Tiger Prawn Risotto

Upgrade your frozen prawn risotto to this mouth watering fresh fish delight. Don’t get me wrong, i do use frozen prawns for fish pies, thai noodles etc, but its nice to treat yourself every once and a while to some fresh shellfish.

Luckily we are living next-door to the Auckland CBD harbour so there is always fresh fish. Last sunday we went on a beautiful walk along the harbour side and whilst we were there i couldn’t resist a look in the fishmongers. The tiger prawns looked so big and fresh i just had to get some, that night we had a rich and creamy tiger prawn risotto. See below for the recipe, enjoy!

 

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Ingredients

  • 6 large fresh Tiger Prawns
  • 1 Cup of Risotto Rice
  • 1 Cup of Peas 
  • 3 Cloves of garlic
  • Large handful of fresh chopped Parsley 
  • 1 onion
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 100g Butter
  • Olive oil

Serves 2

Directions

Chop the onion and garlic. Pop into a deep based pan with olive oil then fry in a medium heat until soft and translucent.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, put in the uncooked prawns and fill with water so that they are well covered. Add a tsp of salt and bring to the boil. Once cooked turn off the heat. This will become the flavoursome stock.  

Tip in the risotto rice into the pan of onions and garlic. Stir. Cook for a few mins until the rice has started to turn translucent. add more oil if needed.

Take a ladle of the prawn stock and pour it on to the rice. Stir until all of the liquid has been absorbed, repeat the process until the rice has cooked through.

When the prawns have cooked through and are a beautiful pink, remove from the stock and place into a bowl and cover. 

Tip the peas and half of the parsley into the risotto and stir in. Season to taste. I added a hefty amount of black pepper, yum! Once you are happy with the texture of the risotto. Add the butter and stir in, this gives it the rich and creamy taste. 

Serve with the remaining parsley and the prawns with the shells on or off.

 

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True Italian Tomato Sauce

Here is an absolutely delicious recipe using simple key ingredients that we all know and love, made irresistible.

It’s so easy to grab a jar of ready made tomato sauce whilst doing your weekly shop, but this quick and healthy substitute recipe will convert you into a bellissimo cook-from-scratch chef in no time. You will find that probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboards at home already!

 

Tomato Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 5/6 Sun-dried tomatoes + 2 TBSP of the oil they are kept in.
  • Herbs of your choice. 1 Handfull of fresh basil if you have it. Otherwise dried italian herbs are a good substitute (1 TBSP).
  • 1 onion
  • 1 TBSP of brown sugar
  • Salt & Pepper

Serve with pasta and cheese.

Serves 2  |  Suitable for Freezing

Directions

Fry chopped onions in the sun-dried tomato oil until they become translucent. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic, fry lightly until they start to gain some colour. Tip in dried herbs and stir. If you are using fresh herbs, add to the sauce before serving.

Tip all of the contents from the pan and the tin of chopped tomatoes into a blender and blitz until a smooth and silky. Transfer into a pan and heat the sauce through.

If you like a chunky textured sauce, skip the blender and add the chopped tomatoes straight into the pan of onions and sun dried tomatoes, simmer for 10 – 15 minuets until the sauce has thickened. 

Stir in a tsp of brown sugar (and the fresh herbs) a minuet before serving. The sugar is optional, it helps adds sweetness as the tomatoes can be quite acidic. 

Add cooked pasta to the sauce with a splash of the pasta water. The water helps combine the sauce and the pasta and stops the dish from drying out. Stir in the pasta until it is completely coated, this is the traditional way of serving pasta in Italy.

To finish add a handful of your favourite cheese, mozzarella is recommended for an authentic Italian taste. 

 

 

Tropical Smoothie

Are you feeling run down or in need of something that will tantalise your taste buds?

A super quick and cheap alternative to the shop bought bottled smoothies.

Tropical Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 3 Kiwi Fruit
  • 1 Ripe Mango
  • 1 or 2 Passion Fruit
  • 500ml of Water or any left over Fruit Juice (apple is perfect)

 

  • You will need a Blender.

Directions

Peel, de-stone and scoop the fruit’s flesh away from its skin. Roughly chop and trow into the blender. Strain the juices from the passion fruit pulp if you don’t like the seeds, using a spoon and a fine sieve. Pop into a blender along with the other fruits. Add the water / fruit juice. Blend until you have reached the desired consistancy. If it is too thick continue to add juice or water.

Perfect for summer mornings.

If you don’t drink all of the smoothie, pour into ice lolly moulds and freeze for a fruity dessert!

 

Avocado & Tuna Pasta

A nice healthy alternative to the bog standard tuna and mayonnaise.

Avocado & Tuna

Ingredients

  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • 1 tin of Tuna flakes
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic (flavours the pasta)
  • Seasoning
  • 200g Penne Pasta
  • A drizzle of Olive Oil

Tip all of the dried pasta into a large pan of boiling salted water. Crush the garlic and roughly chop, then add to the pasta. Whilst the pasta is cooking peel and stone your avocado. Leave a few slices to decorate your dish, then mash the rest. Add the drained tuna flakes and a good drizzle of olive oil to the mashed avocado, then combine together. Season to taste (I added lots of crack black peppercorns. Mmmm..). Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Once the pasta is completely cool, mix in the avocado and tuna. Pop on to a plate and decorate with your beautifully sliced avocado!

Sticky shredded chicken stir-fry

 

This healthy cook at home alternative is a very simple recipe that uses ingredients that you’ll already have at home. Get the kids involved. One that all the family will love including students on a budget. So put that takeaway menu down!

At home chinese

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 1 Broccoli
  • 1 Large Onion
  • Chicken (enough for 4 mouths)
  • 4 TBSP Oyster Sauce
  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • Black Pepper
  • Pinch of chilli powder / flakes

– Serve with rice or noodles

Finely cut the carrots into strips. Chop the broccoli into bitesize pieces and the onion into half moon slices. In a large frying pan (or wok if you have one) heat a good glug of oil in the pan evenly coating it. You want the pan smoking hot like Gerard Butler. Chuck in the onions and break then up into strips using your utensil of choice. Once the onions have started to soften add the carrots and broccoli. Stir fry for a couple of mins making sure they are getting a nice colour. Its okay if they start to brown, it adds flavour. Pop the chicken into the pan. I used left over chicken from a roast and shredded it. If you are using raw chicken repeat the same process but add the chicken after the onions. Wait until it is cooked before you add the rest of the veg. Chicken thighs are tender and cheap and would be delicious in this recipe. Add the honey, black pepper and chilli. Stir. Add the oyster sauce. Stir. You should have a nice and shiny, thick and gloopey sauce. Lower the heat. If the sauce gets too thick add some water to loosen it. I didn’t add any salt as the oyster sauce is already quite salty. If you want to add salt, taste first, because you can’t take it out once you have put it in! Serve on top of rice or mix in with noodles. You can add and takeaway any veg dependant on what you have in the fridge. Enjoy 🙂

Leftover Vegetables – Roasted

Almost everyone buys too much fresh veg..

Which means at the end of the week when they’re starting to look old and wrinkly.. into the bin they go.

Lets face it, we all throw out too much food, especially fresh fruit and vegetables. In the UK alone we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes. More than half of that we could have eaten and drank.

Soooooo.. here is a quick easy recipe that is super healthy and uses up the rest of your old veggies, even if they are looking tired.

Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients

This is easy, Any vegetables that you have left over.

I used..

Serves 2

  • 1 Whole Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1/4 of Pumpkin (butternut squash is good)
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • A good glug of Olive Oil
  • Mixed Herbs (You can use any spices/herbs you have lying around)
  • Seasoning

Pre-heat your oven to Fan 180°C / Gas mark 6. Chop and slice vegetables into similar sized chunks. Coat in the olive oil and season. Chuck in the chopped/crushed garlic. Add any Herbs or Spices you like. Pop onto a baking tray and spread out evenly (line with grease proof paper if you can’t be bothered to wash up!). Put into the oven and roast for 40 mins – 1 hour. Turn the vegetables every 15 mins. Once roasted to perfection, serve with meat or fish. Delicious in couscous for a healthy lunch.

Tips:

  • Sprinkle cumin seeds over carrots
  • Easy substitute for your sunday roast
  • Roasted butternut squash on a green salad with crumbled feta (to die for!)

Croque Monsieur

Classic made Easy.

For me Croque Monsieur is a posh version of cheese on toast. If your fed up if the average cheese on toast and want to spice things up literally then this is a perfect easy dish for you to try.

The classic Croque Monsieur consists of:

2 Slices of Bread

80g Gruyere Cheese

2 tsp of Dijon Mustard

2 Slices of Ham

30g Unsalted Butter

The original recipe is absolutely delicious. To make, spread the mustard on one slice of the bread then fill with the cheese and the ham. Top the sandwich with the other slice of bread. Heat the frying pan with the butter, melt until it starts to bubble. Add the sandwich to the pan and fry on either side until golden brown on each side. Once golden brown, transfer from the pan to the oven until the cheese has melted. Cut in half and enjoy a french beauty.

If you don’t have Gruyere Cheese or an easier option.

2 Slices of Bread (i prefer thick white)

2 tsp Dijon Mustard

2 Slices of Ham

80g Cheddar Cheese

A spread of butter on each slice

The classic Croque Monsieur dish in my opinion is faultless and is why it is a classic. But if you want a less time consuming recipe, don’t have the right cheese or simply don’t want to wash up the pan, here is an alternative easy recipe.

Add both slices of bread to the toaster, cook until golden. Spread the butter on one side on each slice, then the mustard. Top with the ham and the cheese and transfer to the grill. Once the cheese has melted, slice and enjoy!

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(TIP: I tend to eat them as open sandwiches as they can be dry)

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd is a fab ingredient! I started making lemon curd months ago and is now a staple item in my fridge!

Lemon Curd is a great addition to foods such as, a on top of a plain cheesecake, drizzled on cakes or even a good dollop on your breakfast!

Shop bought lemon curd is a lovely substitute! But if you are like me, getting satisfaction of making it myself then this is a definite recipe for you, people will ask you twice if you really made it because its so delicious!

It is such a simple recipe with fantastic results!

Ingredients

Delicious!!

  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 4 free-range egg yolks
  • 200g/7oz caster sugar
  • 6 lemons, juice of 6 and zest of 3
  • 150g/5oz unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

    Firstly you will need to sterilise your jars. Wash the jars in hot soapy water and then rinse clean. Pre heat your oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1. Dry the jars upside down on a rack for 30 minutes.

    Zest 3 lemons then juice all 6 into a bowl, removing any pips.

    Add the butter, sugar and eggs to the zest and juice. Mix until completely combined.

    Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (Ban-marie) and continuously stir with a whisk. You are looking for a runny custard consistency. Dip a clean metal spoon into the mixture, if it coats the back of the spoon then it is done. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove any remaining lumps of egg.

The curd will continue to thicken in the jars.

Pour the lemon curd into your jars and cover with wax discs or cling film and screw on the lids. Keep the curd in the fridge and use within 3-4 weeks.

Bon Appétit!