or in smaller individual ones), called guvec, which delivers a wonderful flavor. But no worries if you don’t have one; a ramekin dish or a glass baking dish also works very well too. The marriage of baked tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers and garlic in olive oil with prawns is heavenly; all you need is some crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices and a green salad a side. You can serve this easy baked prawns as a starter or as a main course with some plain rice aside; great for sharing with friends and family.
Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes
225gr/ 8oz fresh raw king prawns, shelled, cleaned and pat dried
225gr/ 8oz chestnut or white mushrooms, wiped cleaned, halved and sliced
1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 green bell pepper (or 2 sivri biber, pointy pepper, if you can get), seeded, quartered and thinly sliced
2 bay leaves (optional)
400gr/14 oz. good quality 1 can of chopped tomatoes
120gr/4 oz. grated cheddar (kasar) or mozzarella, if you prefer a milder taste
3 tbsp./45ml olive oil
2 fl oz./ ¼ cup water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
10 ml/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, Turkish pul biber or chili flakes
Handful of chopped flat leaf parsley, for garnish
Slices of fresh, crusty bread or Turkish flat breads, pide to serve
Shepherd Salad of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, Coban Salata to serve
Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F
Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy pan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, peppers and mushrooms and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, season with salt (mushrooms especially require generous seasoning) black pepper and red pepper flakes, pul biber. Stir and cook over medium heat for another 4-5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, bay leaves and ¼ cups water, combine well. Simmer over medium to low heat for about 10 minutes, until you get a nice chunky sauce. Check the seasoning of your sauce and add more salt or spices to your taste.
Stir in the fresh, raw prawns to the sauce and mix well. Spoon this mixture into individual or a one big earthenware pot or ramekin dish or any baking dish you have. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until the prawns are just cooked through and the cheese is nicely golden brown on top.
Garnish with chopped parsley over the top and serve hot with slices of crusty bread or Turkish flat breads, pide by the side. Refreshing Shepherd’s Salad of sliced onions, cucumbers and tomatoes, Coban Salata, complements this dish beautifully.