Prawns are abundant in UK shops, although very few are sold fresh. Prawn season is from May to October, according to What's Cooking magazine and most prawns are frozen soon after they're caught. They can vary in colour from light grey to reddish-brown to pink. With proper seasonings and a few minutes in the oven, prawns can be eaten and enjoyed year-round.
Remove the prawns from the packet and place them in a large bowl. Fill the container with cold water and set aside. Allow 45 minutes to one hour for the prawns to completely defrost.
Lay your defrosted prawns on a cutting board and, using a pair or scissors, remove the shell from the prawns by cutting along the back from the head to the tail. You may want to leave the tail feathers on the prawns for decoration. Using the tip of a sharp knife, remove the intestinal tract. Start at the top and work towards the tail to de-vein each prawn.
Preheat the oven to grill. Then, using a large bowl, thoroughly stir together the paprika, chives, butter, garlic, shallots, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place the prawns in the mixture and toss until heavily coated.
Remove the prawns from the mixture and place them on a baking tray. Lay the prawns next to each other, without touching. Once the oven has been properly heated, place your baking tray on the top rack. Grill for two minutes. Then, carefully slide the baking tray out and turn each prawn over to cook the other side. Replace the baking tray and grill for another two minutes. The meat should be bright white and firm when properly cooked. Remove and serve immediately.
Prawns with black spots are a clear sign of ageing and should be avoided.