Roasted shrimp with garlic and herb sauce

Mark Bittman’s recipes are terrific and often really light and simple. This one is so easy and tasty especially with great bread to mop up the sauce. You cannot put in too much garlic in this recipe.

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6 cloves garlic, peeled
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
6 scallions, trimmed and chopped
1 cup parsley, leaves and thin stems
2 pounds shrimp, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste
4 dried chilies or a few pinches of crushed red chili flakes, or to taste
⅓ cup stock (shrimp, fish or chicken) or white wine or water

Nutritional Information

Preparation

Heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine garlic and oil in a small food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Add scallions and parsley and pulse until mixture is minced. Toss with shrimp, salt, pepper and chilies.
Put shrimp in a large roasting pan. Add liquid and place pan in oven. Roast, stirring once, until mixture is bubbly and hot, and shrimp all pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve.

Indian shrimp with zucchini, cilantro and coriander

This is a mild spiced Indian dish that comes together in no time. It uses both fresh cilantro and ground coriander which are actually from the same plant.
For the very best flavor, grind your coriander seeds rather than use the pre-ground coriander.

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Serves 4

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium zucchini, scrubbed and cut into 1/2″ chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2lbs medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup canned coconut cream (unsweetened)
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
hot, cooked rice for serving

In a large (12 inch) nonstick skillet, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the zucchini, onion, ginger, jalapeno and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden, 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the ground coriander, turmeric and salt. Stir until the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp begins to turn opaque, about 1 minute.

Add the coconut cream and lemon juice and bring to the boil. Cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and serve immediately with the rice

Lemongrass prawns with Thai noodle salad

This is a very refreshing Asian-style salad, perfect for a hot day. We have a Kaffir lime tree (well worth having, if you cook a lot of Asian food) but if you can’t buy Kaffir lime leaves, then use some grated  lime rind instead. This is also a great do-ahead recipe if you’re entertaining.

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Serves 8

For Prawns and Noodles:

2 stalks lemongrass, white parts only (optional)
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 fresh Kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped (optional)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 lb tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
1 (8-oz) package bean thread (cellophane) noodles

For Dressing:

2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped ginger
2 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp red pepper flakes

For Garnish:

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro, plus sprigs
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
4 spring onions, chopped

Directions

For prawns and noodles: Peel outer layer of lemongrass. Cut into very fine crosswise slices and transfer to a large bowl.

In same bowl, combine lime juice, ginger, sesame oil, olive oil, garlic, lime leaf, salt, and pepper. Add prawns and toss to coat. Chill for 1 hour.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high, cook prawns for 2 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer to a plate.

Put noodles in a bowl; cover with boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Make dressing: In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients.

Add noodles and toss, then add prawns. Garnish with chopped cilantro, mint, spring onions, and cilantro sprigs.

Sauteed scallops with Thai scented pea puree

This is a terrific recipe from Nigella Lawson which is simple to make and the Thai scented pea puree really adds a terrific zing to the dish. It cuts the sweetness of the peas and is really tangy alongside the sweet scallops.

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Serves: 2

1 lb frozen petits pois
1 tbsp green Thai curry paste
⅓ cup creme fraiche
kosher salt (to taste)
2 tsp peanut oil (or other flavourless oil)
2 tsp butter
6 large scallops (preferably diver caught) (or 10-12 small ones)
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp chopped cilantro (or Thai basil)

Cook the peas in boiling, slightly salted water until tender, then drain and tip into a blender, adding 1 tablespoon curry paste and the crème fraîche. Season to taste with salt and perhaps add more curry paste, depending how strong it is.

Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan until foamy, then fry the scallops for about 2 minutes a side. If you are using big scallops, then it is sometimes easier to cut them in half across. When they are cooked, they will have just lost their raw look in the middle and be lusciously tender, while golden and almost caramelized on the outside.

Lift the scallops onto 2 warmed plates and then de-glaze the hot pan by squeezing in the lime juice. stir to mix well and pick up every scrap of flavour, then pour this over the scallops on each plate.

Dish up the pea purée alongside the scallops, and sprinkle with the chopped coriander or thai basil. Serve with another wedge of lime, if you feel like it.

Thai crab risotto with kaffir lime and lemon grass

For me, this is the ultimate dish, combining all my most favorite flavors. It is a little time consuming but SO well worth it. This recipe is from the wonderful British chef, James Martin.

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Serves 4

2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
10 oz Arborio rice
4 fl oz white wine
1 green chillies, finely chopped (The recipe says 2, but I’m a pussy!)
1 tsp Thai green curry paste (or more if you like a real kick)
1 thick stick of lemon grass, crushed and chopped into several pieces
2 Kaffir lime leaves, crushed and sliced finely
10 fl oz hot chicken stock
10 fl oz hot fish stock
2 tbsp Mascarpone cheese
About 1 oz flat leaf parsley and cilantro (fresh coriander) mixed and chopped together
1 lb white and dark crab meat, mixed
4 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup heavy cream
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few micro greens for garnish

Melt the butter i a deep frying pan and add the garlic and shallots. Fry for 1 minute.
Add the rice and then the wine.
Stir in the chopped green chilli, curry paste, crushed lemon grass and Kaffir lime leaves
Mix together the hot chicken stock and the hot fish stock. Add a ladle full of the stock to the rice and stir until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Continue adding the hot stock, a ladle at a time until all the stock has been absorbed. This should take about 13 to 15 minutes.
Once the rice is cooked,remove the lemongrass, add the Mascarpone cheese and the chopped herbs.
Add the crabmeat and the grated parmesan. Stir.
Add the cream and the lime juice and season well.
Spoon onto warmed plates and serve with extra parmesan, some sprinkled micro greens or a little chilli oil.

Spaghetti with caviar, scallions and chopped egg

Here is the perfect New Years Eve dinner!

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Serves 4

Coarse sea salt
4 large eggs
1lb spaghetti
5 tbsp butter
freshly ground black pepper
6 scallions, thinly sliced
8 tbsp Osetra Caviar, or more to taste

Fill a large pot with water, season generously with sea salt and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile, fill a small pan with water and bring to a boil. Add the eggs to a small pan and reduce the heat to an active simmer. Cook for 9 1/2 minutes. Drain. When the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel and finely chop. Set aside

When the large pot of water boils, add the spaghetti and cook until al dente.
Drain, reserving 1/2 cup liquid. Add the butter and a few tbsp of cooking water to the pot and place over medium high heat.
When melted and bubbling, add the spaghetti and toss to coat. Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper.

To serve, divide the spaghetti among four plates. Sprinkle the chopped egg and scallion on top. Spoon the caviar in the center.
Serve immediately; guests will mix the spaghetti as they eat

Bubbling cheese, crab, spinach and artichoke dip

All my favorite things rolled into a hot, gooey dip, great for dunking bread, crackers or tortilla chips

 

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1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup baby spinach,packed
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
chili sauce to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano,freshly grated
1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
1/2 cup good quality mature cheddar, freshly grated
1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
1 cup crabmeat, chopped
3 green onions, chopped

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the white wine and spinach and heat until the spinach wilts, about 1-2 minutes.
Process the spinach, cream cheese, sour cream, chili sauce, salt and pepper in a food processor until nice and mixed.
Mix everything, place the mixture into a baking dish bake in a preheated 350F oven until bubbling and golden brown on top, about 20-30 minutes.

Shrimp bisque

I adore shrimp bisque and this recipe is from Ina Garten. It’s creamy, with a great shrimp flavor, as you use the shells as added flavor. Serve with warm crusty bread.

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1lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined, but keep all the shells
4 cups seafood stock  (for US cooks, this brand is available in markets)

3 tbsp good olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white and green parts (3 leeks)
1 tbsp chopped garlic (3 cloves)
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half and half
1/3 cup tomato paste (puree)
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Place the shrimp shells and seafood stock in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock. add enough water to make 3 & 3/4 cups.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and cook them for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, or until the leeks are tender but not browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.
Add the cayenne pepper and shrimp and cook over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Cognac/brandy and cook for 1 minute more, then the sherry and cook for 3 minutes longer.
Transfer the shrimp and leeks to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until coarsely pureed.
In the same pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the half and half and cook, stirring with a whisk, until thickened, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the pureed shrimp, the stock, tomato paste, salt and pepper and heat gently until hot but not boiling.
Season, to taste, and serve hot

Crab, mango, basil and cilantro noodle salad

This is a recipe from the wonderful British food magazine called “Delicious”. This is so easy to throw together and no cooking other than boiling a kettle!

 

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Serves 4
8 oz ribbon rice noodles (Thai Taste is a good brand)
1 large very ripe mango
A large bunch fresh Thai basil or regular basil
A large bunch fresh cilantro (coriander)
4 oz fresh white crabmeat
4 tbsp salted peanuts
Dressing
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
Juice 1 lime, plus wedges to serve

Bring a kettle of water to the boil. Put the noodles in a large bowl ans cover with plenty of freshly boiling water. Leave for 20 minutes, stirring now and then. Drain, then rinse under warm water to remove the starch. Drain and set aside in the bowl.
For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl. Slice the “cheeks” off the mango, score the flesh into slim wedges, then scoop them out, discarding the skins.
Chop the herbs, setting aside a few whole leaves. Toss the chopped herbs through the noodles with the mango, crabmeat and dressing, then divide among the plates. Chop the peanuts, then scatter over the noodles with the reserved herbs.

Serve with lime wedges and sliced chile if you like.

 

 

 

Quick and easy spicy prawn soup

We love our soups and even eat them through the summer months, sometimes replacing main courses with them, if they are substantial enough.
This is a recipe from the wonderful BBC Good Food website, and I altered it a little to suit our taste buds. It is very light and full of flavor.

 

Spicy prawn soup
Serves 4
 
1 tbsp sunflower oil
10 oz bag crunchy stir-fry vegetables
6 scallions, chopped on the diagonal, green and white parts
6 oz shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
2 tbsp Thai green (or yellow) curry paste . You may want to start with 1 tbsp if you’re not too much into spicy food.
15 oz can reduced fat coconut milk
7 fl oz vegetable or fish stock
11 oz medium straight-to-wok noodles
8 oz bag large raw prawns, shelled and de-veined
A handful of roughly chopped cilantro

Heat a wok, add the oil then stir-fry the vegetables, scallions and mushrooms for 3 – 4 minutes.
Take them all out and set them aside, then tip the curry paste into the pan and fry gently for 1 minutes.
Pour in the coconut milk and stock. Bring to the boil, drop in the noodles and prawns, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes until the prawns are cooked through.
Stir in the vegetables, add the chopped cilantro and serve. Easy isn’t it?