prawns & linguine with tomatoes & vodka

I am all for good food and even more so when it doesn’t take hours to prepare and only needs a few ingredients. This is a simple recipe using cooked, shelled prawns. My choice of pasta was linguine but really, any noodle kind of pasta will work well here.
This is a great meal for either lunch or dinner and since I think it is so aesthetically pleasing, this is most definitely a meal that I will serve to a crowd.
Full marks on taste and looks! Serve with a rocket & avocado salad and extra lemon wedges.

I forgot to add half a cup of frozen peas. Should you remember, this will add a lovely element to an already delicious dish.

ingredients | serves 4-6 | easy
300g cooked, shelled prawns, halved
1/2 red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2t red pepper flakes
1 can crushed tomato
1/4C vodka
1/2t dried dill
2T tomato paste
1T brown sugar
1 fish stock
1/2C cream, full fat
bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
salt to taste
good grind of black pepper
parmesan to serve
300-400g linguine, cooked accordingly
2T olive oil
2T butter

how to
Heat the olive oil & butter in a large skillet and saute the onion & garlic until translucent and aromatic.
Pour the vodka into the skillet and cook until the alcohol has evaporated. About 2 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, brown sugar and dried dill, red pepper flakes, stir and cook for about 3 minutes.
Pour the stock, lemon juice & crushed tomato into the pan and cook until slightly thickened.
Add the cooked prawns & cream and stir to coat. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt & pepper.
Tip the cooked pasta into the sauce, toss to coat and cook for a few minutes until warmed through.
Add the lemon zest and fresh herbs and toss.
Garnish with finely grated parmesan.



crispy lemon chicken

Utterly delicious and so simple to prepare, my CRISPY LEMON CHICKEN is the perfect meal, for any day or occasion.
With a few simple ingredients and only a few minutes of prep time, you can have a delicious meal on the table in less than an hour. And since this meal is another great one pan wonder, you hardly have any clean up to do.
For extra flavour, marinade the meat for at least 30 minutes or overnight in a little oil, lemon juice, herbs and chicken rub.

Serve this beautiful, fragrant dish with couscous or baby potatoes and a side of vegetables or salad and extra lemon wedges.

ingredients | serves 4-6 | easy
8 chicken pieces (i used thighs and drumsticks)
2T olive oil
2T butter
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 medium white onion, diced
1/4C fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1C chicken stock
1/2C dry white wine
2t dried oregano
handful fresh thyme, leaves only
handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
salt to taste
good grind of black pepper
fresh coriander, to garnish

method
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Rub the chicken pieces with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Heat a large, ovenproof skillet, and brown the chicken pieces, skin side down, for about 6 minutes. Turn and brown for a further 3 minutes.
Remove and set aside.
In the same skillet, without wiping it clean, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and butter and sauté the onion until glossy. Add the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping the bits off the bottom. Reduce by half. Add the oregano, lemon zest & thyme and cook for one minute.
Pour the chicken stock and lemon juice into the skillet, bring to a simmer, season with salt & pepper and place the chicken pieces back into the pan.
Carefully transfer the skillet to the hot oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the chicken pieces are cooked and the sauce have thickened slightly.
Remove the skillet from the oven and add the chopped parsley.

Garnish with fresh coriander and lemon slices or wedges.


brisket & veg mash pie

Because brisket is a tough cut of meat, it yields the best results when slow cooked or braised for a couple of hours using a slow cooker or in your oven, at a low temperature.
Cooked right, brisket is rendered soft with incredible flavor. The meat falls apart and easily shreds, which makes this the perfect cut to cook in advance and freeze to use for pies, quesadillas, tacos or served on top of baked potato or mash. I also often use pulled brisket to serve with pappardelle pasta in a red wine & garlic sauce.

My inspiration for this dish came from a favorite in my home, Shepherd’s pie. I used pulled brisket from my freezer that I cooked for 4.5 hours in a delicious home made BBQ sauce and added chopped, streaky bacon to enhance the flavor.

ingredients | serves 4-6 | easy
600g cooked brisket, roughly chopped or pulled
1 white onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
200g streaky bacon, sliced
2 large carrots, cubed
3 leeks, chopped
2 stalks rosemary, leaves chopped
2 bay leaves
1C frozen peas
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 can crushed tomato
2T Worcester sauce
2T tomato paste
2C beef stock
1T brown sugar
1/2t salt
1t black pepper
2T olive oil
1T butter

for the mash
6 medium potatoes, cubed
1 garlic clove, halved
4T butter
1/3c sour cream or normal cream
salt to taste
white pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large oven proof skillet and fry the bacon until almost crispy. About five minutes. Heat the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil & butter in the same skillet and saute the onion until glossy. Add the tomato paste, stir and cook for one minute.
Add the carrots, leeks, garlic, rosemary & bay leaf, stir to coat and cook for a further two minutes.
Tip the cooked brisket into the pot and stir. Add the crushed tomato, Worcester sauce, sugar, salt & pepper and simmer for about five minutes while stirring.
Pour the beef stock into the pot and bring to a light boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for the mixture for about 20 – 25 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the carrots are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly.
Remove the pot from the heat, stir the frozen peas through the mixture and set aside.

For the mash
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the cubed potato and garlic clove until very soft.
Strain and tip the potatoes back into a dry pot. Place the pot on medium heat and dry the potatoes for about four minutes, tossing every now and again.
Add the butter and sour cream or normal cream and mash everything together.
Add salt & pepper to taste.
To remove small lumps, rapidly whisk until smooth.

Spoon the mashed potato onto the meat mixture and smooth it out with a spatula. Use a fork to make grooves/patterns in the mash.
Place the pot, uncovered, into the preheated oven and bake for about twenty minutes until the surface is lightly browned.

Serve with a garden salad.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x


salmon gravlax & citrus salad

Gravlax, traditionally Nordic, is a dish consisting of salmon that is cured by using sugar, salt & dill. It is served with bread or boiled potatoes and a dill & mustard sauce.
There are, however, many different gravlax recipes, personalised through taste and preference. Pernod is another great ingredient to use when curing salmon. It adds a beautiful, mild aniseed flavour to the fish very similar to that of fennel.
The recipe is easy and the process and time well worth it.
The quality of the salmon is really important here so get your hands on the best you can find from a trusted fishmonger. This is a starter portion. For a main meal simply double up the recipe.

ingredients | serves 4 | easy (starter portion for four)
600g salmon fillet, skin on
1C coarse salt
1C granulated sugar
1/2C fresh dill
1 large cucumber
3T coarse salt
1/2C cream cheese, room temperature
2T lemon juice
1/2t black pepper
3-4 oranges, sliced and skin removed
fresh chives, garnish
fresh dill, garnish
1t white sesame seeds (optional)
1t black sesame seeds (optional)

how to do it
Lay the salmon fillet skin side down in a large dish. Mix the sugar, salt & dill together and spoon this out onto the salmon. Cover the fillet well with the salt & sugar mixture.
Wrap the dish tightly with clingfilm and place into the refrigerator overnight.
Peel the cucumber with a julienne peeler, discarding the centre. Place the cucumber strips into a sieve over a bowl and strew with the two tablespoons of coarse salt. Leave to stand for about one hour. (This will remove excess moisture from the cucumber.)
Rinse the cucumber well under running water and dry on paper towel.
Mix the cream cheese, black pepper & lemon juice in a bowl. Add the cucumber ribbons and mix gently until well combined.
Slice the oranges into rounds and remove the skin with a sharp knife.
Remove the salmon from the fridge and rinse well under cold running water. Pat the fillet dry with towel paper and lay it flat on a work surface.
Slice the fillet into thin strips, against the grain.
Arrange the citrus onto a large plate. Place the gravlax on top and serve with the cucumber & cream cheese mixture.
Garnish the dish with the fresh herbs and sesame seeds.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x