Chilli Prawns on Crispy Wonton Skins


My aunt and cousin Dungie  are visiting us today and I wanted to make something special for them. The menu was originally going to be asparagus speared prawns on creamed parsnip, but the parsnips at the markets weren’t very fresh today so I opted for a different dish instead. Glad the parsnips were’t fresh, cos this dish really hit the spot on a Saturday afternoon! Thanks for visiting ladies, as always we love having you around!!!

Estimated Cooking Time – 30 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients;

  • 12 wonton skins
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter and oil combined in equal portions
  • 12 prawns, de-shelled and veined
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped coriander
  • 1/4 cup of finely choped ginger
  • 1/4 finely diced onions
  • 2 Tbps of sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 Tbsp of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of freh soya beans (you can buy them frozen and then steam/ boil them)
  • 1/2 sweet potato chopped
  • 1 chopped potato

Method;

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C or 350F.
  2. Drizzle the oil into a pot and sweat the onions till they are translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and coriander and sautee for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, sugar, salt and canned tomato and bring to boil. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes and place on the low heat to keep warm.
  3. While the sauce s cooking, cook and mash the potatoes.
  4. With a pastry brush, brush the butter and oil over both sides of the wonton skins and place on a roasting rack. Repeat this process till you have glazed allof the wonton skins and placein the oven for 3 miutes, or till you can see the skins puff up like a con chip.
  5. While the wonton skins are cooking, sautee your prawns in a hot pan and season with salt and pepper to your taste.
  6. To serve, put the crispy skin wonton onto a plate, top with the mash potatoes, soya beans, the prawns and a spoonful of the delicious sauce.

 



Oven Bake Mackeral Parcels


 

It’s been a really good weekend with a fun hen’s night, followed by Natalia’s birthday one of Bell’s friends. Mary and Tim have this really awesome little outdoor room in their backyard overlooking the pool, and in the extreme 30C + weather, it was so refreshing to be able to sit back, have a catch up with our friends and just go  ”ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”. Before we went to Natalia’s though, my family were over to enjoy a nice little brunch.

Estimated Cooking Time – 40 minutes

Serves 6

Ingredients;

  • 10 mackeral fillets
  • 2 sweet potatoes cubed
  • 4 potatoes cubed
  • 400g of steamed green beans
  • 1 cup of scallion/spring onions
  • 1 tsp of butter
  • 1/2 cup of diced red peppers/capsicum
  • 1 cup of roasted peppers/capsicum (in a jar is perfectly fine)
  • 2 Tbsp of barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup of roughly chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 Tbsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 cup of semi sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 sardines finely mashed to a paste
  • 1 sprig of lemon thyme chopped
  • 1 Tbsp of cumin
  • 1/2 a fresh tomato
  • 2 Tbsp of mince garlic
  • 3 Tbsp of Olive oil
  • 1 tsp of pepper

Method;

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C or 350F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the macadamia nuts, semi sun-dried tomatoes, lemon thyme, sardines, 1 tsp of salt, honey and mix to form a paste/pesto.
  3. Layer the mackerel fillets out, scoop the pesto on and roll the mackerels into parcels. You can use butcher’s twine to hold it in place.
  4. In a food processor, combine the fresh and roasted capsicum, cumin, garlic, tomato and bbq sauce and whizz till it liquifies.
  5. Pour the 1/2 capsicum sauce into a roasting dish and spread evenly, add the mackerel parcels on top and then pour the remaining sauce on the fish.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil and pop in the oven. The fish should take about 25 – 30 minutes to cook, they will be ready when the fish becomes tender.
  7. While the fish is in the oven, boil your potato and sweet potatoes. Once cooked, blend the potatoes with the milk, butter till you get a smooth paste. Add in the scallions/spring onions and mix well.
  8. Stem/Boil the green beans according to your preference, although I prefer my beans crunchy so 2 minutes in rapid boiling water should do the trick.
  9. To serve, layer the potato mash on a plate, top with the mackerel parcel, green beans and roasted capsicum sauce.


Seafood Tagine


You know you’ve been to a great party when your 4 year old tells you that she had the best day of her life! We attended Josh’s Ben10 birthday party today and Bell’s wasn’t exaggerating when she said it was the best. Clive and Ali (Josh’s parents) planned everything to the very detail, from the gift bags to the scrumptious cake. We were in Ben10 wonderland and all had a blast. After the party, Bells just crashed and hubby and I decided to have a light seafood meal to finish of what Bella considered was a great day! 

Estimated Cooking Time – 45 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients;

  • 1 small red snapper cut into 4
  • 200g of mussels
  • 200 g of peeled prawns
  • 4 baby octopus
  • 250g of grilled capsicum
  • 2 stalks of chopped celery
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbps of ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp of ground coriander
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 cup of chopped coriander/cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1/2 cup of green lentils
  • 3 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 Tbps of sugar
  • 1Tbsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1/2 cup of chopped mint for garnish

Method;

  1. Pre-soak the lentils for 1 hour before cooking.
  2. Ina rice cooker, add the pre-soaked lentils, rice and water. This will make your lentil rice. If you didn’t have a rice cooker, you could simply put it into a pot, bring to boil and simmer till the rice and lentils become tender.
  3. In a bowl, add the chopped garlic, coriander, lemon juice and oil and whisk well. Add the seafood and marinade for 1 hour.
  4. In a food processor, combine the chopped celery, grilled capsicum, tomatoes, chilli, cumin and ground coriander and blend till a smooth consistency. This is the sauce of your tagine.
  5. In a pot, drizzle some oil and sweat the onions till they become translucent. Add the tagine sauce and bring to a slow simmer for 5 minutes, or till you can see the liquid form a loose paste.Add the sugar, salt and grounded pepper.
  6. Add the prawns, fish, octopus. Cover with the lid and cook on simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Add the mussels, cover the lid and cook again for another 5 minutes. When the flesh of the fish changes color from transparent grey to a dense white.
  8. To serve, scoop the lentil rice on the plate, pour over the seafood and garnish with freshly chopped mint.


Garlic Prawns with Gazpacho Soup


With four days apart from one another, my adorable in-laws have always shared birthday celebrations on the same day. Traditionally, we would take mum and dad out for dinner, followed by cake and pressies with the kids. This year however, mum wanted to have a nice night in and as she rightly put it … “hey dad is four days behind, he should have his own celebrations” hehheheh.

Estimated Cooking Time – 30 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients;

Gazpacho Soup

  • 1/2 cup of skinless cubed cucumber
  • 1/2 cup of de-seeded and cubed tomato
  • 1/2 cup of cubed capsicum/red peppers
  • 1/2 cup of cubed honeydew
  • 1/2 cup of chopped parsley
  • 4 sprigs of lemon thyme
  • 6 cloves of freshly minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp of Masterfoods Mexican Chilli Powder ( If you couldn’t get this then 1 tsp of each of the following;cumin, paprika, pepper and oregano)
  • 2 Tbps of Tabasco
  • 1 Tbsp of salt
  • 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbsp of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of Olive oil
  • Cucumber Salsa (1/2 cup of finely cubed cucumber and 2 Tbps of chopped parsley)

Garlic Prawns

  • 12 – 20 peeled prawns marinade
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp of dry white wine
  • 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic

Method;

  1. In a bowl,  combine the prawns, garlic, oil and wine. Mix well and allow to marinade while you make the soup.
  2. With the exception of the stock, combine all the soup ingredients together in a food processor and whizz till you get a fine velvety consistency. Traditional Gazpacho will have bread in it, however as I’m serving this with a dense sourdough bread, the bread has been omitted. If you wanted a thicker consistency, you could add 1 cup of cubed bread. 
  3. Pour the stock into a pan and bring to boil. Add the processed soup and whisk well for a minute on the high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer a continue to cook the soup for another 10 minutes.
  4. Bring a fry pan to high heat and pop the prawns in. Toss around the pan and saute for about 3-5 minutes depending on the size of the prawns. The prawns are cooked when they curl up and the colour of the prawns becomes bright orange.
  5. To serve, ladle some some soup into a bowl, top with the garlic prawns and cucumber salsa. I like to serve this with a dense crusty bread, either a sour dough or a Ciabatta would be ideal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Stuffed Squid with Lemon Thyme


I’ve been dreading this day for alittle while now… today is my daughter’s 4 years immunisation day. The final two shots she gets before she heads off to school and as the nurse eloquently put it… “this will protect you from the other children’s nasty germs” heheheh. The older they get, the harder it becomes because unlike the previous ones, she knows exactly what’s coming. After alot of tears, wallowing and pain, my little Bella got toasted marshmallows and I made stuffed squid to celebrate! The shots are a confirmation that my little toddler is now a little girl!

Estimated Cooking Time – 45 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients;

  • 1/2 cup or aborio rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 Tbps of butter
  • 1 Tbps of chopped lemon rind
  • 2 sprigs of lemon thyme
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 squid tubes
  • 1 can of tomato puree
  • 2 anchovy fillets finely diced
  • 1 tps of sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of Olive oil
  • sprig of oregano
  • 1/4 cup of chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley

Method;

Preheat the oven to 180C or 350F.

The Tomato Sauce

  1. Bring a pan up to high heat, add some olive oil, the minced garlic, anchovies and stit fry for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the tomato puree and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sugar and herbs and turn off the heat. Cover the pan with a lid to keep the sauce warm.

The Squid

  1. In a bowl, add the the crushed garlic, rice, olive oil, sprigs of lemon thyme and water and mix well.
  2. Put the rice mixture into the microwave and cook for 10-15 minutes depending on the strength of your microwave. Take the rice out and and stir at every 4- 5 minute intervals. The rice is cooked when it goes from hard to a fluffy and soft texture.
  3. Remove the crushed garlic and lemon thyme sprigs and fold in the butter.
  4. Fill the squid tube with the rice mixture and grill in the oven for 5- 10 minutes. The squid is ready when the flesh stiffens up and is no longer soft and plyable.
  5. To serve, reheat the tomato sauce and pour into a pasta dish before topping it with the stuffed squid.