Yellow king prawn and vegetable Thai curry

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When the urge for a curry strikes it can be tempting to choose an Indian curry without giving curries from other countries a second thought so step away from the naan breads and give this Thai curry a go instead! The curry paste is straightforward and can be made in a larger quantity than is needed and it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge so you then have it to hand for next time. I usually use medium red chillies in recipes so you have a gentle heat whilst being able to appreciate all the other ingredients but crank up the heat if you are so inclined!

Ingredients- serves 2-3
For the yellow curry paste
1 banana shallot- finely chopped
2 garlic cloves- grated
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 red chilli- finely chopped
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 tbsp medium curry powder
Zest of 1 small lime
1 tbsp vegetable or groundnut oil

For the rest
400g can of coconut milk
200mls vegetable stock
200g pack of deveined king prawns
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 piece of fresh lemongrass
Handful of baby aubergines- chopped
Handful of sugar snap peas- shredded
Small pack of tenderstem broccoli- trimmed and sliced if large
Baby corn- chopped
Juice of half a lime
Freshly chopped coriander
150g jasmine rice to serve

1. Make your paste first by simply combining all of the paste ingredients in either a pestle and mortar or a mini food processor. Bring it to a thick paste consistency.

2. In a wok or deep frying pan, add another tablespoon of oil and gently fry the paste for a couple of minutes until it starts to release its fragrance. Pour in the coconut milk and stock along with the palm sugar and lemongrass; bring to a simmer and stir to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Add the chopped aubergine. Continue to allow it to simmer for around 15-20 minutes so the flavour develops.

3. When you are happy with the base of the curry, add the remaining vegetables in and simmer to cook until tender. When the vegetables are close to being ready then add in the prawns and simmer until they turn a blush pink. When ready, finish with a good squeeze of lime juice and a helping of chopped coriander.

Yellow king prawn and vegetable Thai curry- because there are more colour curries than just red and green!

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Chargrilled chicken, crispy prosciutto and nectarine salad

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Now I’m not usually a fan of salads with fruit in them but this little beauty has converted me! This chicken, prosciutto and nectarine salad is sure to become one of your staple summer salads when evenings are balmy, time is short perhaps or you’re entertaining and want a lighter option. The ingredients in this have been chosen to give balance; the salty prosciutto, the savoury cheese, sweet nectarine and some added texture from the toasted walnuts and it is all brought together with a dressing that could not be more straightforward so raid the supermarket and get cooking!

Ingredients- serves 2-3
Olive oil
2 large skinless chicken breasts
4 slices of prosciutto
Handful of walnut halves
2 ripe nectarines- stone removed and sliced into wedges
Small log of soft goat cheese
Mixed salad leaves such as sweet lettuce, watercress and rocket

For the dressing
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tsps Dijon mustard
1 tsp runny honey
2 tbsps lemon juice
Salt and pepper to season

1. If you want to get ahead you can make the dressing in advance simply combining all the dressing ingredients and mixing together well; chill until needed. Next up crisp the prosciutto by dry frying the slices in a frying pan over a medium heat. Remove from the heat when the prosciutto is crisp and slightly golden and set aside. Pop in the walnuts and toast for a couple of minutes before also setting aside.

2. Wrap the chicken in clingfilm and use a meat tenderiser or rolling pin to hit it out so each breast is around the same thickness so they cook evenly. Rub the chicken in a glug of olive oil and season well. Heat a griddle pan to medium- high and cook each breast for around 4 minutes on each side until you cooked through and the juices run clear. Set aside and allow to rest.

3. Add another glug of oil in the frying pan that you had cooked the prosciutto in. Heat to medium and add the nectarine wedges; fry until caramelised but still holding their shape.

4. Take a large mixing bowl and toss the salad leaves with a little of the dressing so the leaves are evenly coated. Add the prosciutto, nectarines, prosciutto and walnuts and combine well. Slice the chargrilled chicken and add. Serve on a platter so everyone can help themselves and finish by dotting the cheese over the salad; drizzle with a little more of the dressing and serve.

Chargrilled chicken, crispy prosciutto and nectarine salad- because sweet and savoury are a match made in heaven!

Panzanella with burrata

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From time to time most households have leftover bread that it heading past its best but there’s no need to waste it- that’s where panzanella comes in! Panzanella is a traditional Italian tomato and bread salad that’s full of fresh, seasonal flavours. There is no one panzanella recipe so this is my take on it. I included fried capers to give an added dimension and texture. Anchovies are also added to ramp up the savouriness but you can omit these if you prefer. Fried artichoke is also a welcome addition but not at all traditional however it adds a wonderful earthiness.

For the perfect panzanella the tomatoes you choose are important as you want the freshest available. I have used a combination of smaller heirloom varieties which have become easier to find and add a range of colour. Panzanella makes a great light lunch or it can also be served with simple grilled meats for a more substantial meal. if you have any leftovers, you can simply baked the remaining pieces of bread on a tray in the oven until crisped and then serve with the salad- delicious!

Ingredients- serves 4
200g open textured bread such as sourdough or ciabatta
30g parmesan
500g assorted tomatoes- chopped
1 red onion- sliced
1 small fresh red and 1 yellow pepper- finely sliced
Sliced artichoke hearts
6-8 anchovy fillets- finely chopped
2 tbsp capers- drained
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
6 tbsp olive oil
Salt
2 balls of burrata
Fresh basil

1. Take your bread of choice and roughly tear it into pieces. Place on a tray and leave for around 20-30 minutes to help dry it out a little if it still relatively fresh; if not place on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and finely grate over from parmesan cheese; cook in a low oven until golden. Meanwhile pop the chopped tomatoes, peppers and onion in a colander with a bowl underneath and add salt and pepper. Leave to sit for half an hour so it draws some moisture out of the tomatoes and softens the peppers.

2. Take a small frying pan and add a small amount of oil over a medium heat. Fry the artichoke slices until golden and crisp; remove from the pan and pop in the capers and anchovy and fry until crispy. Tip the bread, tomatoes and onion into a bowl along with the peppers, anchovies and capers. Drizzle over the vinegar and oil; taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Finish with some freshly torn basil. Tear open each ball of burrata and serve.

 

Lime, coriander and mint paneer with spiced chickpeas

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When the mood strikes, there is nothing quite like a hearty curry, but, with the weather hopefully on the up, sometimes you want a lighter version of your favourites so if this is the case then this is the dish for you. The idea behind this is that the chickpeas are coated in a sauce that doesn’t weigh it down so you can taste and appreciate all the ingredients. Paneer lends itself to pairing with a range of Indian flavours and I have kept this paneer fresh with herbs and the zing of lime.

If you can’t find garlic and ginger paste then substitute it with a garlic clove and a freshly grated piece of ginger. The paste is available in all good Asian supermarkets and is well worth buying if you come across it as it can be used in a wide range of recipes and takes the time out of having to make your own. There will be leftover toasted lentils but fear not; they are delicious sprinkled over salads or as a snack by themselves and will keep for several days if covered over.

Ingredients- serves 4
For the paneer
Block of paneer- cut into bite sized cubes
1 tbsp cornflour
1 small bunch of fresh coriander- finely chopped
1 small bunch of fresh mint- finely chopped
60ml olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
1 tsp salt

For the chickpeas and curry
1 red onion- finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 red bell pepper- chopped
1 yellow bell pepper- chopped
1 small aubergine- chopped
1 sweet potato- peeled and chopped
1 can of chickpeas- drained and rinsed well
2 tbsp each of ground cumin and ground coriander
1 1/2 tbsp chilli powder or to taste
1 tbsp fenugreek
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
Salt to taste

For the crunchy lentils
Can of green lentils in water- drained
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp garlic powder
Crushed chilli flakes- to taste

1.I started by toasting the lentils and chickpeas first so I could then concentrate on the other elements of the recipe. Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180 fan; pat the lentils as dry as you can after draining them, place them on a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Add the salt, garlic powder and chilli flakes and toss to coat the lentils. Place in the oven and cook for around 15 minutes or until crunchy; you can move them around on the baking tray halfway during cooking if needed to ensure they are evenly toasted.

2. As the lentils are cooking, place the chickpeas in a deep roasting tray and add half of each of the spiced listed apart from the garam masala. Toss to combine and roast in the oven for 15 minutes at the same time as the lentils until they have started to gain some colour. Remove the chickpeas and lentils from the oven when they are ready and set aside.

3. To make the curry base, add a glug of olive oil a wide bottomed pan that is large enough to hold the curry in its entirety. Over a low heat, gently cook the red onion until softened and starting to turn golden; add the tomato puree and cook this out for another minute. Add the remaining spices apart from the garam masala and the ginger and garlic paste as well as approx. 200mls of water; stir to form a paste. Add in the vegetables and chickpeas and simmer until the sauce lightly coats them; if it gets a little too dry then add another splash of water or two.

4. For the paneer, mix together all the ingredients listed under the paneer section of the ingredients list; taste and adjust seasoning and/ or the lime juice to taste if needed. Toss the paneer cubes in a tablespoon of cornflour. Add a good glug of oil to a non- stick frying pan and add the paneer; fry over a medium heat until the cubes are golden and crunchy. Remove using a slotted spoon and blot any excess oil using kitchen paper. Add the paneer cubes into the mint, coriander and lime dressing and toss well to coat.

5. To assemble the final dish simple choose a large serving dish and spoon the chickpea curry onto it. Top this with the herby paneer and finish with a liberal sprinkling of the crunchy lentils. Add extra fresh mint and coriander if you like and serve.

Lime, coriander and mint paneer and spiced chickpeas- a lighter take on a curry for the summer!

Spicy beef noodle salad

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If you’re looking for a noodle salad recipe to take you through summer and beyond then look no further! In the recent warm weather that we have had here in the UK this noodle salad was perfect for a light but filling dinner. I have used beef here however feel free to play around with the ingredients as prawn, chicken or even crispy tofu would also be delicious here. The dressing can be made in advance to allow the flavours to develop if you have the time; simply make it, cool it and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

Ingredients- serves 3-4
For the dressing:

1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp fresh ginger- grated
2 garlic cloves- grated
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 tsp galangal paste
Juice of a small lime

For the rest:
Thick cut rump steak- approx. 400g
2 nests of vermicelli rice noodles
Handful of unsalted peanuts- toasted in a dry pan
Bag of beansprouts
1 large carrot- ribboned or grated
Bag of radishes- finely sliced
Fresh coriander- roughly chopped
Fresh mint- roughly chopped

1.Start off by making the dressing; simply combine all the listed ingredients for the dressing and stir well. Place in a pan over a low heat and simmer until thickened; remove from the heat and set aside. Remember to taste the sauce to ensure that it is to your liking and then adjust if needed.

2. Soak the noodles as per the packet instructions; drain well and use scissors to randomly cut the noodles so they are easier to eat in the salad.

3. Heat a frying pan to high ready for the steak. Season the steak and cook to your liking. Remove the steak and rest for the same amount of time that it was cooked for. Use a sharp knife and thinly slice the steak.

4. Take a large bowl and combine the noodles with the carrot, beansprouts, radishes and the dressing. Add the sliced steak, peanuts and fresh herbs and toss well. Serve on a large platter, if you like.

Sweet potato, spinach and chorizo hash

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Let’s face it- who doesn’t love a good breakfast to start the day?! Well if this sounds familiar then this is the breakfast for you! This hash is absolutely packed with flavour and can easily be made for one, two or even a group; it also makes the most of ingredients that a lot of people will have in their fridge. In my mind, all good breakfasts involve an egg with a golden, runny yolk. Here I have chosen to bake the egg into the hash but feel free to serve it with a poached egg perched atop the hash if you prefer.

Ingredients- serves 2
Olive oil
1 decent sized sweet potato- peeled and cubed
1/2 tbsp each of ground cumin and ground coriander
100g chorizo- chopped
1 red onion- peeled and finely sliced
2 garlic cloves- finely sliced
1 small red pepper- finely sliced
Small bag of baby spinach- washed and shredded
1 red or green chilli
Fresh coriander- roughly chopped
2 eggs

1.Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180 fan. Start off by deciding if you want to make individual hashes or one larger one and choose smaller pans or one big one. Heat a good glug of oil in the pan and add in the sweet potato chunks. Sprinkle over the ground spices and fry for a few minutes until the potato is softening and starting to turn golden.

2.Add in the chorizo, garlic, onion, red pepper and chilli;  continue to cook until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the shredded spinach and combine to ensure that it is distributed evenly and starting to wilt.

3. Use the back of a spoon to create a well for each of the eggs to sit in. Carefully crack each egg into a hole and back for around 10 minutes until the egg white has set and the yolk remains runny. Serve immediately with a liberal sprinkling of the chopped coriander.

Sweet potato, spinach and chorizo hash- now this is the way to kick off the day!

 

Greek style chicken tray bake

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If there’s one thing that is always welcome in the kitchen, it’s a one pan, no fuss recipe! Tray bakes come in handy when time is short and lend themselves to midweek meals so you can be sure to have something on the table with minimal washing up. This Greek style chicken tray bake makes the most of simple ingredients and uses a straightforward dressing so you really don’t have to put much thought into cooking so get chopping, set the timer and wait to dive in!

Ingredients- serves 4
8 chicken thighs- skin left on
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
4 large potatoes- peeled and diced
1 large red and 1 large yellow pepper- diced
Handful of baby aubergines- diced
1 large red onion- diced
Handful of Kalamata olives
200g baby plum tomatoes
150g feta
2 tbsp dried oregano
Chilli flakes- to taste
1 lemon- sliced

1.Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180 fan whilst you make sure that all the ingredients are prepped and ready to go as this really is a speedy meal to assemble once you get going. Take the chicken portions and coat in the honey and 1 tbsp of the olive oil.

2. Place all the remaining ingredients other than the feta in a deep baking tray and toss together. Arrange the lemon slices over the top. Pop the coated chicken pieces on top and cook in the oven until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender to a knife point. You will know when the chicken is ready when it is golden skinned and the juices are running clear- it will depend on the size of the chicken thighs but around 30 minutes is usual. When the chicken is nearly ready, sprinkle over the feta and put back in the oven for a couple of minutes to soften and warm. Serve immediately with a salad if you like.

Greek style chicken tray bake- if you’re after a speedy but flavoursome dinner then this is for you!