Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lauren Farms Prawns: Now at City Grocery!

Chef John Currence, owner of the famous City Grocery restaurant in Oxford, Mississippi, was kind of enough to put Freshwater Prawns on his menu! If you are in the area, definitely stop by and try them...he tells us they are a hit!

From the chef's mouth:

"Lauren Farms offers a truly unique opportunity to chef and diner in Mississippi: to work with and taste a product that is entirely of a place and one that is a milestone in purity. From the moment we tried our first Lauren Farms prawn, it had a home on our menu."

- John Currence

Currence recently took home the Best Chef: South region award at the James Beard Foundation Awards in New York. The Beard Awards is the nation's most prestigious recognition program honoring professionals in the food and beverage industries.

We are proud and honored to have him support the freshwater prawn. Thanks, Chef!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lauren Farms Freshwater Prawns in the News!

My friend Regina Charboneau that owns the Twin Oaks in Natchez, Mississippi recently featured Lauren Farms Prawns in an article for The Atlantic. She is such a great chef, and an wonderful writer. We are thankful for her support!

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Being an advocate of sustainable seafood, I am always looking out for people who are doing it correctly. In my constant search for sustainable ingredients I came across the most delectable farm-raised prawns from Lauren Farms in the Delta. To put it simply, taste is why they make the grade. But if taste is not enough, this is why I think we will all be hearing more about Lauren Farms: free range; all natural; low cholesterol; low in fat, iodine, calories and sodium; grown in fresh, pollutant and chemical-free water; fed wholesome grains; fresh from pond to table; environmentally friendly; sustainable aquaculture; and no by-catch.

The other plus for me? I hate going to the grocery store... and they come UPS."

Here's the recipe that she mentions (it is also photographed above):

Corn and Prawn Fritters

Makes 4 Servings (approximately 1 dozen fritters)

• 1/2 cup flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1 cup of 16-21 count prawns, peeled and deveined
• 1 cup fresh yellow corn kernels
• 1/4 cup minced green onion
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

In a mixing bowl, add flour, salt, cayenne and black peppers, and baking powder. Blend with a fork or whisk then add garlic and blend again.

16-21 count means there are approximately that many prawns to the pound. Peel and devein the uncooked prawns then cut into 1/4 inch pieces.

Separate egg yolk and white. Whip egg white until stiff but still wet.

Mix the egg yolk with the prawns, corn, green onions, and fresh basil. Do not over mix--this will bruise the corn kernels and make the batter too wet.

Mix the flour mixture and the prawn mixture with a rubber spatula.

Fold in the whipped egg white.

Use two tablespoons as tools to form one-inch fritters, and drop in heated oil. Cook evenly--the fritters should cook in two to three minutes. You can test with a wooden skewer to make sure batter is cooked through.

The fritters are good plain, or you can serve with a remoulade or jalapeno tartar sauce.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Annual Freshwater Prawn Harvest is Approaching!

It's time for the Lauren Farms ANNUAL POND BANK HARVEST! Come see us and load up your coolers with fresh, right-out-of-the-pond prawns for a great price.

2009 Dates: SEPTEMBER 26 AND OCTOBER 3, from 10 am - 4 pm.
Premium large prawns are $7/lb. Also, the best U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets you have ever tasted (Lauren Farms Catfish, of course!) will be available in 2 lb. packages for $11.50.

CALL AHEAD OF TIME AND BOOK YOUR ORDER. 662-390-3528. We ALWAYS sell out and usually have to turn folks away (which is never fun). So, place your order before you come. And if you are coming after 1 o'clock, let us know so we will hold your prawns.

Don't forget your coolers and ice!

On a side note, there are plenty of fun things to do around the Delta if you are from out of town. Feel free to email me ( or call, and I'll be glad to give you any information you need for your Leland trip and directions to Lauren Farms.

Thanks so much for your support!

Dolores and Steve

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

'08 Catfish Tour Flashback: Video of KTAL Shreveport

I found a video online of a cooking segment I did on the 2008 U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish media tour. The folks at KTAL in Shreveport, Louisiana were kind enough to share this video on their website. The dish I cooked was Southern Crusted-Cornmeal Catfish.

Click the image below to watch the segment (and also see the recipe!)

Lauren Farms: Coming to Jackson

I have a couple of updates for you guys.

I wanted to let you all know that I will be COOKING ON WLBT (Jackson's NBC affiliate) on June 11. Be sure to tune in at Noon and watch me prepare a tasty Freshwater Prawn recipe live on-air!

I will also be coming to the JACKSON FARMERS MARKET on June 13th. Please come by and see us at our table. We'll be selling various sizes of our Freshwater Prawns and also our U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets. We'll get there at 8, and we usually leave a little bit after Noon.

Hope to see you there!

Thanks so much for your support,

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chef Xavier DeShayes working his Magic

A little video of Chef Xavier preparing his Lauren Farms' Freshwater Prawn creation for the Gala event.

LFI Freshwater Prawns Featured at Monterey Bay Aquarium Event

What a whirlwind we've had over the past few weeks!

For the 3rd consecutive year, Lauren Farms was invited to the Cooking For Solutions event at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California. Co-sponsored by Bon Appetit, the 3-day event showcases the best of the best in sustainable foods and wines. The event is held throughout the breathtaking Aquarium, which is situated right on the sunny, rocky shores of the Pacific Ocean.

Over the course of the weekend, Freshwater Prawns were served to approximately 3,500 attendees, which included national media representatives, food enthusiasts and celebrity chefs. Thomas Keller and Alton Brown were just a few of the celebrities on hand for the event. We were very excited to be introduced to Regina Charboneau, a fellow Mississippian, who manages the Inn at Twin Oaks in Natchez, Miss. She prepared a wonderful U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish recipe.

Two delicious Lauren Farms Freshwater Prawn dishes were prepared by celebrity chefs throughout the weekend. Chef Jeff Walker of Bon Appetit prepared a delicious dish (that was the hit of the night!): Crisp Prawns with bacon cheddar grits and Louisiana hot sauce.

And during the Saturday night Gala, Chef Xavier DeShayes, head chef for the U.S. Supreme Court in D.C., prepared sauteed Freshwater Prawns with English peas and fresh Morel Fricassee. Delicious!

Lauren Farms is always very, very honored to be a part of Cooking for Solutions. It seems that the event keeps getting bigger and better, and every year, our freshwater prawns gain more supporters and followers. It's nice to be among those who are as passionate about sustainable aquaculture as Lauren Farms is. Plus, it's such a treat getting to visit a beautiful State like California - especially the Monterey and Carmel areas.

We appreciate all of the hard work that goes into this event, and we are counting down the days until Cooking for Solutions 2010!

Here are some pictures from the Event:

Chef Jeff Walker's menu list for the Friday night event (it was just for the media and sustainable food and wine producers.)

Chef Walker and Dory Ford (head of the Bon Appetit management company for the Monterey Bay Aquarium..he prepared our Freshwater Prawn dish last year.)

This dish was amazing! Chef Walker did a great job and was so much fun to work with.

Chef Xavier prepared the Freshwater Prawns deliciously at the Gala on Saturday night! He was truly a celebrity - people were lining up just to meet him.

Preparing the Freshwater Prawns for the dish.

Adding the final and most important touch: the Freshwater Prawns!

Chef Xavier and I with his tasty creation.

The final product prepared for the Gala-goers.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lauren Farms: A Part of the "Mississippi Yearning" Tour!

A group of chefs and restaurateurs from all across the United States are expected to tour Lauren Farms Freshwater Prawn farm in Leland, Miss., on Tuesday. Hailing from eleven states and also Canada, the group is traveling across the Delta on a “Mississippi Yearning” tour. The food enthusiasts will travel to Lauren Farms for a day of freshwater prawn education that includes a guided tour of the freshwater prawn hatchery, and a cooking demonstration by chef Dolores Fratesi.

Fratesi is excited to meet the guests and spread the word about the freshwater prawn to other markets.

“This is such an exciting opportunity for Lauren Farms. I am honored to be included on the “Mississippi Yearning” tour, and honored to have a chance to meet these chefs and fellow ‘foodies’,” Fratesi said.

But what excites Fratesi most is an opportunity to educate others on the freshwater prawn.

“I feel like I have a treasure here in Mississippi – a wonderfully delicious and sustainable seafood right here in my backyard. It’s exciting for me when I get to share the prawn with others who appreciate who good food.”

For more information on freshwater prawns, log on to

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Another Recipe: Perfect for Weekend Grilling!

Bacon Wrapped Lauren Farms Freshwater Prawns with Chipotle BBQ Sauce

20 freshwater prawns, shelled (1 lb. jumbo yield 21-25 per pound)
½ pound bacon, partially cooked and cut in half
½ cup BBQ sauce
¼ cup canola oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
½ ounce Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Bamboo skewers (3 to 5 prawns per skewer)

Soak bamboo skewers in water for 20-30 minutes. Cook bacon partially, cut in half, and let cool on a paper towel. Wrap bacon around prawns and skewer with bamboo keeping bacon together.

Combine all ingredients in blender, except bacon and prawns, and puree. Separate the sauce in half, one half for basting and one for dipping.

Cook bacon wrapped prawns on grill over medium heat basting with chipotle sauce.

To cook indoors and/or without skewers, secure each prawn and bacon with a toothpick. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet lined with foil. Baste and broil until done.

Lauren Farms Freshwater Prawn Lasagna Roll-Ups

Here's another good one!

Freshwater Prawn Lasagna Roll-Ups

This recipe can easily be halved. Read the entire recipe before preparing.

8 Lasagna Noodles
2 jars (15 oz.) of Alfredo Sauce, divided (to cover roll-ups and reserve ½ cup for topping with sautéed prawns)
2 lbs. freshwater prawns peeled, divided (½ lb. chopped raw prawns in roll-ups, 1 ½ lb. cooked prawns in topping sauce)

For the filling:

15 ounces ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ lb. chopped raw prawns

For the topping:

1 ½ lb. prawns
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Redfish Magic seasoning (or Old Bay)

Cook the noodles al dente according to package directions. Drain and place in cool water. Gently pat dry when making roll-ups.

To make the filling, combine the ricotta, parmesan, garlic powder, egg, and parsley in a medium-sized bowl, and stir to mix well. Add the raw, chopped prawns and the mozzarella, and stir to mix. Set aside.

Coat a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish with nonstick spray. To assemble the prawn roll-ups, arrange the noodles on a flat surface and spread 1/8 of the filling mixture along the length of each noodle. Roll each noodle up (loosely) jelly-roll style and place in the prepared dish, seam side down. Pour the Alfredo sauce over the roll-ups. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated throughout.

For the topping, season the prawns with the Redfish Magic. Sauté’ the prawns in a small amount of butter until done. Do not overcook. Remove from heat. Before serving, warm ½ cup Alfredo sauce and melt ½ cup mozzarella. Add sautéed prawns to sauce and divide to top each roll-up.

You can change up the types of cheese for a different flavor.

Lauren Farms Prawn Asparagus and Pesto Fettuccine

I apologize for the lack of blogging lately! Life in the freshwater prawn world has been very busy. We are right in the middle of hatching baby prawns for our new 2009 crop. It's very time consuming, but exciting at the same time! These days, I spend most of my time looking at PH levels in steamy green houses!

Anyway, onto the food! Here's a new recipe we recently tried and loved. Enjoy!

Lauren Farms Freshwater Prawn Asparagus and Pesto Fettuccine

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup sliced jarred roasted red peppers (or 1 large fresh red pepper sliced and sauted)
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto (look for Classico basil pesto in the spaghetti sauce section)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound raw prawns, peeled
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Freshly ground pepper and Kosher salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions. Add asparagus and continue cooking until the pasta and asparagus are just tender, about 3 minutes more. Reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water, drain the fettuccine and asparagus and return to the pot. Stir in peppers and pesto. Cover to keep warm.

Season prawns with fresh ground pepper, Kosher salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add prawns and cook, stirring occasionally, until just done, about 2 minutes per side. Remove prawns and add wine, increase heat to high and continue cooking until the wine is reduced to about 1/2. Add the prawns and wine mixture to the pasta, toss to coat, and add the reserved cooking water as needed. Season with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley if desired and serve immediately.