Yuzu and prawn salad

Y is for Yuzu and king prawn salad

I’ve been away on holiday for a while, so haven’t had the chance to post the latest blog, but here it is at last….my yuzu and prawn salad. With the temperature reaching the high-teens in the UK this weekend, it’s got me thinking about light and fresh summer food. I hope this dish is just that…it’s very low calories, low-fat but high in flavour and colour. This is a dish for one, but is easily multiplied up if you need to make it for two people.

Some of you may be wondering what a ‘yuzu’ is? Well, it’s a fruit used in east Asia that has a strong citrus flavour that is somewhere between a grapefruit and a lemon. I’ve used it in this dish as it’s a very fresh flavour and compliments the prawns.

I have used Cos (or Romaine) lettuce in this recipe as it is crunchy and will hold its shape under the prawns. You may of course use a softer leaf, but at your own peril.

Yuzu and prawn salad - ingredients

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 180g king prawns – uncooked, frozen or thawed;
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger – peeled and finely diced;
  • 1 tsp soy sauce;
  • 1 tbsp yuzu juice (or yuzu seasoning);
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil;
  • 2 spring onions;
  • zest of ½ lemon;
  • squirt of lemon juice;
  • zest of 1 lime;
  • ½ Cos (Romaine) lettuce – torn into small pieces;
  • ½ ripe mango – diced into 1cm pieces;
  • Pinch of salt.

Recipe:

  1. In a small bowl, make the yuzu dressing by adding the yuzu juice, olive oil, salt, lemon zest and juice and spring onions – finely chopped and give a little stir then set aside.
  2. Put a dribble of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and tip in the prawns. Prawns can be cooked from thawed or frozen, but will just take a couple more minutes if being cooked from frozen. Stir round and as soon as the prawns begin to change from a dull grey to their coral pink colour, add the ginger and lime zest. Keep moving round the pan until the prawns are completely pink and then tip in the soy sauce.
  3. On a large plate (or shallow bowl depending on how much of a messy eater you are – bowl in my case), pile up the lettuce and mango pieces. Then tip over the cooked prawns and drizzle over the yuzu seasoning.
  4. Serve immediately, as although the Cos lettuce is crunchy, it will become soggy if left in the dressing.

Yuzu and prawn salad

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Veal served with gnocchi

V is for… Veal with fried gnocchi

Firstly apologies for such a long gap between the previous post and this one, I was very busy in December with quite a few Christmas parties and then the festive period itself; however I had not forgotten the blog, so here is the next instalment.

I know veal can be a somewhat contentious issue, but this is not the forum to discuss ethics. I enjoy all food and believe it should all be cooked well. This is a simple recipe, which allows you to appreciate the meat itself. I’ve served mine with fried gnocchi, but if you want to be healthier, it could equally be served with boiled new potatoes.

The recipe serves 2 greedy people comfortably.

Veal in marinade

 

Veal in griddle

Preparation time: 2 – 6 hours (for the meat to marinate)

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 300g veal escalopes;
  • 500g gnocchi
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • knob of butter
  • 2 handfuls of green beans
  • 100g tender stem broccoli

Recipe:

  1. In a shallow dish (or food-proof, sealable plastic bag) place the veal and pour in 3 tbsp of olive oil, the lemon juice, rosemary and chill flakes. Give a stir around until the meat is completely covered then cover (or seal in a bag) and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours.
  2. When you’re ready to cook, you’ll need a griddle, a large frying pan and a small saucepan on the go at once. In the large frying pan, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and a knob of butter over a medium heat. As soon as the butter is foaming, add the gnocchi, string occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile put the griddle pan over a high heat. No oil is needed in the pan as the veal is already coated in oil. Once hot, take out the veal from the marinade (the remainder of which can now be discarded) and place on the griddle. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes on each side, then wrap in tin foil to rest whilst you are finishing the other dishes. The meat will keep warm and continue to cook slowly in it’s own heat.
  4. In a saucepan add the green beans and broccoli, a good pinch of salt and an inch or two of boiling water. Cook over a high-heat for a couple of minutes with the lid on , which will allow the veg to part boil and part steam. Give a stir round to make sure everything is tender, and it should only take a couple of minutes.
  5. Once the gnocchi are golden brown all over (which should take no more than 10 minutes), you’re ready to plate up. Any juices that have oozed out from the veal can be poured back over the meat on the plate – you don’t want to waste flavour!

Veal served with gnocchi

Macarons

M is for Macaroons

When I was younger, I used to live in Amiens, France – known as one of the best place in France for macaroons (or macarons in French). I’ve never yet made macarons, but have been very eager to try, so M on this blog was the perfect excuse.

The recipe I used was inspired from my favourite patissier, Eric Lanlard. I only made a couple of his varieties, but there are plenty more to be made (pistachio, chocolate, lavender etc.)

Macaron ingredients

 

Macarons - whisked egg whites

 

Macarons - whisking in the ground almonds

Preparation time: 30minutes

Cooking time: 15minutes

Ingredients:

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 3 egg whites (or 95g grams if using liquid egg white)
  • Food colourings (I used red and yellow)
  • Food flavourings (I used rose essence for the pink macarons and lemon essence for the yellow macarons)
  • Lemon curd
  • 150g white chocolate
  • 75ml double cream

Recipe:

  1. With an electric whisk, beat the egg whites into soft peaks then gradually add the caster sugar until there are stiffer peaks and the the whites have a sheen to them.
  2. Sift in the icing sugar and ground almonds into the beaten egg whites and fold together with a metal spoon.
  3. Divide the mixture between two bowls. In one add a teaspoon of lemon essence and several drops of yellow food colouring and fold together. In the other bowl add a couple of drops of red food colouring and a teaspoon of rose essence. Add a couple more drops of food colouring if you need to, but each drop goes a long way. Have a little taste and add a couple more drops of lemon/rose essence if required. The mixture should have a hint of flavour and not be too strong.
  4. Line 2 trays with baking parchment. The take a piping bag and fill with one of the mixtures, folding the top of the piping bag back over your hand to avoid getting the macaron mixture all over you.
  5. Snip of the end of the piping bag, and gently squeeze out the mixture into 3cm discs on the baking parchment. Repeat for the other colour mixture. You should have enough mixture to make 56-60 macaron discs in total.
  6. Leave to dry for 5 minutes whilst you pre-heat the oven to 150°C. Then put all the macarons in the oven for 12-15 minutes.
  7. Take out the over and carefully slide each sheet of baking parchment onto wire racks and leave to cool.

Macarons - piping

 

Macarons - pre-baking

 

Macarons fresh from the oven

Whilst the macarons are cooling, you can make the white chocolate ganache for the filling of the pink ones. Place a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Tip in squares of the white chocolate and pour over the double cream. Leave for a couple of minutes and then take off the heat. Mix together with several drops of red food colouring until the chocolate has melted. Place in the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes.

For the yellow macarons, sandwich a teaspoon of lemon curd between two of the meringues discs. For the red macarons, sandwich a teaspoon of the red coloured white chocolate ganache between the meringues discs.

Try not to eat them all at once!

Macarons

Roasted tomatoes

So firstly apologies as this was meant to be halibut based recipe rather than a haddock one, but I couldn’t get hold of any in time for this blog, so I had to make do with my local supermarket offering of haddock. Either fish will work!
 Haddock, shrimp and scallop linguine
The tomato sauce can be prepared up to a day in advance and stored in a sealed container in the fridge. It just needs reheating when you’re cooking the fish.
Tomatoes ready to be roasted
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Ingredients:
  • 325g Haddock (or halibut) – skinless, boneless and cut into pieces
  • 150g Shrimps or prawns (cooked)
  • 175g Scallops
  • 1 lemon
  • 500g fresh linguine
  • 15 ripe tomatoes (feel free to use a mixture of varieties, which will enhance the flavour)
  • 1 tbsp Tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Handful of freshly chopped parsley
  • Handful of freshly grated Parmesan
Recipe:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with tin foil. Cut the tomatoes in half and place on the tray. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and put in the oven to roast for 30-40minutes.
  2. Spoon the roasted tomatoes (and all the juices that will have leaked out) into a food blender with the tomato purée, basil and blitz until it has turned into a paste (but still with a few bits – you don’t want to make soup!)
  3. Put the linguine in a large pan of boiling salted water and leave to bubble away.
  4. Meanwhile chop the halibut (or haddock) into pieces and fry for 3-4 minutes in a drizzle of olive oil. Then add the scallops and shrimps (or prawns) with the juice of half of the lemon and continue to fry for another couple of minutes until the fish is cooked. This will not take long and you don’t want to overlook the fish.
  5. By this point both fish and pasta should be cooked, so drain the pasta (reserving about a cupful of the pasta water in the large pan with the pasta). Add the fish, tomato sauce, and 2/3 of the chopped parsley then gently combine until everything is well coated in the tomato sauce.
  6. Top each serving with the remaining chopping parsley, Parmesan and a wedge of lemon.

Tomato sauce - frying onions

Roasted tomatoes

F – Fig and Almond Tart

My fig and almond tart takes enough effort to blitz together a few key ingredients and slice up a handful of figs to produce a special dessert.
Fig and almond tart - ready to cook
Ingredients:
  • 350g all-butter puff pastry
  • 1 tbsp double cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zested
  • 6-8 ripe figs, washed and dried
Recipe:
  1. Heat the oven to 200C.
  2. Roll the pastry on a lightly floured work surface into a rectangle approximately 34cm x 18cm.
  3. Beat the double cream and egg yolk together and use to brush the edges of the pastry. Fold the edges of the pastry over to make a 1cm wide border. Brush with more of the glaze and chill the pastry on a baking sheet for at least 30 minutes. The idea here is to produce a frame of pastry to hold in all the fig juices and almond and lemon mixture.
  4. In a food processor, add the ground almonds, caster sugar, softened butter, egg, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Whizz together until smooth – you will probably need to use a spatula to push in all the bits stuck on the side. Don’t worry if the mixture is thick, it’s meant to be.
  5. Spread the almond filling over the bottom of the pastry and chill for 10 minutes while you prepare the figs.
  6. Cut each fig into quarters through the stalk. Arrange the figs cut-side up over the almond mixture. Slide the baking tray into oven and cook the tart for about 35-45 minutes until golden.
  7. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Fig and almond tart