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

Fajitas - chicken mixture

F is for my fuss-free Fajitas

This week i had friends round, one of whom will not mind me describing her as a wee bit fussy. My fuss-free fajitas were definitely the answer: an easy-to-prepare, do-it-yourself meal with minimal effort after a day at work.

Ingredients
1 chicken breast per person
1 pepper (red, orange or yellow) per person
Cayenne pepper
Smoked paprika
Salt
Pepper
Lettuce (cos) – finely sliced
Cheddar – grated
Sour cream
For the guacamole:
3 Avocados
1 tomato
2 tbsp Double cream
1 small red chilli
1 tbsp Lime juice
1 small handful of fresh coriander
Fajitas - guacamole
Recipe
For the guacamole:
Add 2 avocados, the tomato, double cream, small red chilli (de-seeded), coriander and lime juice to the blender and mix until a paste. For the final avocado, chop into small pieces and mix into the guacamole
For the chicken:
  1. Cut the chicken breasts up into 1cm strips and fry on a medium heat, turning until all pink colours have vanished.
  2. Add the cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and stir until all the chicken is coated
  3. Add the peppers and leave on low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes until everything is softened
Fajitas - chicken mixture
Fajitas - chopped peppers
Lay out the tortillas in a warm oven for 3-4minutes, then serve everything in the centre of the table and let everyone help themselves.
Fajitas - served

C is for Caribbean Chicken

This Caribbean Jerk Chicken recipe is a great dish to cook when you’ve got a good few mouths to feed. It takes a bit of preparation, but you can do this in advance. The coconut ‘rice n peas’ that I’ve served with it takes about 5 minutes of preparation, 5 minutes of cooking where you need to pay attention and then just leave to cook by itself whilst you chat to your guests.

Caribbean Jerk Chicken

Caribbean Jerk Chicken

Caribbean Jerk Chicken

Preparation time: 15 minutes + minimum 2 hours to marinate (can be prepared up to 24hours in advance).

Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients: 

  • 6 chicken breasts (without skin or bones)
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 ½ thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, chopped up
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 60ml dark rum (and a dash extra for good measure)
  • 60ml lime juice
  • 60ml soy sauce
  • 120ml cider vinegar
  • 2 fresh red chiles, whole
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
Caribbean Jerk chicken - preparing the marinade

Caribbean Jerk chicken – preparing the marinade

Recipe:

  1. Put 3-4 small slashes into each chicken breast. This will allow the marinade to flavour to permeate the chicken.
  2. If you have a large food processor, get this out, else if you just have a hand blender find a container which wont have marinade flying out of (something tall).
  3. Put all the spices, garlic, fresh ginger, dark brown sugar, rum, lime juice, soy sauce, cider vinegar, chillies and onion in your container and blend until everything is a fine paste.
  4. Put the chicken breasts in a sealable container and pour the marinade over the top. Leave for 2 – 24hours.
  5. When you’re ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 200°C
  6. In a tin-foil lined dish put the chicken and marinade. Cook for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, prepare the ‘rice n peas’ recipe (below). Then take the chicken out the oven and pour out the majority of the watery marinade, then put back in the oven for another 30 minutes.
  8. The chicken should have a marinade crust on it and still be juicy in the middle.
Caribbean Jerk Chicken - marinated and ready for the oven

Caribbean Jerk Chicken – marinated and ready for the oven

Caribbean Jerk Chicken - just out the oven

Caribbean Jerk Chicken – just out the oven

Rice n peas

The peas are actually ‘gungo’ peas (also known as pigeon peas). If you can’t get hold of them, you can use red kidney beans or a mixed beans instead. I’ve also added sweetcorn as I’m a big fan of getting in as many of your 5-a-day as possible.

The stock can be made up using hot water and one vegetable stock cube or you can use pre-made stock, either will work equally well.

'Rice n peas' preparation

‘Rice n peas’ preparation

'Rice n peas' - preparation

‘Rice n peas’ – preparation

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can gungo peas (pigeon peas) or black-eyed beans if you can’t get hold of them.
  • 200g sweetcorn
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red chile, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 400g long grain rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Large pinch of salt
  • A few turns of freshly ground pepper

Recipe:

  1. In a large pan, add the oil and fry the onion over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes until translucent and starting to get a bit of colour. The add the chopped chilli and garlic and fry for another couple of minutes.
  2. Pour in the rice and slick with all oil, onions, garlic and chilli.
  3. Pour over the vegetable stock, coconut milk, thyme, salt, pepper and gungo peas and bring to the boil. As soon as the rice is boiling, turn the heat down low, put a lid on and simmer for 15 minutes (by which time all the liquid should be absorbed)
  4. 5 minutes before the rice is ready, add the sweetcorn and put the lid back on, then the rice should be sticky and ready to eat.

Serve both together and it should be a pretty good combination.