>Happy Birthday Bram Stoker & Gordon Ramsay

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Stoker was the first to popularize vampires’ aversion to garlic in Dracula. After Lucy Westenra succumbs to Count Dracula’s charms and dies from loss of blood, she comes back as a vampire, preying on young children. To destroy her, Professor Van Helsing declares “I shall cut off her head and fill her mouth with garlic, and I shall drive a stake through her body.”

To make sure that doesn’t happen to you (and for a perfect snack during Monday Night football) try these Anti-Vampire Garlic Bites. Or, if you’re more a Hell’s Kitchen fan, page down a bit for Gordon Ramsay’s Tiger Prawns with Garlic, Chilies and Lemongrass from Gordon Ramsay Makes it Easy.

Anti-Vampire Garlic Bites

Frozen phyllo dough, 1/2 package, thawed
3/4 cup melted butter
Several peeled garlic cloves
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup of Italian breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Unroll the phyllo dough and place it on a piece of waxed paper. Use a sharp knife to cut the phyllo dough across into 2-inch strips. Put a piece of waxed paper over the top of the phyllo strips, and then cover them with a damp kitchen towel to keep them moist while you work. Lay one strip at a time on a separate piece of waxed paper and brush it with melted butter.

Sprinkle a bit of finely chopped almonds on the phyllo strip and put a garlic clove at one end. Roll up the strip of dough, sealing the edges as you go. Brush with a bit of extra butter and roll it in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining phyllo strips. Place the anti-vampie bites on a rack and put the rack in a roasting pan and bake them until they’re golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve straight from the oven. Go Bengals!

TIger Prawns with Garlic, Chilies, and Lemongrass

12 large raw tiger prawns peeled and deveined – tail shell on
3 peeled garlic cloves
2 deseeded red chillies
2 stalks lemongrass
2.5 cm (roughly 1 inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled
5 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and pepper, to taste

Put the tiger prawns in a shallow dish. Pound the garlic, chillies, lemongrass and ginger together using a pestle and mortar, gradually adding the olive oil until you have a rough paste (or whiz briefly in the blender). Season with salt and pepper. Baste the prawns with the spice paste and leave to marinate in a cool place for 2-3 hours.

Cook the marinated prawns on the hot barbecue for 4-6 minutes, turning, until they turn pink and feel slightly firm to the touch – don’t overcook. Serve at once. (Ramsay suggests serving with a flavoured vinaigrette, sour cream or tomato salsa, but I’d go for rice, myself.)

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