Sunday, June 28, 2015

Prawn, Leek & Lemon Risotto

Prawn, Leek & Lemon Risotto 1

I've been remiss with my blogging over the last few months - definitely not posting as regularly as I would like to, and it's been ages since I've posted anything over at I Heart Cooking Clubs.  I miss my friends and, since it's pot luck week this week, I thought I'd join in with a quick and easy Donna Hay dish that's become a bit of a favourite of mine.

Now let me preface this by saying that I've always been very firmly been of the view that a baked risotto will never be as good as a traditionally prepared version, a view that appeared to be supported by others I know who have given it a try.  I was pretty sure that as long as my backside pointed to the ground (as they say), I was never going to venture into baked risotto territory.

Well, one should never say "never".  I'd had Donna's recipe for this Prawn, Leek and Lemon Risotto bookmarked in my copy of "Fast, Fresh, Simple" for ages because I think this is such a winning flavour combination.  Donna's version is however a baked one, and I was pretty sure that I would just take those ingredients and use them in my usual stirred method for making risotto.

A couple of weeks ago though, I was really hankering for some risotto on a cold and miserable winter week night, but I had other things I needed to be doing and just didn't have the time to spare standing over a pot for 20 to 30 minutes.  So, I took a deep breath, threw caution to the wind, and made my first baked risotto.  I fully expected that without all that constant stirring my risotto wouldn't have the creaminess I was used to from my usual version, but I was surprised to find it was plenty creamy - I think a good knob of butter up front, and another one to finish with, probably helped with that, and I have the feeling that using my enamelled cast iron casserole dish also helped.

So final verdict - no deficit on the "creaminess" front, and the resulting risotto was just about as good as a stirred version.   In my mind, however, a large part of the joy of risotto comes from the sheer pleasure of standing and stirring that pot for up to half an hour - it's a great exercise in presence and mindfulness, and that matters to me a great deal, and I have the belief that it is this which translates into superior flavour rather than just the physical alchemy of stirring those starchy grains of rice around for 20 minutes.  So, yes, I think a stirred risotto will always be superior - you will taste the love that's been stirred into it in every mouthful - but for a quick mid-week fix when you have other things to get done this is a great alternative, and I loved it so much that I've made it several times since.  I hope you'll give it a try.

Prawn, Leek & Lemon Risotto 2

Prawn, Leek & Lemon Risotto Recipe
Adapted slightly from recipe by Donna Hay
from Fast, Fresh, Simple
Serves 2
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

1 tablespoon olive oil
couple of generous knobs of butter
1/2 a leek thinly sliced
2x cloves garlic, crushed
1x lemon, zest and juice
1 cup arborio rice
2-1/2 cups vegetable stock
200g raw prawns, peeled and cleaned
large handful of flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F).

Put olive oil and one generous knob of butter in an ovenproof dish, which has a tight fitting lid.  Set dish over medium heat, and once the butter has melted add the leek, garlic and lemon zest to the pan.  Cook for several minutes until the leek has softened, but not browned.  Add the rice to the pan and stir constantly for a couple of minutes until all the rice is completely coated with the oil and the grains look slightly translucent around the edges.  Add half the lemon juice to the pan, and stir constantly until all the liquid has been absorbed.  Now add all the stock to the pan, remove from the heat and cover tightly.

Place pan in the preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and set the pan over medium heat again.  If all the liquid has already been absorbed, add a ladleful of hot water to the pan along with the prawns.  Stir constantly until the prawns are cooked through - about 4 or 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat, stir in the other generous knob of butter, the remaining lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper.  Cover and allow to stand for five minutes for all the flavours to infuse, and then serve immediately.

If you would like to get to know Donna Hay a little better, and to see all the wonderful fast and fabulous dishes my friends have come up with, then do go visit I Heart Cooking Clubs and check out the links.

Because it's been a while since I've visited some of my other friends, I'll also be sharing this post this week at Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth at Beth Fish Reads, and at Foodie Fridays hosted by Designs by Gollam.

Weekend Cooking Badge     Foodie Friday Badge



Monday, June 22, 2015

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream 2

I'm sure you all know this feeling ... you come across a recipe - on another blog, in a book, in a magazine, wherever - and you're utterly captivated by it.  The picture makes it look beautiful, the recipe sounds great, but then somehow it just fails to live up to expectations, leaving you feeling more than a little disappointed.

So let me tell you - this ice cream was not good, not good at all.  Was I disappointed, however? - no, on the contrary, because this ice cream exceeded my expectations - it wasn't just good, it was fabulous.  I love ice cream any time of year (case in point, it is currently the middle of winter in my part of the world), and this ice cream offered the sweet freshness of blueberries (reminding me that summer will come again), the tang of lemon, and thanks to the buttermilk was surprisingly fresh and light.

How did I stumble across this frozen scoop of joy?  Well, as those of you who visit regularly will know, I like to play along at the Secret Recipe Club.  If that's new to you then let me explain.  The club has over a hundred members, divided into four groups, and each month one member is assigned (in secret) to another member from their group.  That person then selects a recipe (or more) to make, photograph, and prepare a blog post - all in secret.  Then everyone in the group posts their recipe on the same day, and of course the secret is then out.  It's a always a thrill to find out who has posted something from your own blog, and is a great way to meet and discover some new blogs.   If you are a food blogger and interested in joining the Secret Recipe Club, be sure to check out the Join SRC page.

This month I was assigned to A Calculated Whisk, hosted by the lovely Becky.  Becky's blog features loads of creative gluten free and paleo recipes, so I knew I would have no problem finding the kind of healthy food that I like to enjoy - even treat food that is on the healthy side.  Her blog features a great recipe index, which makes finding just what your heart desires ever so easy, and her passion for food styling and photography is evident in the gorgeous images that grace all her recipes.  With her love for good healthy eating and practising yoga, Becky and I clearly have a great deal in common - it's such a shame that a great ocean divides us, as I would love to be able to roll out my mat and do some yoga with Becky, before heading to the kitchen to whip up some special post-practice treats.  But stranger things have happened and who knows when the opportunity to do just that might arise.  Until then, I can keep Becky close in the kitchen by cooking some of her recipes, and I can tell you there are quite a few that have been bookmarked for the weeks ahead:  Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Cilantro Pesto, because cauliflower is one vegetable I can never get enough of;  Zucchini Lasagne, just take a look - you will want it too;  Kale & Bacon Quiches with Hash Brown Crust, hello?! - if you're not hooked at bacon, I defy you to get past the hash brown crust;  and Lemon Cheesecake Truffles, look so utterly divine I can't wait to try them.

But in the end, being the ice cream addict I am, I couldn't go past Becky's Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream, and I was certainly not disappointed.  This ice cream is light and luscious, and in the depths of winter reminded me of the possibility of summer days ahead.  I made very minimal changes to the original recipe.  Because the buttermilk is low in fat and there are no eggs in this recipe, Becky used gelatine in her version to add a little creaminess - I didn't have any gelatine on hand, but I did have half a can of sweetened condensed milk that needed to be used up, so I used that instead and cut back the honey in the original recipe a little bit.  Becky also used some lemon liqueur which I didn't have, so I subbed in a whole fresh lemon.  I hope you'll give this recipe a try and enjoy it as much as I am.

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream 1

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream
Adapted from this recipe
from A Calculated Whisk
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon honey
1x lemon, washed
2 cups frozen blueberries (do not defrost)
2/3 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of  sea salt

Place 1/2 cup of the buttermilk into a small saucepan and set over low heat and warm gently - keep an eye on it and do not allow the mixture to come to a simmer.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the condensed milk and honey, stirring until dissolved.

Cut the lemon into smallish chunks, flick out any seeds, and then put all the lemon chunks (yes, skin and all) into the food processor and blitz until very finely chopped, almost a puree.

Add the buttermilk mixture to the food processor, along with the blueberries, cream, vanilla and salt.  Process until smooth, then transfer to a jug and refrigerate for a few hours.

Remove chilled mixture from the fridge and churn in an ice cream maker, according to manufacturer's instructions.  Dive in straight away, or transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze for several hours to firm up.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did, and visit the links below to check out all the other great dishes my Secret Recipe Club friends made.



Monday, May 25, 2015

Baked Fish on Polenta with Chorizo Butter

Baked salmon with polenta & chorizo butter 2

Repeat after me .... "chorizo butter"!  Say it again .... "chorizo butter"!  Can you bear not to say it one more time .... "chorizo butter"!  Once chorizo butter enters your life, things can only get better - I swear.  Heck - life feels better just saying it, which is why I think you should at least repeat it several times more to yourself, before you rush to the kitchen and make it.  So, how did my new found obsession with chorizo butter begin you may wonder.

Well, as those of you who visit regularly will know, I like to play along at the Secret Recipe Club.  If that's new to you then let me explain.  The club has over a hundred members, divided into four groups, and each month one member is assigned (in secret) to another member from their group.  That person then selects a recipe (or more) to make, photograph, and prepare a blog post - all in secret.  Then everyone in the group posts their recipe on the same day, and of course the secret is then out.  It's a always a thrill to find out who has posted something from your own blog, and is a great way to meet and discover some new blogs.   If you are a food blogger and interested in joining the Secret Recipe Club, be sure to check out the Join SRC page.

This month I was assigned to Lynsey Lou's Making Your Days Delicious, hosted by Lynsey of course.  In time-honoured fashion, Lynsey cooked her way into the heart of the love of her life, to whom she has been happily married ever since.  She learned to cook the best way possible - following her parents and grandparents around the kitchen and lending a helping hand.  Lynsey has been blogging, very prolifically I might add, since 2008 and has a recipe index which boasts hundreds of great dishes to choose from.  Normally when I start browsing my assigned blog to decide on my dish, I look first for any fish dishes, then salads and vegetable dishes.  From there I move on to sweet treats, and it can usually take me many hours of browsing and bookmarking potential recipes before I narrow it down to my final dish.  Not so this time - as is my habit, I headed straight to the fish section, whereupon the words "chorizo butter" leapt out at me, and from that moment on there was no question that Lynsey's Baked Halibut with Chorizo Butter was the dish I was going to make.  Of course, as I browsed some more there were other dishes which beckoned me - Creamy Clam Chowder,  Caribbean Jerk Salmon Bowls, and Chicken Schnitzel served with crisp apple and rocket salad, to name just a few - but there was just no getting past that chorizo butter, and the rest as they say is history.

Baked salmon with polenta & chorizo butter 3

I didn't make any changes to Lynsey's dish, other than replacing rocket with spinach and replacing the halibut with salmon.  Halibut is not a fish which is available here, so I chose salmon since it is my favourite fish.  However, to be perfectly honest, I actually found that the salmon was just a bit too rich with the polenta and sauce, so it would have been much better if I'd chosen another white fish.  Or prawns would have been another great alternative.  And as for the chorizo butter - everything I expected it to be - in fact I would have been happy with just that poured over the top of the polenta and skip the fish altogether.  Actually, I would have been happy to bathe in it!!

Baked salmon with polenta & chorizo butter

Baked Fish on Polenta with Chorizo Butter
Adapted from this recipe
from Lynsey Lou's Making Your Days Delicious
Serves 2
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

for the polenta
1x cup vegetable stock
1x cup water
2x bay leaves
flaky sea salt
1/2 cup instant polenta
1 tablespoon butter
freshly ground black pepper

for the fish
2x fish fillets
olive oil
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2x generous handfuls of spinach

for the chorizo butter
1x chorizo sausage, skin removed and flesh crumbled
1 tablespoon water
3-4 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).

Place fish fillets in a lightly greased shallow baking dish.  Drizzle fish with a little olive oil, and season generously with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Put fish into the preheated oven and bake until cooked through - around 8 to 10 minutes depending on the type of fish and thickness of the fillets.

Meanwhile place water, vegetable stock and bay leaves in a pot and bring to the boil.  Taste and season with flaky sea salt - bear in mind that polenta can be quite bland and will really soak up the flavour, so season a little more than you ordinarily might.  Once the liquid is boiling, pour the polenta into the pot in a slow but steady stream, whisking constantly.  Keep stirring until the polenta becomes the consistency of a thick porridge and starts to bubble up like a boiling mud pool.  Once it has reached the desired consistency, remove from the heat and stir in the butter.  Cover and stand in a warm place until the fish and sauce are ready.

To make the chorizo butter, place the crumbled chorizo into a cold fry pan and set it over medium heat.  Cook for around 5-8 minutes, until the sausage is golden and crispy and has released most of its oil.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the chorizo from the pan and set it aside.  Add the tablespoon of water to the pan, and then begin to whisk the butter in one tablespoon at a time, until the sauce has emulsified and thickened a little.  Remove from the heat and stir in the chorizo.

To serve, spoon polenta into the centre of a plate and top with a generous handful of spinach.  Place fish on top of the spinach, and spoon chorizo butter liberally over the top.  Serve immediately.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did, and visit the links below to check out all the other great dishes my Secret Recipe Club friends made.





Monday, April 27, 2015

Chocolate Cranberry Pumpkin Breakfast Bars

Chocolate Cranberry Pumpkin Bars

If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll know that each month I like to play along at the Secret Recipe Club.  The club has over a hundred members, divided into four groups, and each month one member is assigned (in secret) to another member from their group.  That person then selects a recipe (or more) to make, photograph, and prepare a blog post - all in secret.  Then everyone in the group posts their recipe on the same day, and of course the secret is then out.  It's a always a thrill to find out who has posted something from your own blog, and is a great way to meet and discover some new blogs.   If you are a food blogger and interested in joining the Secret Recipe Club, be sure to check out the Join SRC page.

This month I was assigned to  A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures, hosted by Christine, who says she has been in the kitchen since she could see over the counter-top.  Christine's cooking and baking took a healthy twist a few years back when she joined Weight Watchers and lost about 100 pounds - wow, just wow!  Christine loves to cook healthy, low-fat fare for her husband and dog, Missy, and she even appeared on Emeril Live with her Elegant Sweet Potato Skins.

Christine's blog has an easy to use recipe index (something I always like to see on a good blog), which made searching through the hundreds of recipes she has posted very easy, and there were plenty of great looking dishes that appealed to me.  I've bookmarked a few to try at a later date:  Roasted Mushroom & Goat Cheese Alfredo, Portobello Stroganoff, (clearly I have a thing for mushrooms and pasta), and Peanut Ginger Stir-Fry over Soba Noodles.  In the end though, I'm always looking for something for a quick and easy breakfast-on-the-run, and it was Christine's Cranberry Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies that were calling to me.

I'm ashamed to admit that breakfast, along with a cup of coffee, is often something that happens in the car on the way to work these day, so these were ticking all the right boxes for me - packed with enough wholesome goodness to see me through to lunchtime, and very portable.

I did make a couple of very small changes to the original recipe.  Firstly, the recipe calls for canned pumpkin puree.  This is something which is simply not available in my country, so I steamed up some fresh pumpkin and then mashed up the required amount.  Secondly the recipe uses egg substitute, but I just used a regular egg.  Also I didn't have all the spices that Christine used in her recipe, so I just swapped it out for mixed spice.  And lastly, because I am an inherently lazy person, instead of spending time forming the mixture into little balls to make cookies, I just pushed the whole lot into a slice tin and made them into bars.

These bars have great texture, with nice bits of crunch coming through from the toasted quinoa and sunflower seeds, and lovely bursts of flavour from the cranberries.  I don't have a particularly sweet tooth, but did feel I would have liked a little more sweetness, and next time around (yes there will definitely be a next time) I'm going to try adding a bit of honey or maple syrup.  This time around though I added a chocolate topping.  This added just that little something I was looking for, and let's face it who doesn't want to start the day with a little bit of chocolate!  This also enables you to pass off what is really a very healthy little snack as something slightly more indulgent - "put some chocolate on top of it and they'll never know they're eating something healthy" are words to live by!

Chocolate Cranberry Pumpkin Breakfast Bars Recipe
Adapted, just barely, from this recipe
from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures

For the bars:
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup apple sauce
2-1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
2 cups jumbo rolled oats
1/2 cup toasted quinoa
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the topping:
100g (3-1/2 oz) cacao butter, gently melted
30g (1 oz) cacao powder
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F), and lightly grease a 32cm x 18cm (13in x 7in) slice tin.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the bars.  Once everything is thoroughly combined, empty everything into the slice tin and press well, evening out the surface.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes (mine took about 18 minutes), until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and set tin on a wire rack.  Leave to cool completely.

Mix topping ingredients together well, pour over the top of the slice, and then set in the fridge until the topping has set.

Slice into bars and enjoy - on the run or at your leisure!

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did, and visit the links below to check out all the other great dishes my Secret Recipe Club friends made.



Sunday, April 5, 2015

Autumnal Farro, Fig & Blue Cheese Salad

Autumnal Farro, Fig & Blue Cheese Salad 3

Over the last few weeks, I've missed out on a bit of our culinary journey with Diana Henry over at I Heart Cooking Clubs, but I felt I couldn't miss the opportunity to join in this week as we bid our fond farewells to Diana.  She is definitely an inspirational cook and I have loved cooking from her culinary tomes in which I have invested - A Change of Appetite and Salt Sugar Smoke.  I love a cookbook which is as much a joy to sit down and read as it is to cook from, and I have certainly found that in both of these volumes.  Sitting down with one of Diana's cookbooks to have a read and find a little dinner inspiration is like sitting down with a good friend, and I know that I will continue to enjoy her company in my kitchen.

Right now my neighbour's fig tree is literally groaning under the weight of its ripening crop, and it's a constant vigil to get to the fruit at just the right time before the birds do.  Must be the spectacular summer that we've had in my part of the world this year, but the fruit seems to be bigger, fatter, sweeter and juicier than ever before, and I knew that my farewell dish to Diana would have to include this much coveted autumn treat.

Autumnal Farro, Fig & Blue Cheese Salad 2

Inspiration came from Diana's recipe in A Change of Appetite for her salad of farro, hazelnuts, grapes and figs.  I changed things up a little bit to use ingredients I had on hand, but I think the spirit of this dish remains the same.  I tweaked the dressing a bit using red wine vinegar instead of white balsamic vinegar, leaving out hazelnut oil because I didn't have any, and adding in a bit of pomegranate molasses because ... well, just because.  I swapped out red chicory and watercress in favour of baby kale leaves which I had on hand;  I used roasted almonds instead of hazelnuts, blue cheese instead of goat cheese, and plump golden raisins instead of grapes.  I also pan roasted the figs in honey before adding them to the salad.

This salad is the ultimate ode to autumn on a plate.  The nutty flavour and texture of the farro is the perfect foil to the soft, sweet figs, the tangy dressing, the crunch of the almonds, and the salty hits of the blue cheese.  This was easily satisfying enough for me to make a meal out of it all on its own, but would also make a great accompaniment to perhaps a roasted chicken or some great sausages.

A glass of shiraz or a great pinot on the side, and you have a meal made in heaven.  I hope you'll give it a try.

Autumnal Farro, Fig & Blue Cheese Salad 1

Autumnal Fig, Farro & Blue Cheese Salad Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Diana Henry
from A Change of Appetite
Serves 2 as a generous meal or 4 as a side dish
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

1x cup farro
juice of 1/2 lemon
extra virgin olive oil
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
baby kale leaves
generous handful roasted almonds
generous handful plump golden raisins, soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes
3-4 plump, fresh figs
1 tablespoon honey
50g blue cheese, crumbled

Dressing
3x tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1x tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Put farro in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer the farro until tender but still with a little bite - about 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain well and add lemon juice, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, and season liberally with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile make the dressing.  Place all ingredients in a small jar and shake vigorously until everything is well combined.  Taste and adjust flavourings to your taste.  Set aside.

Cut figs in half.  Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small saute pan and add the tablespoon of honey.  Add the figs to the pan, cut side down, and allow the figs to soften and warm through in the pan.  Remove from pan, cool slightly, and cut each half in half again if figs are large.

Now that the farro has cooled, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.  Add the kale leaves, almonds and plumped-up raisins to the farro, and toss to combine.

Arrange farro mixture on a serving platter, nestle fig pieces into the mixture, and strew nuggets of the blue cheese over the top.  Serve immediately.

If you would like to get to know Diana Henry a little better, and to see what everyone else has cooked up this week, then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and check out the links (who knows, you might even want to join the journey and cook along with us) ...

Diana Henry badge 1A

... or check out A Change of Appetite and Diana's many other great titles available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, or Fishpond NZ.

And make sure to come back next week as we begin a new six month culinary journey of cooking with French chef Jacques Pepin.

I'm also sharing this at Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays, hosted by my very lovely friend Deb at Kahakai Kitchen.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Garlic, Lemon Prawns

Garlic, Lemon Prawns 2

If you're one of my regular visitors, you'll have noticed that I haven't posted anything for a while.  Some of you have even emailed me to check up on me, and I appreciate your thoughts and concern more than you can ever know.

I'm not going to go into details here, this is not the place, but the reality is life has been pretty challenging for me lately, leaving me completely disinterested in food.  I've scarcely been bothered to eat it, let alone cook it or write blog posts about it.  But life goes on;  there are plenty of people who are faced with very much worse;  and the clouds are beginning to part sufficiently for me to get back into the kitchen today.

And I have the lovely Nicole at I Am a Honey Bee to thank for getting me back to the stove top.  It's Secret Recipe Club (**) time, and Nicole's blog was my assignment for the month.  Nicole lives in the Bay State with her husband, Price, and beyond gorgeous 16 month old daughter, Autumn.  She works in architecture, and like me she enjoys cooking, design and loves all things Greek.

*  So what's this Secret Recipe Club you may ask?  The club has over a hundred members, divided into four groups, and each month one member is assigned (in secret) to another member from their group.  That person then selects a recipe (or more) to make, photograph, and prepare a blog post - all in secret.  Then everyone in the group posts their recipe on the same day, and of course the secret is then out.  It's a always a thrill to find out who has posted something from your own blog, and to meet and discover some new blogs.   If you are a food blogger and interested in joining the Secret Recipe Club, be sure to check out the Join SRC page.

So several weeks of secretly browsing through Nicole's blog, has been enough to tantalise my jaded taste buds.  Dishes like 40 Cloves of Garlic Chicken, Scallop Salad, and VegetarianWontons with Spicy Soy Dipping Sauce all piqued my appetite and have been bookmarked for a later date.  But it was Nicole's delicious Garlic Lemon Shrimp that eventually lured me back into the kitchen.

This dish is incredibly quick and easy to put together (which is just perfect for me right now), and I took Nicole's advice of serving it with some crusty bread, though you could just as easily as she suggests serve it over some rice or pasta.  To keep things healthy I had a simple green salad on the side.  Other than adjusting quantities, as I was only cooking for one, I followed Nicole's recipe fairly closely - adding lemon zest and parsley being the only other changes I made.

Garlic, Lemon Prawns 1

Garlic, Lemon Prawns Recipe
Adapted from recipe from I Am a Honey Bee
Serves one as a main meal
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

200g (7 oz) prawns or shrimps, shelled & deveined
3x cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine
generous pinch of red pepper flakes
zest and juice of 1x lemon
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lemon cut into wedges
generous handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (450 degrees F).

Place prawns into a bowl.  Add the crushed garlic, butter, olive oil, wine, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice.  Add half the lemon zest, and set the remaining zest aside to use later.  Season generously with sea salt and black pepper, and mix everything together well.

Line a shallow baking dish with foil (makes the washing up easy later on), and spread the prawn mixture in the baking dish in a single layer.  Nestle lemon wedges in amongst the prawns, and place dish in the preheated oven.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the prawns have turned pink and cooked through.

If serving with crusty bread, place bread in the oven 5 minutes before the prawns finish to heat through.

Remove from the oven and use the foil to carefully transfer the prawns and all the lemony, garlicky juices to a serving dish.

Mix the reserved lemon zest with the chopped parsley and sprinkle over the top of the prawns and serve immediately.  Use crusty bread to mop up all those heavenly juices.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did, and visit the links below to check out all the other great dishes my Secret Recipe Club friends made.



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Three of the Best - Salad Days # 9, 10 & 11

Out there in blogland I often hear some of you talk about dishes in your "regular rotation", but I seriously don't have any kind of regular rotation going on in my household.  I sometimes think it might make life a little bit easier if I did, but I just don't.  Truth is, even though I often say things like "this was so great, I'll definitely be making this again" - I usually don't.  I get seduced by some new idea and seldom make the same thing twice.

That said, there is a small selection of salads in my repertoire that I really have made several times because they were that good, and so I thought that it bears reintroducing them to you.

Roasted Eggplant, Mango & Soba Noodle Salad 2

Roasted Eggplant, Mango & Soba Noodle Salad
This is a salad, unsurprisingly, from my food hero - Yotam Ottolenghi - and with mangoes (albeit imported ones) and eggplant being in abundance right now, this is a great time for this salad.  Because we don't grow mangoes in New Zealand, they are one of the few imported items in the fruit and veggie department in which I allow myself to indulge over summer, and I really make a feast of it.  Lush, juicy mangoes alongside smokey, roasted aubergines is not a combination I would have ever thought of, but it really works.

Green Tea Soba Noodles with Soy-Roasted Salmon and Broad Bean & Radish Salad 1

Green Tea Soba Noodles with Soy Roasted Salmon & Broad Bean-Radish Salad
Adapted from a recipe by Donna Hay, this is probably one of my favourite dishes I've posted of all time, and one I really have repeated numerous times.  Try this once, and I'm sure it will become one of your regulars too.  A visually stunning dish, packed with great punch of flavour from the wasabi-ginger dressing, and yet quick and easy to prepare.  This is the perfect maximum impact - minimum effort dish.

Baby Spinach Salad with Dates & Almonds 3

Baby Spinach Salad with Dates & Almonds
When we had our time over at I Heart Cooking Clubs cooking with Ottolenghi, this was one of my favourite dishes I made.  I know several of my fellow participants, and several of my friends in the Tasting Jerusalem group also loved, so don't just take my word for it - this is a salad you definitely need to have in your "rotation".

This is salad numbers 9, 10, and 11 in my Salad Days, 28 days of salad project.   What's that you ask?  Well,  I've said it here a dozen times or more ... I love salads.  A big bowl, substantial salad is hands down my favourite meal any time of the year.  Such is my love of salad, that I'm challenging myself to come up with a different salad every day for the month of February - that's 28 days of salads - and I plan to share as many of them as I can with you.  I'll also be doing some flashbacks to some of my favourite salads I've shared in the past.


What's more, I'm giving you the opportunity to share some of your favourite salads with me too.  Have a favourite salad you'd like to share?  Simply link up your salad recipe using the linky tool at the bottom of this post.  The linky will be open all month, and you can join in any day or every day, and link as many recipes as you like.  Feel free to grab the Salad Days badge from the sidebar to include in your post if you'd like to.  There's really no rules around linking up, other than please, use your manners and link your post back to this one.  Linking old posts is fine too, just please edit them to include the back link.  Thanks for sharing your favourite salad with us.