Friday, 21 August 2020

Seafood Paella

Paella is the taste of Summer for me.  As soon as the sun is out so is the paella pan.
I cooked this one on the hob, using two burners but it also works very well cooked on the barbecue.

Prepare the ingredients before you start, it makes a real difference.

Serves 10-12


150gchorizo, diced
115g pancetta, diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
8 chicken thighs, boned and skinless
1 litre hot chicken stock
1 large onion, chopped
2 sprigs Thyme, leaves picked
2 cloves garlic, grated, + 1/2 garlic clove grated, to add to the prawns
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 large red pepper, diced
600g paella rice, I used Calasparra
1 tsp sweet Paprika
6oz white wine
2 Tbsp lemon juice
5 oz frozen peas
around 20 Mussels, washed and debearded
2 oz butter
5 large tomatoes, deseeded and diced
5 Tbsp chopped Parsley
Zest of 1 lemon
400g large prawns, deveined
2 squid tubes, cleaned and cut into rings
4 lemons to garnish

To Make The Paella

Heat 1/2Tbsp of the oil in a Paella pan (or very large frying pan),  Add the Pancetta and Chorizo and fry until golden and beginning to crisp.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

add the chicken thighs to the pan and cook over a med heat for 6 minutes, turning over halfway.  remove the chicken and set aside.

Add 1/2 oil to the pan and fry the onion, Thyme, garlic, chilli flakes and red pepper.  cook for around seven minutes over a low-med heat stirring occasionally to prevent the onion taking too much colour.

Add the remaining oil to the pan then add the rice Bay leaves and Paprika to the pan and stir around for 2 minutes to coat the rice.

Stir in the wine, lemon juice and hot stock and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.

Fold in the Pancetta, Chorizo, chicken, peas and place in the mussells, closed side down.

Cover the pan loosely with foil and cook on a low-medium heat for 15 minutes.

I the stock has dried up add a cup of boiling water.

Rest the paella for 10 minutes while you cook the prawns and squid.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.Grate 1/2 clove of garlic, add to the pan with  the prawns and stir fry until pink.  add the squid to the pan and stir fry for 1 minute.

Remove the foil and stir in the tomatoes, butter and lemon zest.

Scatter the prawns and squid over the top of the Paella and sprinkle over the Parsley.

Garnish with cut lemons.

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Chicken and Tomato Korma

 For mid-week or the weekend this chicken and tomato Korma is always a treat.  The tomatoes, which are added to the dish for the last 15 minutes of cooking, become soft, sweet and succulent.  Serve with basmati rice and naan bread or paratha.  I choose the latter because I can buy them frozen ready to cook, and grill them, from frozen, on a Griddle on the hob, then put them over the flame to create a toasted finish.


600g chicken breast fillets, cut to 2.5 cm pieces

2tbsp rape seed or sunflower oil

1 x 3cm piece of root ginger, peeled and grated

2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated

1 red chilli, finely chopped. leave the seeds in If you like a bit of heat

1 green chilli, finely chopped

2 tbsp ground almonds

1tsp turmeric

2tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

150ml coconut milk

250ml chicken stock made with I stock cube

4 tblsp double cream

2tbsp mango chutney

1 small punnet cherry tomatoes

Chopped coriander and toasted flaked almonds to garnish


Heat a sauté pan over a medium heat and add the oil.

Add the onion, chillies and ginger a cook, stirring, for 5-6 minutes, add the garlic and stir fry for a further 2 minutes.

Add the cumin, coriander and turmeric, stir for one minute then add the chicken. If the pan is dry add a little water.   Stir fry for a few minutes until the chicken is coated in the spices and starting to cook.

Add the chicken stock and simmer gently for 15 minutes.  Add the ground almonds, coconut milk and cherry tomatoes, simmer gently for a further 15 minutes.

Turn the heat up very slightly, add the mango chutney then the cream.  Let it bubble for a few minutes to reduce and thicken.

Serve with basmati rice and your bread of choice.

Garnish with chopped coriander and toasted almonds.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Prawn Pad Thai

This dish requires a little preparation but is well worth the effort.  Hot, sweet, sour and very fresh and light.


110g rice noodles
2 tbsp dried shrimps or 2 tsp shrimp paste
200g raw, headless tiger prawns, defrosted if frozen
3 tbsp rape seed or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 red chillies, de seeded and chopped
Small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fish sauce
1.5 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Juice from 1 large lime

Ingredients for the garnish

Small bunch of coriander, leaves picked
3 tbsp natural peanuts, chopped
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 handful fresh bean sprouts
Lime wedges for garnish

If using dried shrimp, soak them in boiling water for 10 minutes.  
Soak the noodles in boiling water for 10 minutes, make sure they are covered.  
Drain and rinse under cold water and set aside
Drain the dried shrimp
If the prawns need shelled and deveined do this next
Cut each prawn into two

Heat a wok on high heat
Add the oil, add the chilli onion and garlic and stir fry for to mins
Add the prawns and stir fry until they turn pink
Add the dried shrimp or shrimp paste, peanut butter and fish sauce
Stir and add the noodles then stir them around for a couple of minutes
Slowly pour over the beaten egg, leave it for 30 seconds to slightly set then stir it round
Add 1/2 of the garnish, ( not the lime wedges) stir to combine
Serve in bowls and garnish with coriander, peanuts, spring onions, fresh bean sprouts And a wedge of lime.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Corn-Dog Batter Prawns

I made corn-dogs for my Grandchildren recently.  They went down very well but I only used half of the batter.   Next day I tried raw king prawns dipped in the remaining batter and fried in a little oil.  They were amazing.  Light and crispy and very tasty dipped in sweet chilli sauce.
The batter recipe is enough to make both the prawns and corn dogs.

Ingredients for the batter

1 cup cornmeal (polenta)
1 cup plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk + 2 tbsp
1 egg
225g raw king prawns (defrosted if frozen) cleaned and deveined.
Rape seed or vegetable oil to fry

In a large bowl, mix together, the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder.

Add buttermilk, egg and 2 tbsp oil to the dry ingredients and mix to combine

Leave the batter to rest for 10 minutes

Remove half the batter into a tumbler and set aside for the corn dogs.  The batter can be refrigerated for a couple of days.

Dry off the prawns with kitchen towel and place them in the remaining batter.

Pour around 5cm of the oil into a pan over a medium heat and heat to around 180o c.  Or when a drop of the batter floats to the top.

Using kitchen tongs, place a few prawns into the oil and cook until golden brown, turn and cook for a further minute or two and drain on kitchen towel.  Cook the rest of the prawns in batches.  🍤 

Serve with sweet chilli sauce and a wedge of lemon.  🍋 

For the corn dogs

8-10 frankfurter sausages Tossed in a little flour, shake off excess.
Bamboo skewers

Place a skewer into each sausage.  Holding By the skewer, dip each corn dog into the tumbler of batter one at a time, start with three sausages and fry in batches in Hot oil 180oc for 3 minutes until golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the sausages.

Drain on kitchen towel and serve with ketchup and hot dog mustard.

Corn dogs can be frozen for up to 2 months.  Cool completely before freezing.

Seafood Paella

Paella is the taste of Summer for me.  As soon as the sun is out so is the paella pan. I cooked this one on the hob, using two burners but i...