#Marinated Prawns and #Mango Salad

A delicious combination of prawns marinated in fish sauce, garlic and chilli then flash fried in butter and olive oil….inspired by Chef Luke Nguyen but without the shells for easy eating.

Served with a tangy mango salad with butter lettuce, red onion, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and coriander with a lime juice and olive oil dressing.

#Vietnamese #cabbage roll #soup with fish balls

I learnt how to make this soup at the fabulous cooking class in Hoi An Mrs Vy’s Cooking Class (my review).

This is my version which features a prawn and carrot filling, fish balls and puffed tofu.

It is a light but filling meal and very healthy.

Prep time: 25 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 10-12 green prawns shelled, I used frozen prawns
  • 1 carrot (3/4 grated and the rest cut into thin discs)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1 stick lemongrass
  • 1/4 bunch of coriander
  • 2 tablespoons fish suace
  • 1/2 savoy cabbage
  • 1/2 bunch of spring onions
  • 10 Pre-made small vietnamese fish balls – available in most Asian supermarkets.
  • fried tofu puffs
  • 2 litres chicken stock (homemade if you have)

Method:

1. Cut the core of the cabbage out being careful not to break leaves.

2. Carefully “peel” the cabbage leaves off one by one keeping them as intact as possible. Trim the leaves, removing the tough stalk and so the leaves are of as equal size as you can. Save the trimmings for your broth.

3. Bring a pot of water to boil and then submerge the cabbage leaves in the water, bringing the water off the boil so the leaves gently simmer until soft but still intact. Remove the leaves with a slotted spoon and douse the leaves in iced water, then allow to drain.

4. Cut the spring onions just above the white part, and then put the left over green stalks intact into the cabbage boiling water until they soften. Drain and allow to cool.

5. Chop up the prawns finely.

6. Mash up the garlic, white part of the lemongrass (about 2 teaspoons worth), chillies and some of the coriander leaves in a mortar and pestle to a fine paste. I add a bit of salt to help this process. You can whizz in a small blender if you like.

7. Finely grate 3/4 of the carrot. Thinly slice the leftover white part of the spring onions.

8. in a bowl mix the prawns, garlic chilli paste and 1 tbspoons of fish sauce — mix vigorously – I use gloves – to mush together the prawns and the paste, then add sliced spring onions, grated carrot judging the quantity to have about 2/3 carrot to prawn in the mixture.

9. Add the leftover lemongrass, coriander stalks, leftover grated carrot, cabbage trimmings to the chicken stock and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes while you make the cabbage rolls. This adds sweetness and nutrients from your leftover vegees into the stock.

10. Dollop a teaspoon or two of prawn mixture on a cabbage leaf and , bring in the edges first, then roll to close into a secure neat parcel using the green spring onion stalks to tie them together.

11. Strain the chicken stock and put back into the pot, bring to a simmer again, add the other tablespoon of fish sauce, then add carrot discs and cabbage rolls, simmer for 5 minutes, then add fish balls, simmer for another 5-8 minutes and then finally add tofu puffs, additional coriander leaves to garnish, Taste the broth to see if additional salt is needed.

12. Serve in soup bowls and add fresh chopped chilli to spice it up if you like.

#Zuchinni and corn #fritters #spicy #lowcarb

These fritters turned out light and fluffy and are quite filling. I spiced them up with the addition of chilli powder and cummin, but you could skip that if you like.

I also threw in some finely chopped coriander and this could be replaced by parsley or skipped altogether.

Also if you want to make these really low carb then increase the amount of almond meal.

Great for an easy dinner for 2 – lovely with avocado salad – with lots leftover for breakfast the next day or to share with friends at the office as I did.

Ingredients:

1 cup self-raising flour

1 cup almond meal

2 eggs beaten

3 spring onions, white part only, finely chopped

2 Zuchinni grated finely

1 can (400g) sweet corn kernels drained

1/2 cup grated cheddar

1 cup of milk

1/4 cup melted butter

Handful of parsley or coriander finely chopped

1/3 teaspoon chilli powder or paprika

1/2 teaspoon cummin powder

2 tablespoons sugar

Salt and pepper

Oil for pan frying

Method

1. Grate Zuchinni, drain corn kernels, finely chop coriander and spring onion

Mix flour, almond meal, sugar, salt, cummin and chilli powder in a large bowl

2. In a seperate bowl beat eggs, add Zuchinni, cheese, corn, coriander, spring onions and mix through, add milk and melted butter and mix through.

3. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until well combined.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan and add 1.1.5 tablespoons of mixture and spread a little. Cook over medium high heat until sealed and golden brown on bottom side, flip carefully to cook on other side and cooked through. Allow to cool, Darin on kitchen paper towel.

Serve with avocado salad or guacamole.

Individual #Fish and #prawn #pies with #puff pastry

These fish pies are great if you are on a low carb diet like we are at the moment. There are lots of different versions online including a weight watchers version but most of them have potatoes in them or potato mash as the topping.

My version combines the best of both worlds and I think it is as tasty as you can get without the potatoes but keeps the cream and milk to make a lovely roux and resulting sauce.

Preparation time: 30 minutes cooking time: 20 minute

Ingredients:

  • 400g monkfish or other firm white fish chopped into chunks
  • 6 green prawns peeled and chopped into 3 or 4 pieces each
  • 100g hot smoked salmon or trout or smoked haddock
  • 200ml of milk
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 50ml cream
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 stalks of dill with friends removed and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of parsley, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of finely sliced leek
  • 15g butter
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 sheet of bought puff pastry
  • Beaten egg to brush pastry
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard400g blue eye cod or other firm white fish

Method:

Remove a sheet of puff pastry from the freezer to defrost.

Place the monkfish and prawns (not the hot smoked fish) in a small pot and cover with milk, add bay leaves and bring to a light rolling boil, then reduce heat and allow fish and prawns to poach in milk for 2 minutes. Remove fish and prawns from the milk with a slotted spoon and place into a seperate bowl.

Strain the milk through a sieve and reserve.

In a seperate non-stick pan, melt the butter and add leek and cook slowly until well softened.

Add the flour gradually and stir constantly to form a roux, and cook for a minute until flour is “cooked out”.

Add milk and wine to the roux gradually and whisk to form a smooth sauce.

Add mustard, salt and pepper to taste and mix through sauce.

Then add the cream and mix through.

Add fish, prawns and hot smoked salmon and allow the mixture to cool.

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius

Put cooled fish mixture, focus on getting as much of the fish and prawns rather than all the sauce, into 3 small ramekins and then cover the ramekins with round of puff pastry cut to slightly larger rounds than the tops of the ramekins. (You might end up with a bit extra sauce leftover) Decorate with some of the leftover pastry and make a small hole in the middle of each to allow steam to escape.

Brush the puff pastry with the beaten egg and place in the oven on a foil lined baking tray for 15-20 minutes until pastry is golden and puffed.

Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving with a green salad on the side.

Chicken with Leek, Peas, Dill and Chilli

Inspired by Nigella Lawson’s chicken traybake recipe

Here’s a link to the original recipe: https://www.today.com/recipes/nigella-lawson-s-chicken-pea-traybake-recipe-t127442

I have tweaked it to add a hint of chilli and replace the vermouth with dry white wine. My recipe also takes into account just cooking for two and cooking with our larger Australian leeks. The dill, garlic and chilli flavours somehow seep into the chicken and the peas and leeks are so yummy cooked in the juices of the chicken.

This is such a fabulous weekday, no fuss but delicious and different combination. After this first try I have to say it will definitely not be the last.

Thanks Nigella for the inspiration.

Preparation: 5 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 3-4 chicken thigh cutlets or thigh fillets – skin on
  • 1 kg bag of frozen peas
  • 1 leek
  • 4-5 stalks of dill with extra for garnish
  • 1/4 cup of dry white wine
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 red chillies (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Method

1. Pre-heat fan forced oven to 200 degrees celcius

2. Empty bag of frozen peas into flat casserole dish or oven tray that will fit chicken on top snugly

3. Slice leeks into thickish rounds

4. Pound garlic and 1 chilli into a paste in a mortar and pestle,adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt to help.

5. add 3/4 of the garlic chili paste, the leeks and dill torn into pieces to the peas

6. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the peas, add white wine, and mix all the base ingredients thoroughly

7. Rub leftover garlic chilli paste on chicken

8. Place chicken on top of peas and drizzle minimally with olive oil and sprinkle with some salt

9.Place in oven for 15 minutes or until skin starts to turn golden

10. Remove from oven and push peas down and mix peas around, removing chicken for a moment if needs be, so peas are slathered in the liquid and juices.

11. Roast in oven for further 45 minutes until chicken is cooked and most of the liquid is evaporated and peas are soft and juicy. Peas will lose their “greenness” but it‘s worth it, trust me!

12. Serve chicken garnished with extra dill, with peas on the side and accompany with a green salad and with or without roast potatoes for a delicious dinner

5.

A festive starter combination #peaches #proscuitto #scampi #goatscheese

Peaches grilled on bbq (allow to cool) then rolled with goats cheese and prosciutto, drizzled with balsamic and roasted in the oven.

New Zealand Scampi (or split large prawns) with a Coriander(dhania), chilli and lime dressing grilled on the bbq, with extra dressing sprinkled on afterwards.


Such a delicious starter combination.