I had a dream last night. I woke up in the very early morning by the intense, overwhelming mixed feeling in the dream and then I knew I have to make this post today, which I actually intended to do it two weeks ago.
I dreamt of my last year summer in MBL, Wood Holes, MA where I attended an unforgettable training course, the Biology of Parasitism (BOP). That was my best summer ever, even though I barely slept 5 hours a day, overdosed with coffee and beer and worked long hours till late night almost everyday. But it was more than fun, until now I couldn’t estimate the amount and usefulness of the stuffs I have learnt there. (How amazing is that?)
I miss it, from time to time after I came back to Singapore. I miss many people and things there including the small coffee shop (Pie in the sky) and the Mexican restaurant (Quicks Hole) in that small town. In the last two weeks of BOP, I often skipped the canteen breakfast and walked to the coffee shop to get a hot latte and a croissant (sometimes a chocolate croissant) before the 830am lecture. In the weekend when the canteen was closed, my BOP friends and I usually went to the Mexican restaurant for a relaxing dinner. Occasionally, we packed the food from there and had our dinner on a bench by the sea or on the beach. Sometimes a Baja bowls, sometimes a Burritos and most of the time, a taco for me.
It is difficult to get that Mexican dinner feeling (even just for a little bit) in Singapore. L used to bring me for Mexican food whenever I miss BOP. We tried driving around to a few places in one evening just to find a Mexican restaurant near the West area. Until recently, I found spending big bucks in the restaurant here doesn’t make me happy anymore because I am tired of eating the same dish and the menu here is so different from Quicks Hole’s anyway.
So I made this Baja Prawns Taco two weeks ago, trying to mimic the Sweet Baja Shrimp Taco I had in the last year summer. It definitely tasted not exactly the same but I did felt some kind of feeling or connection to the last year summer and BOP.
Remove the seed of the red bell pepper and cut into small wedges, Add the red bell pepper, chilli padi and onion into a blender and blend until smooth.
Add 4-5 tbs of the puree and garlic powder to the mayonnaise and mix well. Season with freshly grounded pepper.
Put the mixture into a sealed container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to a few hours.
Preheat the oven at this time and warm the tortilla wraps according to the package instructions.
To cook the Baja garlic prawns:
Spread salt over the prawns and mix well. Drizzle some oil into a heated frying pan and then melt the butter over a medium heat.
Cook the prawns for 1-2 minutes until they are almost fully cooked. Transfer just the prawns into a bowl and set aside and cover with foil to keep warm. (Prawns get cooked pretty fast, once you see both side of the prawn has turned red, transfer them out of the pan immediately).
Using the leftover oil/butter in the pan, cook the remaining onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the cooking wine and bring to boil for 1 minute. Keep stirring and scrap up the onion and garlic at the bottom of the pan in the process.
Add the lime juice. Continue cooking the liquid to reduce it to a thicker consistency.
Return the prawns to the pan and coat them with the sauce and cook for about 1 minute.
To assemble the taco:
Place the fine white cabbage strips on a tortilla wrap, layer on top with Baja garlic prawns, Baja sauce and avocado cubes. Serve with tomato salsa and peach salsa.