A week ago I prepared an easy pasta salad with jumbo shrimps. This dish was in fact a try-out for a dish I wanted to make last Sunday. I once promised a couple that they could come to my place and have dinner. Finally, after almost half a year we found the time towelcome them. So Sunday evening I made them a three course meal.

Menu:

Appetizers: Fresh unpeeled shrimps and Goat cheese and pistachios pesto

Starter: Jumbo shrimps, mango cucumber couscous and a spicy macadamia nuts dressing.

Main dish: guinea fowl, estragon sauce, Brussels chicory and nectarine

Dessert: Crémeux of bitter chocolate with different rhubarb and strawberry structures and hazelnut bresilienne

The taste and flavors were ok. I still have to work on my presentation of the dishes, though. A lot of my “towers” collapsed before I could serve them. My dessert was already less sloppy than the Record Store dish, but it can still be better. Some friends think I’m nitpicking, but I just want to make dazzling delicious dishes.

Of course I’ll share the recipes with you. Let’s start with the recipe for the mango cucumber couscous with the jumbo shrimps. Again it’s really easy to make and it doesn’t take a lot of time. The dish is based on a recipe of Knack Weekend, a Belgian lifestyle magazine. They made it without the jumbo shrimps and with amaranth grain instead of couscous.

Jumbo shrimp, couscous, macadamia nuts and mango

What do you need?

(4 serves) 4 jumbo shrimps 250 gr couscous, 1l vegetable stock, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 mango, Half a cucumber, 200 gr crayfish, fresh mint, fresh coriander. For the dressing: 50gr macadamia nuts, juice of 1/2 lime, 2 Tbsp Agave syrup, 1/2 dl sunflower oil, 1-2 Tbsp sambal, black pepper and salt

What do you do? 

Bring the vegetable stock to the boil. Pour it over the couscous. Use a part of the mango to make 4 thin circular slices. We will use this for the decoration. Cut the rest of the mango and cucumber in brunoise. Chop the mint and the coriander. Mix the crayfish with mint, coriander, cucumber and mango. Spice with pepper and salt. Spice the couscous with pepper, salt and olive oil. Make the dressing. Just blend all the ingredients. Note: Agave syrup is a sweetener. For the Belgian readers, you find it at Delhaize.

Clean the jumbo shrimps. (More information: How to clean?) Remove the tail, head and shell. Cut along the outer edge of the shrimp’s back. If you can see it, remove and discard the vein the runs along right under the surface of the back, with your fingers or the tip of your knife. If the jumbo shrimps are not marinated, spice them with cayenne pepper, curry powder, black pepper and salt. Fry them shortly on both sides.

Take a clean plate and a stainless steel food ring. Place it on the plate, add the couscous and the mango cucumber mix. Finish with a mango slice and place a shrimp on top. Finish with the dressing. (Of course, feel free to create your own plate.)