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Valentine Warner’s Hot Pepper Prawns Recipe

Welcome to City Harvest Cooking

City Harvest Cooking is a series where guest chefs and cooks join City Harvest in its London food rescue warehouse to create amazing dishes from surplus food. It’s all about being resourceful and getting creative with whatever might be in City Harvest’s food redistribution depot on the day of cooking. The beauty of food redistribution is its unpredictability, although having a network of fresh produce suppliers means that we often see seasonal goods come through our depot doors.

This year, we kick off City Harvest Cooking with TV chef and food writer, Valentine Warner. Warner is a member of City Harvest’s Food Council, a collective that works with City Harvest to achieve its overall aims – Rescuing Food, People and the Planet – through thought-leadership, engaging with decision-makers and more.

Chef, Valentine Warners cooks with surplus at City Harvest food charity

“City Harvest is my favourite charity, everyone here is amazing. [They’re] redistributing food all over London, so that it can be cooked and given to people who are really struggling to feed themselves, and it’s shocking that the need for what they’re doing is increasing.”

Valentine Warner

Ingredients  (serves 4)

Chopping time: 10 mins, cooking time: total 20 mins

    • 25g salted butter
    • 1 tbsp Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 1 red onion, finely chopped
    • 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 3 salad-sized tomatoes, finely chopped
    • 3 sticks celery, finely chopped
    • 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 1 tbsp tomato puree
    • 2 tsp smoked paprika
    • Juice of ½ lemon
    • 2 tsp hot sauce of choice (ideally Tabasco or Encona, Frank’s etc)
    • 1 pack raw prawns, approx. 200g
    • Salt and black pepper to taste
    • 1 floret little gem lettuce, separated into whole leaves (to serve)
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        1. Gently melt your butter in a large shallow pan, ideally a frying pan.
        2. On a medium heat, gently sauté your chopped red onion until soft and translucent.
        3. Remove some of your fresh thyme from one of the stalks.
        4. Add your celery, green pepper and thyme to the pan and stir gently.
        5. Add a splash of extra virgin olive oil to prevent the veg from sticking and add flavour and a silky consistency.
        6. Add your garlic. Garlic should always be added later as it can burn quickly.
        7. Add your chopped fresh tomatoes and increase
        8. As the tomatoes start to break down, add your smoked paprika, tomato puree and stir until the paste and powder is fully incorporated into the vegetable mix.
        9. Halve a lemon and squeeze as much juice as you can get out of it into your mixture.
        10. Add your hot sauce of choice. Moderate amounts as per your personal taste.
        11. Give everything a good mix before adding your raw prawns to the pan. Make sure you add all of the liquid in the prawn packet.
        12. Cook off the prawns for about 5 minutes until they are just cooked and so the prawn liquor has evaporated.
        13. Separate and wash your little gem leaves and arrange on a plate.
        14. Take your prawns off the heat and serve a couple of spoonful into each lettuce cup to serve.

        Enjoy this recipe?

        Our recipe page hosts a variety of recipes from chefs, food partners, supporters and our charity community. If you enjoyed making this recipe, check out some more.