Tag Archives: recipe

Gently Spiced Prawn and Bacon Skewers for the Barbie

Absolutely delicious and a great pairing – I would never have thought to put these two together. The gentle spicing adds to the natural flavour of the prawns, rather than detracting from them and I have to say, every time I do these, they go down a storm! Hot favourite for this year’s long and sultry barbecue season!

Makes 30

What you need…

Bamboo skewers

30 raw king prawns

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, ground

4 big, fat cloves of garlic, chopped

15 rashers of streaky bacon, cut in half

Lime slices, to serve (optional – I have forgotten them mostly!)

What to do…

Tip the prawns into a bowl with everything except the bacon and lime slices, mix all together, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours to allow the flavours to develop.

Just before cooking, wrap each prawn in half a piece of streaky bacon and thread onto your bamboo skewers. It’s up to you how many you put on each skewer depending on how many people you are feeding, how many prawns you want them to enjoy and whether they are sharing skewers or individual ones!

Pass prawn skewers over to husband who is manning the barbecue, sit back and sip wine whilst he cooks them to perfection, 4-5 minutes on each side.

Serve with salad, new potatoes, garlic bread and loads of other good barbecued fish and meats for a proper al fresco summer feast – yum!!!!

Inspired by…

Rachel Allen

How easy…

I prep a couple of hours in advance. John fires up the barbie. What could be easier?!

Spiced Poached Pears

I know that you normally see recipes for these around Christmas time, but why wait? We’ve had them both with Stilton (again, why wait until December to indulge in this most sublime of cheeses) and also with cinnamon ice-cream (recipe already blogged). In both cases, the combination was eye-rollingly, tastebud-partyingly good!!!!! Give them a try – spectacular – and yes, very easy and can be made ahead – my kinda recipe!

Serves 6

What you need…

300ml ‘robust’ red wine (I used Chianti)

300ml water

110g caster sugar

1.5cm cinnamon stick

3 cloves

Juice and finely grated zest of 1 orange

6 firm (but not rock-hard) pears

What to do…

Tip all the ingredients except the pears into a large saucepan and place over a moderate heat, occasionally stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Meanwhile, peel the pears, leaving the stalks on and place upright in the pan – they should fit snuggly.

Pop the lid on the pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes, spooning the red wine syrup over the pears a couple of times.

Remove from the heat and discard the cinnamon and cloves. Spoon the syrup once more over the pears and then pop into the fridge overnight.

When you’re ready to indulge, remove the pears from the syrup and cut a thin slice off the bottom to ensure they will stand upright on the serving plates. Serve each pear with some spicy syrup drizzled over: del-ic-ious!!!!

Tip…

I thought afterwards that the orange zest was particularly unattractive so I would in future sieve the syrup before serving.

Poached Pears with Stilton w

Inspired by…

Rachel Allen

How easy…

Really easy!

Teriyaki Marinade (for Barbecued Salmon)

We eat a lot of salmon, so I’m always looking for recipes that enhance its natural flavours and in this one I’ve certainly found it! Delightfully simple and utterly delicious, this sweet soy sauce marinade transports salmon into a barbecued treat.

Serves 4

What you need…

4 chunky salmon steaks (skin on)

75ml dark soy sauce

50g caster sugar

25ml mirin

½ teaspoon salt

What to do…

In a small saucepan, heat all of the ingredients except the salmon gently and until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool. Pop your salmon steaks into a shallow dish and pour over the marinade. Pop into the fridge for 2 hours.

Hand over the marinating fish to he who is barbecuing with instructions to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, whilst continually brushing with the delicious marinade.

Pour yourself a glass of wine and marvel at the team effort!

Inspired by…

Rachel Allen

How easy…

Spectacularly so!

 

No-Churn Cinnamon Ice Cream

Quite simply, one of my favourite ice creams, best served with poached pears, carmamelised apples or just on it’s own with a spoon, somewhere private!

What you need…

300ml double cream

4 large, happy eggs, separated

100g caster sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

What to do…

The day before you want to indulge in your ice cream, use an electric handheld whisk to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Rinse the whisks and then in a second bowl, whip the cream until thickened. Rinse whisks again and then in a third bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until thickened and creamy in colour. Add the cinnamon and whisk again to combine.

Use a balloon whisk to fold the cream into the eggs and sugar and then gently fold in the egg whites. Pour your ice cream into a plastic container with a lid and pop into your freezer overnight. Et voilà – it’s done!

Tip…

The ice cream needs to come out of the freezer about 15 minutes before you want to indulge – it takes that long to be soft enough to serve

Inspired by…

Rachel Allen

How easy…

Dead easy and make ahead – always gets a tick in the box from me!

Gin and Tonic Ice Lollies

Perfect for a hot summer’s day, these lollies are a doddle to make, lovely and refreshing and you can really taste the gin. Have a feeling we might be taking this base recipe and experimenting with different local gin and alternative tonic combos…there are worse projects!

Makes 10

What you need…

450ml tonic water

75ml gin

Juice of 1 lime

100ml elderflower cordial

A few thin slices of cucumber and mint leaves

What to do…

Tip the tonic, gin, lime juice and cordial into a jug, give it a quick stir and pour into 10 ice lolly moulds. Drop in cucumber and mint, pop in the lolly sticks (and lids) and freeze overnight. That’s it – cheers!

Inspired by…

Good Housekeeping

How easy…

It couldn’t be any easier, could it?!

 

 

 

Char Sui Marinade for Barbecued Chicken

I have a fabulous chicken marinade (already blogged) that is a firm favourite with everyone who’s tried it but we barbecue A LOT and so sometimes we fancy a change. I found the original of this little number in one of Rachel Allen’s cookbooks and it’s gorgeous – a marinade that lightly infuses the chicken with light, sweet, gently oriental flavours – a truly delightful alternative!

What you need…

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoons light soft brown sugar

2 tablespoons root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons maple syrup

50ml light soy sauce

50ml rice wine/dry sherry

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons rapeseed oil

4 – 6 plump chicken breasts

What to do…

Chuck the lot in a bowl and stir together. Wodge the chicken in and pop in the fridge for the flavours to develop for between 2 and 12 hours.

Inspired by…

Rachel Allen

How easy…

I love barbecue marinades – a bit of mixing, abandon to the fridge and pass to John to barbie! Gotta love summer!

No-Churn Cinnamon Ice Cream and Caramelised Apples

What a marriage made in heaven these two are – hot sweet, boozy apple with simply gorgeous cinnamon ice cream which, whilst being simple, has a lovely, deep flavour. In combination…you’ll just reach for more! Oh, and one more thing: it’s dead easy!

What you need…

for the ice cream

300ml double cream

4 large, happy eggs, separated

100g caster sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

for the apples

25g unsalted butter

25g caster sugar

2 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into thick wedges

1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped

50ml brandy

What to do…

The day before you want to indulge in your ice cream, use an electric handheld whisk to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Rinse the whisks and then in a second bowl, whip the cream until thickened. Rinse whisks again and then in a third bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until thickened and creamy in colour. Add the cinnamon and whisk again to combine.

Use a balloon whisk to fold the cream into the eggs and sugar and then gently fold in the egg whites. Pour your ice cream into a plastic container with a lid and pop into your freezer overnight. Et voilà – it’s done!

When your ready to indulge in this lovely pud, take the ice cream out of the freezer to soften a little (takes 10 – 15 minutes). Meanwhile, turn to the apples:

melt the butter and sugar in a pan, then add the apples, vanilla seeds and pod. Cook, turning regularly for 15 minutes, until tender and carmamelised (the smell is AMAZING). Pour in the brandy and bubble until smooth.

Serve your hot, sweet, naughty apple wedges with absolutely delicious cinnamon ice cream – wow oh wow oh wow!!!!!!

Tip…

The cinnamon ice cream is also truly amazing served with wine-poached pears!

Inspired by…

The initial idea was from Delicious magazine, but I swapped pears for apples and created a Rachel Allen ice cream alternative.

 

How easy…

 

The ice cream is unbelievably easy to make and has to be made in advance (tick in box). The caramelised apples are simple too and a joy to make – the caramelising cooking smell is heavenly and increases the anticipation of this terrific pud!

 

 

Favourite Chocolate Cake

So, almost as enthusiastic about cooking and food as her mother, Maddie was asked if there was anything that she would like me to cook on her return from uni. Given that I know how much time she spends trawling the blog and whinging that she’s not here to try it all, I was rather surprised that her instant and first response was….chocolate cake!!!! Anyway, here it is – slightly out of focus (we need to practice your camera skills, Madz) and with a rather manic looking version of me. This is our favourite recipe for chocolate cake and it disappears in a flash!!!!

What you need…

For the sponges, use the ingredients shown for the 365 Chocolate Celebration Cake recipe

For the chocolate buttercream filling and frosting, use double those shown in the 365 Chocolate Celebration Cake recipe

Pre-made chocolate decorations

What to do…

Follow the 365 recipe but slice the two sponges in half horizontally, creating four sponge tiers and use the increased gorgeous buttercream to sandwich all four together and spread all over the sides and top.

Decorate with pre-made chocolate decorations of your choice.

Inspired by…

My first blogged recipe: 365 Chocolate Celebration Cake

How easy…

Really easy and relaxing to make

 

 

Pomegranate, Tarragon and Maple Syrup Salad Dressing with Prawns

Creating unusual salads to accompany our many summer barbecues is something that I love to do and we have a long and varied list from which to choose from, most of which promise to convert even the hardened anti-saladist!!!! This one is fast becoming the favourite for this season – piquant, zesty, fresh and abundant in contrasting but complementary summer flavours – scrumptious!

What you need…

for the dressing

1 shallot, chopped finely

½ tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped finely

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ tablespoon pomegranate molasses (or balsamic for a slightly smoother taste)

5 tablespoons olive oil

5 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

1 tablespoon maple syrup

for the salad

225g cooked prawns

A generous handful of fresh coriander, chopped roughly

A small handful of mint, chopped finely

Your favourite leaves, torn (I used sorrel, rocket, and baby gem)

What to do…

Tip all of the dressing ingredients into your favourite salad bowl and use a fork to evenly mix together. Add the prawns and stir through. Pile the leaves on top and then cover with cling film and store in a cool place until ready to eat (I normally do this up to 2 hours in advance).

When ready to eat, toss the salad together so that all the leaves are covered with the dressing. Serve, ideally in the garden, as an aside to a barbie with good friends. Cheers!

Tip…

This would also work brilliantly with cold, sliced leftover duck or barbecued chicken instead of the prawns

Inspired by…

I saw a recipe in a magazine (can’t remember which) but didn’t have half the ingredients so ended up making this one up!

How easy…

Dead easy – just a case of chucking the ingredients in a bowl, mixing and enjoying.

Provençal Marinade (for barbecued lamb)

We use this marinade for lamb neck and it transforms a fairly uninspiring cut of meat into something that is absolutely luscious

What you need…

2 sprigs of thyme

2 sprigs of rosemary

2 bay leaves

4 garlic cloves, chopped

10 whole black peppercorns

150ml olive oil

50ml red wine vinegar

2 cuts of lamb neck

What to do…

Put all the ingredients except the vinegar and lamb into a small saucepan and over a moderate heat. Cook until the olive oil just comes to a simmer and than remove from the heat.

Add the vinegar and allow to cool.

Place the lamb neck into a shallow dish and pour over the marinade. Cover and pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight. – barbie-ready!

Inspired by…

Rachel Allen

How easy…

I don’t need to answer that – very little effort for a great deal of taste!