Churrasco is a Brazilian word meaning ‘barbecued’ or ‘grilled on skewers’. Although often served with chimichurri sauce – a lovely herby sauce with garlic, oregano and red wine vinegar – I’ve chosen the lesser known aji sauce from Peru – a sweet onion and jalapeño combination that is a little like a South American version of Thai nam jim dipping sauce. It also goes well with empanadas, grilled meats and seafood.
Serves 4 as an appetiser
Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking 5 minutes
4 green jalapeño chillies, seeded
3 spring onions, roughly sliced
1/4 cup roughly chopped coriander stems and leaves
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for cooking
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 kg large green prawns, heads removed and peeled, tails intact
wooden skewers, soaked in cold water or placed in the freezer for 30 minutes
green salad, to serve (optional)
For the aji sauce, place the jalapeños, spring onions and coriander in a small food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the red wine vinegar, zest, juice and oil and continue to process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
For the prawns, insert a wooden skewer at the tail and push through the length of the prawn. Brush the prawns with oil and cook on a preheated barbecue or chargrill pan for 2 minutes each side or until cooked through. Serve with the aji sauce and salad leaves, if desired.
Wine: White wine lovers can try sauvignon blanc, but for red wine try a malbec, the premium grape variety of South America.
Recipe from Best TV Chef Book in the World at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, Lyndey Milan’s Taste of Australia (Hardie Grant 2014).