Chermoula prawns

Chermoula prawns

prawnsChermoula is a Moroccan herb paste, a bit like pesto that is fantastic with seafood. Use nice large prawns and serve with couscous for an authentic Moroccan dish. The most time consuming part of the recipe is shelling the prawns, the rest of the recipe take just a few minutes. This is a great recipe for a dinner party that you can partly prepare ahead of time and then it is just a matter of a few minutes in the kitchen to finish them off. (for 4 people)

What you need

1kg large prawns shelled and butterflied with tails still on
Olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine *(30ml)

Chermoula
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 clove garlic chopped
2 tablespoons lemon rind chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

The process

Add all of the chermoula ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend into a paste. Cover and p[lace in the fridge while you prepare the prawns.

Shell the prawns leaving the tails on(looks good). Slice each one down it’s back to butterfly and remove the vein, wash under water and place into a bowl.

Once you have done all of the prawns, add 1/2 of the chermoula, all of the the wine and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the prawns, cover tightly with clingwrap and shake the bowl to coat the prawns with the chermoula mixture. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to marinate. Overnight is best.

Before cooking, drain off all of the liquid from the prawns.

Heat a little olive oil in a  wok or heavy bottom pan on a medium to high heat. Stir fry the prawns until the edges begin to colour and they are firm but cooked. Add the other half of the chermoula with a little splash more of olive oil, toss to coat the prawns and serve immediatly.

For couscous, 1 and 1/2 cups chicken stock made with boiling water , 1 cup couscous. Combine and let soak for about 5 minutes until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Add a knob of soft butter and loosen with a fork.

Masala Prawns

Masala Prawns

masala-prawns

Masala prawns

This is another of the amazing recipes from the Kerala region that is just a perfect weekend lunch. The recipe called for an earthenware pot which I just happen to have and along with my cast iron casserole pot is a thing I could not live without. It also called for cocum which I did not have but I tell you it is a real winner just like it this. This is not a saucy curry so prepare plenty. (good for 4 people)

What you need

Ingredients 1

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 spring onions finely sliced
3 curry leaves

Ingredients 2

750g fresh prawns (peeled and deveined) use large prawns
100g fresh coconut grated
1 teaspoon crushed galic
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 small onion thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 curry leaves
175ml water

The process

in a small pot with a little oil on a high heat, add the mustard seeds and wait for them to start popping, then add the spring onions and curry leaves and fry until the curry leaves are cooked. Remove and set aside.

Add all of the ingredients in the “ingredients 2” section and combine them well with your hands in the pan or earthenware pot. Cook on a medium to high heat for about 15 minutes, stirring gently from time to time without the lid until the water has almost evaporated.

Add the contents of the small pot, mix gently and cook for a further 4 to 5 minutes.

Serve immediately

Calamari salad

Calamari salad

calamari-salad

Calamari salad

Calamari or squid salads are really light and take only 15 minutes to make. It is important not to overcook squid or it can become rubbery and not very appetizing. A quick turnin a hot pan is all it really needs and toped off with the really great thai style dressing will make this salad a firm favorite. (serves 4)

What you need

4 calamari steaks or about 400g of calamari rings
1 mango, sliced
4 spring onions
Mixed greens ( 1 packet of mixed salad leaves)
1 large red chili chopped (optional)

Dressing

3 teaspoons brown sugar
60 ml lemon or lime juice (4 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon fish sauce

The process

With a sharp knife lightly score the calamari steaks diagonally in both directions to create diamond shapes on the surface. Be careful not to cut through the steak.

Heat a frying pan to hot and add a little oil for frying. Quickly fry the calamri pieces tossing them until they curl up and are lightly browned. This should take no longer than 1 or 2 minutes. remove from the pan and cut into strips.

Place all of the dressing ingredients into a bowl and whisk furiously for a minute or so.

Place all of the salad ingredients including the mango, along with the sliced calamari into a large bowl. Pour over the dressing and toss around ensuring that the leaves and calamari are coated with the dressing.

Depending on your taste you can make double the amount of dressing and drizzle some over the top when served.

Add tomatoes, finely sliced cucumber or whatever takes your fancy.

Mussel and white fish soup

Mussel and white fish soup

Mussel soup

The first time I had this soup I just could not get enough of it and had to ply the creator with alcohol before she would release the recipe. It has a mild curry flavor and is another dish you will need a whole lot of bread for to mop up every last drop in the plate. (good for 6 servings)

What you need

2 dozen mussels cleaned
500g of hake or any white fish
1 celery stick chopped
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 carrot chopped
Palm of chopped parsley
2 ripe tomatoes chopped
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 chicken stock cubes
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons curry powder (mild)
1 ½ liters water
1 heaped tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons flour
Salt
Pepper

The process

Cut the fish into larger than bite size pieces.

Add the water to a large pot, add the celery, onion and fish pieces, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and then simmer for 10 minutes.

Drain through a sieve into a bowl, you need the fish stock you have made and discard the vegetables and flake the fish, set aside.

Melt the butter in the pot, add the curry powder and the flour and stir until smooth. Add the tomato puree and add back the stock slowly, stirring constantly and bring to the boil.

Crumble in the chicken stock cubes and the chopped tomatoes and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.

Add back the flaked fishand the mussels and simmer for another 5 minutes or so, season with salt and pepper (if need be) and stir in the chopped parsley.

Serve with plenty of crusty bread.

This is really worth the effort folks. It’s light, really tasty and a full meal on it’s own.

Enjoy!

Tasty Greek prawn Meze

Tasty Greek prawn Meze

greek meze

Prawn meze

Every so often I ghalish for Greek food and I found this incredibly rich meze dish with prawns, feta and tomato that is quite incredible. This is a starter portion for 3-4 people but can easily be doubled or tripled for a main course.

What you need
300g peeled prawns
1 small onion finely chopped
Pinch of chili flakes
½ teaspoon minced garlic
1 small chopped tomato
Salt and pepper
Palm of chopped parsley
100g crumbled feta
Olive oil
The process

In a pan on a medium heat, add a little olive oil. Add the garlic and onions and cook until the onions are soft. Add the chili flakes, stir and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Add the chopped tomato and if need be (some tomatoes have a lot more liquid) about 2 tablespoons of liquid like chicken stock or wine and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the prawns and simmer for a further 2 minutes or so turning the praws until the flesh is white. Add the chopped parsley and stir.
Transfer to a small baking dish, crumble over the feta and place under the grill until the cheese has melted. Serve with warm crusty bread.
Try the Greek Lamb shanks recipe for your next Greek food adventure
Calamari on a stick

Calamari on a stick

calamari

Calamari kebabs

Calamari takes seconds to cook and you can do these on the braai or in a pan for a starter or as part of a tasty finger food feast. Calamari steaks are available at supermarkets in the frozen section or the fish counter. I have made a little batter with this version of 1/2 flour, 1/2 maizena, pinch salt and ice cold water that I deep fried for a change.

The recipe below is for the calamari without the batter so if you want to batter them up, just make a batter that is quite loose, remove from the marinade and then dip in the flour before popping into medium hot oil and they will come out just like the picture.
What you need

Calamari steaks
Oil
Lemon juice
Salt
Pepper
Then either red pepper, paprika, garlic powder, ground aniseed or thyme

The process

Soak the skewers in water while you prepare.

Lie the Calamari steaks on a board and score diagonally with a sharp knife.

Cut them into 4 to 5cm long strips and thread onto the skewers.

Place the skewers in a dish, 1 layer at a time and sprinkle on both sides with oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and whichever additional flavoring you have chosen(Paprika is my favorite).

Cover and leave in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

(If you are going to batter them, this is the time to batter and fry!)

Cook over coals or in a hot pan for 1-2 minutes on each side.

Very simple and Oh so delicious. Try some of the other Chinese and oriental recipes

Steamed ginger fish fillets

Steamed ginger fish fillets

chinese food

Chinese Ginger fish fillets

Steamed fish fillets with  ginger and a Soy dressing are really tasty and have a fantastic oriental flavor. They take just 15 minutes to prepare, is a healthy meal and you will swear you are in your local Chinese restaurant.

What you need

4 fish fillets (Hake, kingklip or any white fish)
5cm piece fresh grated ginger
2 spring onions finely sliced strips

Sauce

150ml light soy sauce
150ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons brown sugar

The process

Place the fish on a plate that will fit into your steamer. (If you don’t have a bamboo steamer go and get one! they are cheap and can be used for so many great recipes and of course steaming vegetables is far better than boiling)

Top the fish fillets with the grated ginger and spring onions, place in the steamer that is simmering fast and allow to steam for 8-10 minutes.

While the fish is steaming, add all of the sauce ingredients to a small pot and bring to the boil. Immediately remove from the heat.

Once the fish is cooked, place each piece onto a plate with the ginger and spring onions still on top and spoon over a generous amount of the sauce.

Simple as that, serve with rice in a separate bowl or some stir fried vegetables for a healthy and tasty meal.

Take a look at some of the other Asian and Chinese recipes

Snoek marinade

Snoek marinade

snoek braai

This is a really great narinade for Snoek but can be used on any game fish like yellowtail. It gives a sweetness that really really comes out beautifully when baked on a braai or in the oven. the quantities here are for a 1.2-1.5kg whole fish.

What you need

100g melted butter
150ml lemon juice
25ml worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons smooth apricot jam
2 tablespoons granular mustard

The process

Melt the butter first and then add all of the rest of the ingredients, give it a good stir and remove fromthe heat.

Place your fish in tinfoil and cover with the marinade. Allow to marinade for about 30 minutes before placing in the oven at 200 Celsius or on the braai.

After 20minutes check to see if it is done by flaking some of the meat aside and if translucent it is done. Baste the fish with the hot marinade and grill for a further 2 minutes to caramelise the top before serving.

Salmon with honey and soy marinade

Salmon with honey and soy marinade

marinated salmon

Honey glazed salmon

Salmon has become my fish of choice. I love the creamy texture and it lends itself to being marinated so well. This honey and soy sauce marinade has got to be the best flavor for salmon. If you are dieting or just feel like you want a healthier diet in general then fish recipes should be way up on your agenda.
What you need

4 salmon fillets (about 200g each)

Marinade

2 spring onions finely chopped
100ml light soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
splash of boiling water
2-3cm piece of finely grated ginger

Sesame seeds to sprinkle on top

The process

Dissolve the honey in a little boiling water and then Combine all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and whisk to infuse all of the flavors.

Place the salmon fillets in a flat dish and pour over the marinade and set aside for 20-30 minutes. You can also place them in a plastic ziploc bag, pour in the marinade and leave for about 20minutes.

Place the fillets on a baking tray lined with tin foil in the oven at 200 Celsius for about 10 minutes or until slightly undercooked. Then drizzle over the rest of the marinade and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Remove and serve immediately with some lightly stir fried vegetables and sprinkle with a few sesame seeds.

A word of warning. You must line the baking tray or it will blacken.

If you are not dieting, serve it with Eton mess… you will not be sorry.

spaghetti with marinara shrimp sauce

spaghetti with marinara shrimp sauce

shrimp marinara

Here is another really exciting dish that can be made with the traditional marinara sauce. You can really go to town here with the flavors. Add more herbs, a little chili or other types of fish or shellfish to make a real seafood treat.

For 4 people you need

300g frozen shrimp or prawns that have been thawed.

2 cups marinara sauce

Depending on how saucy you like your pasta add a little more or a little less. The basic marinara sauce freezes very well so pasta dishes like this can be whipped up in an instant.

The process

Cook your spaghetti or your favorite pasta to al dente, drain and toss in a little olive oil.

Decide wether you are going to use the sauce as is or want to add additional flavors.

If you want ita little hot and garlicy add a little oil to the pan and fry 1 extra clove of garlic and 1 chopped dried chili for about 1 or 2 minutes before adding the marinara sauce to heat up.

Once the sauce is hot simply toss in the shrimp and  allow to simmer for about 5 minutes  or until the shrimp are firm and cooked through.

Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to coat with the sauce.

Serve immediately with some chopped parsley and a few shavings of parmesan.