Fishy barbeque – prawn and chorizo skewers and mussel and sole parcels

Now, we all know that the British summer frequently fails to live up to expectations and we all plan barbeques that get rained off when the day comes. Well I am a fan of an impromptu barbeque for this very reason. Last Saturday we were treated to some glorious sunshine so J and I decided to try barbequeing fish. I’m really glad we did as everything turned out splendidly. The Prawns were particularly lovely, they had an amazing smokey flavour. I personally thought J and my trek to 3 different supermarkets in search of ingredients was well worth it; I wholeheartedly admit that I am an awkward person for making him scour the shops with me.

When preparing the barbeque J and I ended up being the stereotypical couple. I prepared the food, he made fire. However, this was definitely for the best as I am one of the most accident prone people ever and I wouldn’t have fancied the laughs that would have followed if I had appeared at work on the tuesday with singed eyebrows.

To make the prawn and chorizo skewers you will need:

2 packs fresh raw peeled king prawns

1 chorizo ring

2 peppers (any colour)

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

A good splash of Worcestershire sauce (or equivalent)

(Makes 4, frankly massive, skewers)

To make the mussel and sole parcels you will need:

1kg live mussels

2 sole (or any other flat white fish)

Fresh parsley

Approx 100g garlic butter (I actually made my own by mashing together 2 cloves of garlic and salted butter)

(Makes 2 large parcels)

For the prawn skewers

Put the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and sesame oil in a Tupperware container. Butterfly the prawns, put into the container with the lid on, shake the container and leave to marinade in the fridge for a few minutes.

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Prawns don’t take long to marinade at all

While the prawns were marinating slice your chorizo and cut the peppers up into bite sized pieces.

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I must admit, we nibbled on these during food preparation

Thread the prawns, chorizo and peppers onto the skewers. We used 4 long metal skewers but you could use bamboo skewers and make more (just remember to soak the bamboo skewers in water so they don’t burn during cooking)

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Cook on the barbeque until the peppers skins go slightly black and the prawns become opaque on both sides.

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We served ours with a simple salad and some sourdough bread. Perfect.

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Possibly one of the nicest things you can make on a barbecue. Opinions?

To make the mussel and sole parcels

Place the sole on a good sized piece of foil – 1 piece of foil per fish.

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Wash and pick over the mussels like I described in my mussel post. Put half the remaining mussels on one piece of sole, half over the other.

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It smells like the sea in here now

Top each mussel parcel with the parsley and the garlic butter. Wrap the foil parcels up but not too tight.

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I want this again now!
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All wrapped and ready to go

To cook, remove the griddle lid from the barbeque and cook directly over the hot charcoal. Cook until the mussel shells open and the fish is opaque. You might want to check on it a couple of times to make sure you don’t overcook everything. Fish is disappointingly rubbery when overcooked.

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What’s cookin’ good lookin’?

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Enjoy with a cold glass of white wine, beer or lemonade.

Quick and easy prawn skewers

These bad boys are stupidly easy. I made them last week after the gym and the thing that took longest was waiting for the prawns to marinade, which took all of 20 minutes. You could marinade them in advance or cook them and serve them cold when you want to eat them. In addition they can be cooked on anything; I used my George Foreman grill but you could use a griddle, put them under a grill, use a frying pan or even barbecue them (if you’re British it will probably be a case of barbecuing in the rain!) They are wonderful served with salady things or you could serve with whatever you fancy really.

To make these you will need:

Raw king prawns (I cooked 9 for just me but I was pretty hungry so you could scale up accordingly)

Lemon juice – I used half a lemon

A Teaspoon of soy sauce

A tablespoon of chilli sauce (I used Sriracha)

Chilli and garlic flakes (not going to lie, I’d forgotten I’d added these until I saw the pictures)

Skewers (I used bamboo skewers)

A tupperware container

 

Butterfly the prawns (slice them down their back so they cook evenly). Add all the ingredients (not the skewers) to the tupperware container. Put the lid on the tupperware container.

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Give the tupperware container a vigorous shake and leave for 20 minutes.

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Thread the prawns onto the skewers.

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If you thread them through twice they won;t fly off the skewer at any time

Cook the prawns until their flesh goes pink and opaque. Keep an eye on the prawns as this doesn’t take long.

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Enjoy!

As a side, this post reminds me of the time I was eating some seafood tapas in a restaurant with friends. I made a prawn (cooked in its shell) wave at my friend and dance across the table. He went a bit green and it transpired that he wasn’t a great lover of seafood. So my warning is, do not try this trick with your fish hating friends. Its not quite as funny for them as it it for you!

Tuna steak with spicy soy sauce glaze

I love tuna steak. My work colleagues hear me say “you know what, I think I’m going to have tuna for tea” on pretty much a weekly basis. Tuna is a meaty fish and fish is really healthy as it’s a fantastic source of lean protein. This recipe is ridiculously quick and easy. Even if you think you can’t cook you can do this recipe.

I do apologise for the quality of the photos. They were taken on my phone (I cooked this after the gym and couldn’t quite muster up enough enthusiasm to run up two flights of stairs!

To make the tuna you will need:

1 tuna steak for every person you are feedingΒ  or 2 if they are smaller (I defrosted some frozen fish, you don’t have to buy fresh)

Black pepper

Soy sauce

Chilli sauce (I use Sriracha)

Runny honey (I prefer dark honey is savoury dishes)

Serve with whatever you fancy. I had mine with rice noodles and vegetables grilled on my George Foreman grill. If you’re pushed for time or just want to keep it really simple its nice with salad and crusty bread. I recommend cooking the other things before the tuna so you can make sure the fish doesn’t overcook.

Start by mixing the soy sauce, honey, black pepper and chilli sauce in a flat tupperware container and mix. Place the tuna in the container and leave for a few minutes then turn over, put the lid on the container and leave to marinate for as long as you like. The beauty of this recipe as it can be left for about 10 minutes and the fish has a fantastic flavour.

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Turn the hob onto the highest temperature. Add a small amount of oil and allow oil and pan to heat up. Put the tuna in the pan and cook on one side for a minute and then flip over and cook for another minute.

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Note – it is pretty much the opposite of fun trying to clean a non stick frying pan without scratching it!

Cook for a further 30 seconds on each side. A little longer if you don’t like your tuna rare, say 2 – 4 minutes.

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Serve.

Bon appetit!
Bon appetit!

Bask if the smug glow of someone who has managed to create a dish that is simultaneously quick, healthy and delicious.

 

Chicken and roast vegetable tray bake

I’ll admit it, I love a good casserole style meal; especially chicken casserole. Chicken casserole is something my maternal grandmother used to cook me when I was a little girl and even now I find it warming and delicious comfort food.Β  Now this particular recipe is adapted from something a friend suggested I make a few weeks ago. Basically I adapted it based on the ingredients in my food cupboard and fridge. The beauty of this recipe is that you can change and substitute ingredients based on your preferences and what you have in. Please bear with me, I made this dish a couple of weeks ago now and the details are a tiny bit hazy.

To make this recipe I used:

2 chicken breasts (you can use drumsticks or thighs but they will take a little longer to cook)

2 shallots

2 cloves garlic

Asda Cajun chicken seasoning

Sainsbury’s woodland honey

Light olive oil

Olive oil fry light

2 sweet potatoes

Just over half a pint of chicken stock

Yellow courgette (in hindsight this was very bitter and I’d prefer using green next time)

Smoked paprika

Ground chilli and garlic

A pinch of cumin

Chilli flakes

Mixed herbs

Sainsbury’s apple and boysenberry juice

A pack of cherry tomatoes on the vine

The morning (or night) before you want to cook this dish marinade the chicken in 2 teaspoons Cajun spice and a drizzle of oil and honey. Cover this and store at the fridge until you’re ready to cook everything.

Switch the oven on high.

Peel and chop the sweet potato and shallot, peel and crush the garlic and put into a medium sized roasting tray. Spray with the fry light and sprinkle over a few chilli flakes (don’t go mad unless you really like chilli, you can add them but you can’t remove them later on when your mouth is burning). Put in the oven for about 18 minutes.

Sweet potato, shallots and garlic

In this time chop your courgette. Prepare your stock and add 3 tablespoons of the apple and boysenberry juice (you can add any fruit juice with a tart flavour, or wine), add 1 and a half teaspoons of paprika, approx half a teaspoon of cumin, your herbs.

Remove your roasting tray from the oven and add the courgette, chicken and stock sauce. Place the cherry tomatoes on top with the vine still on, grind on the dried chilli and garlic.

“Pre-oven”

Now to be honest here, I forgot to time this recipe exactly but I think I cooked it at a medium to high temperature for 35 minutes. I checked the chicken was cooked by cutting a little section of it (presentation wasn’t vital as it was only me eating it for tea and for my lunch the next day.

Post cooking
Post cooking again, the tomatoes should be slightly blackened and the chicken should be brown

Now if I were to make this again I’d use a green courgette. I only picked the yellow one from the shop as it looked cool and I found it bitter. I’d probably add a different type of vegetable too to make it into three meals rather than two decent sized meals.

Bon appetit!

Kebabs and other Friday night treats

In my humble opinion sometimes there’s nothing better than marinated chicken. Its simple to do and extremely tasty. Tonight I made up a kebab recipe from the contents of my cupboard and it turned out pretty well.

Ingredients for the marinade to make 4 kebabs:

2 chicken breasts

a splash of soy sauce

1 dessert spoon of chilli sauce

a generous splash of Henderson’s Relish (you can use any Worcestershire style sauce but I am in Yorkshire so I am using the local sauce)

Dijon mustard
Making the chicken marinade is pretty much easy enough for a monkey to attempt to do it (although their opposable thumbs might make it difficult to use a sharp knife). Chop the chicken into fairly regular size pieces of approx 1 inch square. Put into a secure Tupperware container, add the other ingredients and shake the container. Put the chicken into the fridge and leave for a couple of hours.
Switch on your grill before assembling your kebabs so that it is nice and hot by the time everything is ready to cook.

I added cherry tomatoes and pepper to my kebabs. I just chopped up a whole pepper and put the tomatoes onto the skewer whole. I threaded the chicken and the veggies onto the skewer in alternate order so that the chicken remained succulent under the grill.

Then I put it under the grill like so:

Cook under the grill for approximately 7 minutes and then turn the kebabs over to cook for another 7 minutes. The chicken should have gone golden brown. Use a knife to cut to see if the chicken is cooked if you’re unsure.

While my chicken kebabs were cooking I cracked open the goodies I got to graze on along with my kebabs.

Stuffed vine leaves (more delicious than they look, trust me)

Italian antipasti

Spicy chicken pastries

I couldn’t resist trying one of these while I was cooking!

Here are the finished kebabs.

I kept two of these bad boys back for tomorrow lunchtime

So all in all a tasty and easy Friday night dinner. Who said cooking had to be difficult?

Why yes I do like lettuce!

I finished off my meal with some sweet treats from Hotel Chocolat.

Don’t worry, I didn’t eat it all, there’s still loads left!