Southern-style purloo rice
* 675 g prawns, peeled and deveined shells reserved
* 3 onions, 1 cut in half and 2 diced
* 1.2 litres water
* 325 g white long grain rice
* 6 smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
* 3 cloves garlic, crushed
* 4 sticks celery
* 2 small carrots, diced
* 3 tbsp plain flour
* 450g canned chopped tomatoes
* 2 tsp chopped thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme
* bunch of parsley, chopped
* Â¼ tsp dried red chilli flakes
* 450 g rockfish or monkfish fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
* 225g white crab meat
* 225g dark crab meat, (with crab fat, if possible)
* 600ml shucked oysters, in their juices
* black pepper
* snipped chives, to garnish
1. Make a shrimp stock. Place the reserved shells from the prawns in a large saucepan and add the two onion halves and the water. Bring to the boil and continue cooking over a high heat until the liquid is reduced to less than half (about 750ml). Strain the liquid and set aside. (This stock will improve the flavour of any prawn recipe, and can also be frozen in plastic bags for later use.)
2. Cook the rice in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water for 10-15 minutes, or until tender.
3. Meanwhile, place the bacon in a heavy-based saucepan or Dutch oven and cook over a medium-high heat until browned and all the fat is rendered, but the bacon is not too crisp.
4. Add the diced onions, garlic, celery and carrots and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add the flour and stir constantly until medium-brown in colour.
5. Pour in the reserved shrimp stock, tomatoes, thyme, parsley and red pepper flakes and simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, drain the rice.
6. Add the hot rice to the stock and vegetable mixture with the fish, crabmeat, prawns and oysters, and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.