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Archive for the ‘Shellfish’ Category

Lobster & Pasta

This is inspired by a Rick Stein recipe in his Mediterranean Escapes book called Lobster & Pasta Chez Jen Jen from Corsica. We cooked this on a weeknight and cheated a bit with the lobster by using frozen lobster tails. We thought you could use raw prawns to good effect too.

Wine Suggestion: We made this on a celebratory evening so pushed the boat out with the wine and had the best English Sparkling we’ve tasted to date: the Dermot Sugrue “The Trouble with Dreams” from Sussex. It had a driving purity and vibrancy that makes it feel alive. For years we often compared English sparkling to Champagne without recognising it to have a unique character and with this wine we fully realised this.

Lobster & Spaghetti – serves 2

  • 2 x frozen lobster tails
  • 200g spaghetti
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • a garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp curry powder
  • 20ml Cognac
  • 50ml dry white wine
  • 200ml passata
  • 1 tsp dried herbes de Provence
  • salt and cayenne pepper

Defrost the lobster tails by putting them into a deep bowl of cold water and leaving for 30 minutes. You’ll know they are defrosted when they feel a bit flexible.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and gently lower in the lobster tails. Cook for 3½ minutes, then scoop out with a spoon. Leave to cool slightly, then slice into the soft side to check that the meat is white and therefore cooked through. If it looks grey you need to return to the water again until cooked.

Carefully cut down the soft side of the lobster tails and remove flesh from the shell in one piece, it should come away very easily.

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of very salty water according to the timings on the pack.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan with the curry powder and garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the lobster, flesh-side down. Pour over the Cognac and flambé to burn off the alcohol. Add the white wine, passata, and herbes de Provence, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until the lobster is heated through.

Drain the spaghetti. Lift the lobster tails out of the pan and onto warm plates. Season the sauce to taste with salt and cayenne pepper, add the spaghetti and toss well with the sauce. Spoon alongside the lobster and serve.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes, BBC Books, 2007.)

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Prawn Korma with coco cauli rice

This is absolutely a diet dish but for a diet dish it’s particularly tasty.  Low calories and low carbs but we guarantee it will fill you up so if you’re cutting down we highly recommend this. You can buy bags of cauliflower rice but it is literally just cauliflower whizzed until it resembles rice. A large cauliflower will be fresher and cheaper! We like Madras curry paste (Patak’s is our preference) but you could use something less spicy, like a Korma.

Prawn Curry with with Cauliflower Rice – serves 4

FOR THE RICE:

  • a large cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut

FOR THE KORMA:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2cm root ginger, peeled and diced
  • 3 tbsp curry paste
  • 400ml tin of coconut milk
  • 400g frozen tiger prawns, defrosted
  • large handful of spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

To make the rice, whizz the cauliflower in a food processor until it looks a similar texture to rice.

Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan and add the cauliflower and desiccated coconut.

Fry over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 12 minutes, or until tender.

For the curry, heat the coconut oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions, garlic & ginger for 8-10 minutes or until lightly coloured.

Add the curry paste and cook for a minute, before adding the coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Add the prawns and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes, then stir in the spinach, yoghurt & some seasoning.

Serve the curry with the cauliflower rice and top with the coriander.

(Original recipe from The Fast 800 by Michael Mosley, Short Books, 2019.)

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Tagliolini au Gratin with Prawns & Treviso

This baked pasta dish from Jacob Kennedy’s fabulous Bocca cookbook is truly delicious. Quick to cook and an excellent treat for a Friday night when energy levels are low. We find radicchio di Treviso hard to resist with its pretty dark purple leaves. They’re in season and in shops now and we’ve had our eyes on this dish for a while, we weren’t disappointed.

Wine Suggestion: While not our first thought we had a bottle of the Altos de Torona Albariño from northern Spain in the fridge and it proved a delightful match.

Tagliolini au Gratin with Prawns and Treviso – serves 2 as a main, 4 to 6 as a starter

  • 120g dried tagliolini
  • 50g butter
  • ½ a small red onion or 1 shallot, thinly sliced across the grain
  • 1 medium head Radicchio di Treviso, shredded 3-5mm
  • 200g peeled raw prawns
  • 60ml white wine
  • 200ml double cream
  • 4 tbsp grated Parmesan

Melt the butter over a medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and fry for a few minutes, then add the radicchio and sauté gently for 4-5 minutes or until wilted. Add the prawns, then the wine and let it boil for a couple of minutes or until the liquid has almost evaporated. Add the cream and at the same time put the tagliolini into a pan of boiling, salted water. Boil both until the tagliolini is undercooked (about half the recommended time) and the sauce just runnier than cream.

Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Toss over the heat for a minute to coat the pasta with the cream, then season with salt and pepper and transfer to a baking dish (or divide between a number of smaller dishes). Sprinkle with the Parmesan and brown the top under a hot grill. Serve immediately.

(Original recipe from Jacob Kennedy’s ‘Bocca Cookbook’, Bloomsbury, 2011.)

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Spicy prawn & tomato stew

We recently picked up a copy of Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan – a truly stunning book filled with Palestinian recipes & stories.  Our first dish from the book was this spicy prawn and tomato stew. We served it with rice but next time we’ll go for some flatbreads instead. Delicious nonetheless.

Wine Suggestion: We’d recommend a light red with elegant fruit like the Dezat Sancerre Rouge which was our choice.  A perfumed and delicate Pinot Noir with a tension and thrill running through it; the earthy red cherry and currant flavours flavours went with the prawns, tomatoes and herbs in a delightful fashion.

Spicy Prawn & Tomato Stew – Zibdiyit Gambari (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 1 – 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 400g raw prawns, peeled and deveined
  • chopped parsley

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for about 10 minutes or until softened. Add the tomatoes, sugar, spices & ½ tsp each of salt and pepper, with 200ml just-boiled water.

Use a pestle & mortar to smash the garlic, dill, chillies and ½ tsp of salt together for a few minutes. Add this to the tomato pan, cover and simmer for 20 minutes over a low heat.

Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan until golden brown, then set aside.

Adjust the seasoning in the sauce, then add the prawns – make sure they are submerged and you may need to turn them. Cook in the sauce for a couple of minutes, or until they have just turned pink and are cooked through.

Drizzle with plenty of extra virgin olive oil and scatter with the sesame seeds and chopped parsley to serve.

(Original recipe form Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan, Bloomsbury, 2018.)

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Crab linguine with chilli & parsley

A fresh tasting seafood pasta dish.

Wine Suggestion: We’re not huge fans of Prosecco generally as there’s an awful lot of very ordinary stuff being sold. However, if you have a good one to hand, like the Nino Franco Rustico, then you’ve found your crab linguine match.

Crab Linguine with Chilli & Parsley – serves 4

  • 400g linguine
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 whole cooked crab, picked, or about 100g brown crabmeat and 200g fresh white crabmeat
  • 5 tbsp white wine
  • a small squeeze of lemon
  •  a large handful parsley leaves, very finely chopped

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the linguine for a minute less than indicated on the pack.

Meanwhile, gently heat 3 tbsp of olive oil with the chilli and garlic in a large wide pan. Cook the chilli and garlic very gently until they start to sizzle, then turn up the heat and add the white wine. Simmer until the wine and olive oil come together. Then take off the heat and add the brown crabmeat, using a wooden spoon to mash it up to make a thick sauce.

When the pasta is ready, turn off the heat. Place the crab sauce over a very low heat and use a pair of kitchen tongs to lift the pasta from the water into the sauce.

Remove the pan from the the heat and add the white crabmeat and parsley to the pasta with a sprinkling of sea salt. Stir everything together, adding a drop of pasta water if needed to loosen. Taste for seasoning and add a small squeeze of lemon. Serve immediately drizzled with the remaining oil.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Spicy Thai Fishcakes with Dipping Sauce

These take literally minutes to make and they make a super tasty starter or snack.

Wine Suggestion: our favourite wine with dishes like this is dry Riesling, with the limey, citrus flavours of wines from the Clare Valley, like those made by Pikes, coming to mind first. They are zesty and thrilling in flavour with the bracing acidity working perfectly with the citrus fruit to make a wine that is both thirst-quenching and hunger inducing at the same time. Aperitivo!

Spicy Thai fishcakes with dipping sauce – serves 2

  • 200g raw peeled prawns
  • 2-3 tsp Thai red curry paste
  • a small bunch of coriander, stalks separated
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped

Put the prawns, curry paste and coriander stalks into a food processor and whizz to a paste. Form 4 to 6 flat cakes.

Heat a non-stick frying pan, heat a drizzle of oil, then fry the cakes for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through.

Mix the vinegar, sugar and chilli together in a small bowl.

Serve the cakes with the coriander leaves and sauce for dipping.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, October 2012.)

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Mouclade

We mainly eat mussels in the colder months – something to do with months with an r in the them, but also they just seem like cold weather food to us. They’re so cheap and yet such a treat. This is typical Friday night food in our house, served with crusty bread or fries. La Mouclade is a French recipe from Rick Stein’s French Odyssey and includes a creamy curry sauce – delicious!

Wine Suggestion: As this dish comes from the Charentes region of France, we sipped some chilled Pineau des Charentes as an aperitif and then a glass of Bordeaux Blanc. While we would have loved to have found some Right Bank Bordeaux Ch Monbousquet or Valandraud Blanc we had some Chateau Bouscaut Blanc from the Graves instead. A Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon blend with some barrel aging after fermentation in stainless steel. Great with seafood and able to stand up to the curry and saffron.

La Mouclade – serves 4

  • a good pinch of saffron threads
  • 1.75 kg mussels, cleaned
  • 120ml dry white wine
  • 25g butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp good-quality medium curry powder
  • 2 tbsp cognac
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 200ml crème fraîche
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley

Put the saffron into a small bowl with a tablespoon of warm water.

Put the mussels and wine into a large saucepan, cover and cook over a hight heat for 3-4 minutes, shaking occasionally, until the mussels have opened. Tip them into a colander over a bowl to catch the liquid. Transfer the mussels to a large serving bowl and keep warm.

Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the onion, garlic and curry powder and cook gently for a few minutes. Add the cognac and cook until almost evaporated, then stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Gradually stir in the saffron liquid and the mussel liquid (leave the very last gritty bit behind). Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes. Add the crème fraîche and simmer for another few minutes, until slightly reduced. Season to taste, stir in the parsley and pour the sauce over the mussels .

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s French Odyssey, BBC Books, 2005.)

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