The weather is FINALLY getting more springlike over here 🙂 The clocks have gone forward too, which always messes with my rhythm for a couple of days…
The upshot of that: this week’s culinary thing was almost identical to last week — pasta with home-made tomato sauce out of the freezer. The only differences were that this week I used whole-wheat fusilli, and that I added the rest of the frozen prawn from a couple of weeks ago.
There was about 5/6 of the block left, frozen pretty solid, and I was a bit reluctant to let it thaw overnight in the fridge because I was worried about the packaging slumping or splitting and sending melted prawn-water everywhere. My solution was to put the block in a sieve supported over the sink in the morning and let things defrost at room temperature. This certainly worked on the thinner outer layers of ice, but the main block was still frozen solid.
To deal with this, I boiled about 1 litre of water in the kettle, poured it into a saucepan and carefully placed the block of prawns into the water (this specific order of operations was intended to minimize the risk of damaging the saucepan from thermal shock). I’d intended to maintain the heat of the water on the hob, but this proved unnecessary — the outer layer of prawns was released almost immediately and I was able to work them off with a wooden spoon and set them aside in a bowl. The ice block, obviously, had a significant cooling effect on the water, but this only brought the temperature down to between blood heat and room temperature. This was sufficient warmth to gently thaw off further prawn layers, which I was able to extract with my (clean) hands. The result was a sizeable bowl of prawns which had been thawed but, for the most part, were still raw and hence would not be overcooked in the finished dish.
The procedure from there was pretty much the same as last week — cook pasta, drain, add sauce, heat through. I added the prawns at the same time and cooked and stirred until I was sure they were properly cooked (one can’t take too many chances with seafood). The end result was just as good as I’d anticipated, and went deliciously well with a few pieces of extra-mature cheddar melted over the top 🙂