Celebrity square meals #38: 'Belize shrimp' by Patrick McGrath, novelist

Serves two
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Indy Lifestyle Online

I wouldn't consider myself much of a cook, but there are two dishes I know how to make, and this is one of them. My wife and I have a wooden beach house in southern Belize, it's a wonderful place to read and write. When we're there I often drive into Placencia - a drinking village with a bit of a fishing habit. I go to the dock, to the fisherman's co-operative, and I buy a bag of shrimp, nice and big and fresh and juicy. Then it's back to the house for lunch.

I wouldn't consider myself much of a cook, but there are two dishes I know how to make, and this is one of them. My wife and I have a wooden beach house in southern Belize, it's a wonderful place to read and write. When we're there I often drive into Placencia - a drinking village with a bit of a fishing habit. I go to the dock, to the fisherman's co-operative, and I buy a bag of shrimp, nice and big and fresh and juicy. Then it's back to the house for lunch.

A bag full of fresh shrimps - at least two dozen (add more according to greed)
6-8 garlic cloves
Olive oil for frying
1tsp cumin
1tsp paprika
A handful of coriander, chopped (optional)
Some good, fresh white bread

Roll up your sleeves and peel all the shrimp. Rub them with sea salt, to bring out the flavour, then rinse them - that way you don't have too much left on there. Pat them dry.

Take a big skillet and heat plenty of olive oil in it. Throw the whole peeled cloves of garlic, then add the cumin and paprika. Slosh it about to colour the oil, then in go the shrimp - as many as you have, they're best fresh, so there's no point saving any extras.

Cook, stirring, until they colour up nice and pink, and nothing's opaque. Take the skillet off the heat and put the whole thing on the table. Add a handful of chopped coriander. Then tuck in with the bread - dip it in the oil, it's delicious. Oh, and a bottle of pinot grigio always goes down well.

Patrick McGrath's latest novel, 'Port Mungo', is published by Bloomsbury, priced £16.99

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