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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Prawn laksa


Prawn laksa hits all the right flavour notes- spicy, savoury and a hint of sweetness; surely it has to be one of the best Asian comfort foods around? Laksa is usually found in Malaysia and can include many main ingredients such as chicken or tofu- prawn is just the start or you can always mix and match! Don’t be put off by the shrimp paste or fish sauce- they are there to season and add depth so do try them. The spice paste can be made well in advance and then kept in the fridge. You may also like to make more paste than you need for one meal and then save it for another day to save some time.

This laksa includes beansprouts which are readily available in supermarkets. You may also like to include shredded vegetables such as mange tout, sugar snap peas or Asian greens- it really depends how hungry you are!

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Ingredients- serves 2
For the laksa paste
2 dried kashmiri chillies- soaked then chopped
1 stem of lemongrass- chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
1 tsp shrimp paste
2 shallots- chopped
Pinch of turmeric
Salt
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil

For the rest
200g raw prawns
400ml coconut milk
200ml chicken stock made up with water
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tbsp palm sugar
150g rice noodles
50g beansprouts
2 spring onions- shredded

1. Start off by soaking the kashmiri chillies whilst you prepare the remaining ingredients for the paste. Blitz into a paste or bash using a mortar and pestle if you prefer a more rustic look.

2. Take a large pan and heat the glug of vegetable oil over a medium heat. Cook off the paste for a couple of minutes until it releases its fragrance. Add the coconut milk, stock, fish sauce and palm sugar and simmer. How long I simmer this for depends on how much time I have but aim for around 10-15 minutes so the flavours from the paste has time to develop and infuse.

3. Meanwhile soak the rice noodles in boiling water, drain well and set aside. Pop the prawns into the broth to cook through whilst you divide the noodles between two deep bowls. Alternatively, and I know this is not the true way of doing it, but I also like to add the rice noodles to the broth and finish off in that so it soaks up the fragrant sauce. When the prawns are cooked, ladle the broth over the noodles before going in with the beansprouts and spring onion. I also like to fry rings of shallot to give a crispy topping.

Prawn laksa- spicy, warming, comforting and impossible to resist!

Prawn and squash red Thai curry

When life gives you plenty of frozen king prawns and leftover butternut squash then the answer is to use them to create a beautifully fragrant Thai curry. Now for a word about the curry paste: yes, the ingredients list does look lengthy but it really is worth the effort! The paste can be made in large quantities ahead of time and then kept in the fridge. You will need the equivalent of around 2 tbsp worth of paste if you are cooking this for 2 people and simply double the amount for 4.

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Ingredients- serves 2
200g raw peeled king prawns- deveined
Half a small butternut squash- cut into bite sized chunks
300ml coconut milk
100ml chicken stock

For the red curry paste
6 whole dried red chillies
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tbsp galangal- chopped finely
1 tbsp lemonsgrass- chopped finely
1 tsp peppercorns
5 garlic cloves- finely grated
1 inch piece of fresh ginger- finely grated
2 shallots- finely chopped
1 lime- zest finely grated
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt

1. Start off by making the curry paste by toasting the coriander and cumin seeds in a small pan over a medium heat. As the spices start to release their fragrance, remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly before grinding in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine to form a thick paste.

2. Heat a small amount of vegetable or groundnut oil in a wok or wide frying pan and fry off the curry paste for a couple of minutes. Add the coconut milk and stock and stir well to combine. Increase the heat and bring to the boil before lowering to a simmer. I covered the pan and simmered it for around half an hour so it begins to reduce down and gives the flavours time to the flavours develop.

3. The chunks of butternut squash will take around 10 minutes for bite sized pieces so pop them in when you’re ready and simmer until almost tender. Check the chunks by piercing them with a knife; if it sinks in easily then it is ready! Towards the end of cooking, add in the prawns and simmer until they are cooked through. Serve the curry immediately with some extra chopped red chilli or a little freshly chopped coriander if you like and dig in. This is also delicious with sticky Thai rice which is easily accessible in supermarkets now.

King prawn and squash red curry- delicate, fragrant and oh so delicious so get cooking!

 

Crab, king prawn and rocket spaghetti

As I’m writing this I’m sitting with the heating cranked up and considering reaching for a blanket to try and warm up so such a light pasta recipe may sound a little strange for a winter’s day. It’s simple really, I love seafood and sometimes these cravings have to be indulged regardless of the season!

Crab pasta recipes usually use white meat however I have chosen to use half white and half brown meat as this really ramps up the flavour. The addition of baby plum tomatoes are also lovely if you like. The sweetness of the crab and prawn pair perfectly with the gentle heat from the chilli and kick of acidity from the lemon so read on and get twirling that spaghetti!

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Ingredients- serves 2
200g spaghetti
Glug of olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves- finely sliced or crushed
1 red chilli- deseeded and chopped
60ml dry white wine
2 tbsp low fat crème fraiche
200g raw king prawns- deveined
200g crab meat- white or white and brown meat
50g rocket
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

1. Start by bringing a large pan of water to the boil; cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions and drain when it is perfectly al dente. Drain well.

2. Whilst the spaghetti cooks, get going on the sauce as it won’t take long. I can’t stand pasta that is drained and then stands around for ages, slowly clumping into a wonderful mess so avoid! Take a large frying pan and add a glug of oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic and red chilli and cook for a couple of minutes until softening. Add the white wine and reduce the amount by half before lowering the heat. In goes the crème fraiche and simmer for a minute or two.

3. Pop the deveined raw prawns into the pan and cook for a further minute before adding the crab meat and rocket. Simmer until the prawns are a gorgeous blush pink and the sauce is warmed through. Season to taste. If the sauce looks a little dry then add a splash of the water from the pasta pan in to loosen it slightly. I try not to add extra crème fraiche as this tends to make it even thicker and a bit claggy. When the pasta is ready, add it to the pan with sauce and toss to coat each strand of spaghetti well and finish with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice to really make the flavours sing. Serve immediately.

Seared scallop, king prawn and crab linguine

This scallop, prawn and crab linguine is a celebration of seafood. I have paired it with the lightness of creme fraiche, the tang of lemon and the freshness of parsley to lift the dish to dizzy heights. A hint of red chilli also works well here if you like to add an extra layer of flavour. The sauce should lightly coat each strand of pasta; if you find it is a bit too thick then add a splash of the pasta water to loosen it slightly.

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Ingredients- serves 4
300g linguine
Knob of unsalted butter
300g raw king prawns- peeled and deveined
300g scallops- cleaned
Pot of white crab meat
1 clove of garlic
1 small red chilli- deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
100ml white wine
2-3 tbsp creme fraiche (I used light creme fraiche)
Lemon
Handful of fresh flatleaf parsley- finely chopped

1. Start off by boiling a large pan of water and cook the linguine according to the packet instructions; drain when al dente. As the pasta starts off then get going on the sauce as this is relatively quick.

2. Take a nonstick frying pan and heat the knob of butter over a medium heat. Sear the scallops for approximately 3 minutes on each side until golden, remove from the pan and set aside. Cover with foil. The scallops I used were large and I then cut them across so give two discs so it was easier to toss through the pasta.

3. Add a glug of oil to the pan and fry off the garlic and chilli (if using) for a minute or two. Pour in the wine and cook until reduced by half. Lower the heat and add the creme fraiche, a good squeeze of lemon juice and the prawn and crab. Simmer until the prawns are cooked through and a beautiful blush pink. Just before this, add the scallops back into the pan. Before serving sprinkle through some parsley and toss the scallop sauce through the pasta.

Seared scallop, prawn and crab linguine- simple, fresh and decadent!

Indonesian style stir fried rice

Perk up your tastebuds with this flavoursome rice recipe. It uses a crunchy combination of vegetables as well as succulent prawns and pork which go well with Indonesian spice. Ketjap manis features in this recipe to give a further tang- this can now be found in supermarkets and is a thicker, spiced version of soya sauce.

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Ingredients- serves 4
250g long grain rice- precooked as per pack instructions
1 red chilli- finely chopped
1 banana shallot- finely chopped
2 garlic cloves- finely chopped
3cm piece of fresh ginger- finely chopped
50g sugar snap peas- sliced thinly longways
1 large carrot- grated
200g raw king prawns- deveined
200g pork loin or similar- cut into bite size pieces
3 tbsp ketjap manis
Handful of fresh coriander- chopped

1. Get a large wok and place a glug of vegetable or groundnut oil and heat. When the oil is hot, add in the chilli, shallot, garlic and ginger and cook for a minute. Next in goes the sugar snap pea slices and carrot for a further minute.

2. Pop in the pork and prawns for a two minutes before stirring the precooked rice in well to combine everything. Leave on the heat as you add the ketjap manis and keep it cooking. Taste as you go and adjust the amount of ketjap manis if needed. I also made a wafer thin omelette which I then thinly sliced and stirred through the rice. When the prawns and pork are cooked through finish with a final flourish of fresh coriander and serve.

A tasty stir fried rice- perfect to brighten up a dull January day!

Luxurious fish pie

Fish pie is a classic recipe that is a firm favourite throughout the land. Each family’s repertoire needs one so look no further! I have used a combination of bite size chunks of salmon, smoked haddock and white fish with a few king prawns thrown in for good measure but play around to find a combination that suits you.

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Ingredients- serves 4
600g potatoes- peeled and cut into equal chunks
2 tbsp creme fraiche
50g unsalted butter
4 eggs- hard boiled, peeled and quartered (optional)
150g each of smoked haddock, salmon and cod- cut into bite size chunks 200g peeled and deveined king prawns
1 leek- sliced
150ml fish stock
1 tbsp plain flour
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
600ml milk- skimmed or whole
Handful of flatleaf parsley- chopped

1. Start off by preheating the oven to 200c/ 180fan ready for later. If you like hard boiled eggs in your fish pie and haven’t yet cooked them then now is the time so they can be cooling whilst you get on with the other steps.

2. Take a large pan and boil the potato chunks until tender. Drain well and mash until smooth. Add the butter, creme fraiche and seasoning and set aside.

3. The fish pie needs to be cooked in an ovenproof dish. Place the fish chunks and prawns in the bottom of the dish ready for it to receive its saucy coating later. For the sauce, start by taking a smaller pan and cooking the leek and fish stock together for a couple of minutes over a medium heat. Next up goes the flour, stir well to combine and make sure lumps don’t form. If any do, take the pan off the heat and stir vigorously. Cook the mixture with the newly added flour for a further minute before adding the mustard for an additional minute.

4. Gradually add the milk to the pan and bring up to the boil. Stir continuously until the sauce has thickened before adding the parsley and pouring over the fish. Arrange the egg quarters if you’re using them. Allow the fish to cool for 20 minutes before covering with the mashed potato. You can either use a piping bag (just make sure the mash is the right consistency) or fork it on. If you like, you can pop a little cheese over the top. Cook in the oven for 30- 40 minutes until the mash is golden.

Serve with mixed greens, peas or green beans for a hearty winter meal or lighten it up with a side salad.

Classic fish pie- a touch of luxury for everyone’s dining table!