Kanafa is a pastry similar to a stringy version of phyllo that is found in the freezer section of Middle Eastern and Greek food shops. Ras el hanout means “head of the shop” in Arabic and is a popular blend of herbs and spices used across the Middle East and North Africa, most often including cardamom, clove, cinnamon, paprika, coriander, cumin, mace, nutmeg, peppercorn, and turmeric. It is also often perceived as an aphrodisiac!
1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey
2 Tbsp (30 mL) ras el hanout (or curry spice mix)
2 tsp (10 mL) turmeric
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sambal powder (available at specialty stores and many supermarkets)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped mixed herbs (cilantro, flat-leaf parsley, mint)
30 prawns (sized 26 to 30 per pound)
1 box kanafa pastry (about 1 lb/450 g)
1/2 lb (225 g) unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Combine honey, spices, and herbs and marinate prawns for 15 minutes. Tear off 3 in (7.5 cm) strands of kanafa pastry; spread with butter, and then wrap prawns individually.
Season with salt and pepper, pan sear for 30 seconds per side, and finish in oven for 4 minutes or until done and pastry is golden.
source: "Sanafir", alive #314, December 2008
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