King prawn, chick pea and tomato salad

 

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This salad is a pretty decent all rounder in my opinion. It has a wonderful combination of flavours and textures, is high in protein and is really filling. Plus the chick peas and bulgar wheat are both cheap ingredients that bulk the salad up meaning that is can be shared among a larger crowd. Perfect for lazy Saturday lunches or a weeknight dinner with your friends.

To make this salad you will need:

About 10 large uncookedย  king prawns (or 1 pack of fresh or 1/2 pack frozen)

200g bulgar wheat

Chicken stock

2 large handfuls cherry tomatoes

1 can chick peas (drained)

Sea salt

Lemon juice

Olive oil

Garlic

1 large handful fresh coriander (cilantro)

1 red chilli

 

Cook the bulgar wheat following the instructions on the pack (but using your chicken stock). Butterfly your prawns for even cooking. Slice your chilli and peel and rush your garlic and fry or grill alongside the prawns. Slice your tomatoes or if they are smaller halve them. Combine all of the above ingredients in a large bowl with your drained can of chick peas. Add your salt, olive oil and lemon juice to taste. Chop our fresh coriander and use this to top your salad.

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I took a leftover portion of this to work for m lunch and Miss S looked at it with much interest as she loves seafood in general.

La Oliva – Harrogate

Living with a Spaniard has its perks. For one thing I don’t think I’ve ever eaten such wonderful chorizo in my life and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten such beautiful guacamole (she’s also half Mexican). However, knowing where to go for delicious tapas is certainly up there with other reasons why I adore living with A.

Now, it is with deep regret that I write that A was actually in Spain when I organised a girls trip to La Oliva in Harrogate. However, a night of gossiping, trying different dishes and most importantly for a Friday night, drinking wine.

La Oliva is a pretty new kid on the block when it comes to restaurants in Harrogate, only being a month old. However, the food, staff and restaurant atmosphere were all lovely. Considering there were 10 of us dining we were all really well looked after and the dining atmosphere was very relaxed as tapas should be.

Anyway, here is an assortment of pictures I took on the night:

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My bouche it was amused
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Jamon, hurry up
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Bravo patatas bravas
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Don’t clam up on me now baby!
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You’re my lobster

Now on the whole I found the food to be excellent. I wasn’t struck on the lobster ravioli sauce but the wonderful pigs cheeks more than made up for this. My favourite has to have been the Iberian ham, I could have just sat eating ham all night to be honest. Now as a greedy omnivore I found plenty of things on the menu I was dying to try, however as the menu is particularly Spanish, if you aren’t big on red meat and fish (or follow a vegetarian diet) you might struggle to find something on the menu that you fancy.

The staff are all really knowledgable about their food and wine and recommended us some lovely things.

La Oliva is really well worth a visit, especially if you’re in a bigger group. Tapas is always more fun with a larger number.

Definitely book before coming here at the weekend. I have a feeling this restaurant is going to become popular. Find out more on their website.

Griddled prawns

Everyone has to have a few recipes up their sleeve that looks super impressive but takes less than 5 minutes to cook. This is one of those recipes. It can be easily scaled up depending on the number of people, and works as a simple starter or as a light meal.

Griddling is a wonderful cooking technique in that is adds a wonderful charred flavour to any food and you don’t need much oil to cook in a griddle pan. This recipe can be done with prawns that have already been shelled if picking away prawn shells doesn’t sound too appealing.

To make this you will need:

Your desired number of raw prawns

Fry light or similar

1 large clove of garlic

A chilli

A griddle pan

Half a lemon

 

Put your griddle pan on a high heat. Spritz with your oil or fry light. Crush over your garlic clove and slice over the chilli and heat until both are fragrant.

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Place your prawns in the pan and grill until both sides are pink and slightly charred. Drizzle over some lemon juice mid way through cooking.

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Serve with whatever you fancy.

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Sometimes simple and effective is all you need.

Drum and Monkey, Harrogate

I was lucky enough to be treated to a meal at Drum and Monkey, Harrogate when my family were visiting earlier in the month. I absolutely adored Drum and Monkey last time I visited and I was excited to visit the place again. Drum and Monkey is a popular seafood restaurant in the Montpellier Quarter of Harrogate. The interior and exterior of the place remind me very much of traditional restaurants like you’d see in films and I really hope it doesn’t change under new ownership (part of the enjoyment I get from eating in lovely restaurants is taking in my surroundings).

When we visited it was at the start of the heatwave and I had spent the day at the Yorkshire Show in the heat so I wanted to keep my meal light. I basically just photographed my own meal as I didn’t want everybody’s food to get cold!

To start with I had queen scallops with garlic butter and Gruyรจre. This was absolutely fabulous. The scallops were perfectly tender and the cheese and garlic butter flavours complimented the scallops perfectly. I could have eaten a small mountain of this!

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To follow I had a cold seafood platter which included tuna, langoustines, razor clams, smoked salmon, crab claws and lots and lots of different types of prawns. This was amazingly fresh and light. My dad had the same thing as me and he remarked that it was the first time he’d had a razor clam that wasn’t chewy. I agree that everything was perfectly cooked. I also was pleasantly surprised at how much crab meat you can get from one claw! This was such a perfect summer dish, so light and refreshing.

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If you’re visiting Harrogate and want a seafood restaurant to visit, or you live in Harrogate and want to go somewhere special for a meal, you can’t go wrong with Drum and Monkey.

The Drum and Monkey website is currently under construction but you can also visit their Facebook page.

Viet Village, Bury

Last Summer, my friends RC, M1ke and Mr Dave took a trip to Vietnam to visit our friend CC. CC has been living and teaching in Vietnam for a good couple of years (apart from the few months doing his PGCE). He’s a music teacher and also a pretty epic pianist. Anyway, back to the grub. Travelling around Vietnam really gave RC, M1ke and Mr Dave an education in Vietnamese cuisine, starting with a bowl of pho every morning for breakfast.

Last week RC invited us all to Viet Village, a Vietnamese restaurant it Bury that has received some great reviews from people who have visited. I personally loved all of the dishes I tried, especially the pho which was comfort food at its best.

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My beloved Sriracha hot sauce
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Makes the happiest looking prawn cracker
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I also messed around with some hoisin sauce with a goose on it
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This looks strangely like a cartoon ghost

To start with Miss B and I shared Summer rolls and Spring rolls. The Spring rolls were delicious, not too oily which they can be. I loved the Summer rolls, they were deliciously fresh and looked so pretty.

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Summer rolls

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I followed this with seafood pho. This was really really lovely. It was light and tasty and filling without feeling weighed down with too much food.

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Pho is souper….

Here is a selection of some other photos I took of other people’s dinners…..

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Food stalking doesn’t always work…
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Yum
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The beef in this looks superb
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Whisky beef. Oh so tender

As official designated driver I finished off my meal with some iced coffee.

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A wonderful and very reasonably priced meal. If you live in or near to Bury, this restaurant is well worth a visit, My only regret about the whole night was not getting a picture of RC’s traditional Vietnamese outfit to show you all.

You can find out more about Viet Village here.

Lust Liquor and Burn – Manchester

J’s birthday was at the beginning of this month and I am finally getting around to writing about the restaurant we visited, Lust Liquor and Burn. Now, I heard great things about this place from various sources and when I suggested places J might like to eat I was secretly hoping he’d pick this place. Now, I have fairly limited experience of eating Mexican food out. I mean, Ive cooked it at home from this book and I love it and I’ve eaten a lot of Tex Mex food in various chain restaurants but I don’t really feel like I’ve eaten enough lovely Mexican food.

Anyway, here’s what we ate:

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Pint of shrimp and squid

This was lovely, the squid was perfectly cooked and the batter was delicious and crisp. Both of us are calamari lovers and this really hit the spot.

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I forget what this cocktail was called but it was based on the concept of Old Fashioned

This Old Fashioned was simply glorious. Really tasty and different. After drinking this we went to the cinema in a bit of a tipsy haze (or I know I did).

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I took two pictures of this….
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Look at this…the Baja beach board.

Now I adored the Baja beach board. It surpassed all my expectations and was simply excellent. I particularly loved the shredded beef tacos and crab and bacon tostada.

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Salted caramel brownie and ice cream

I really loved the richness of this brownie. I was a little bit disappointed though as I didn’t feel like the salted caramel was quite salty enough. Overall I really enjoyed it though.

7 - lust
Pineapple and coconut cheesecake and ice cream

This is apparently an updated version on the cheesecake that was already on the menu. J hoovered this up so I think that says it all.

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Here is just a picture of the menu we took…because I made J do it

Now I honestly do not want to recommend this restaurant to you. Really I don’t, I want to keep it a secret forever as its so lovely and I don’t want to have to wait to chow down on tacos. But alas, you really should give this restaurant a try. Lust Liquor and Burn has a great atmosphere and friendly, enthusiastic staff. They don’t take bookings so you may have to wait a while to get a table – J and I visited on a Sunday night (we were those annoying people who took Monday off so were fully able to enjoy ourselves) and we had a half hour wait. We didn’t mind given the quality of the food. The bar also does food and I was tempted to order tacos while I waited to be seated upstairs. What a greedy guts I am!

You can find out about Lust Liquor and Burn here.

Prawns baked in their shell with garlic and lemon

Prawns baked in their shell with garlic and lemon

I seem to have fallen into a pattern of making recipes that I would describe as looking impressive but really raking the bare minimum when it comes to effort in preparation. Now prawns cooking in their shell can be fiddly to eat, so it’s perhaps not a recipe for a first date, but cooking the prawns like this changes their flavour slightly and it looks really impressive.

To make the prawns you will need:

10-12 large prawns in their shell

1/2 a lemon

2 cloves garlic (I used smoked garlic but normal is perfectly fine)

Olive oil

Approx 20g butter

Parsley

(Serves 1 very hungry person as a main course or 2 as a starter)

Preheat the oven to 190ยฐC. Wash the prawns with cold water.

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Place the prawns in a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Crush the garlic and sprinkle in over the prawns.

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They look a bit weird I admit
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Mmm garlic

Squeeze the lemons over the prawns and then cut it into wedges and put in the roasting tray. Cut the butter into small pieces and put un the tray too.

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Lemons make me think of summer

Top with the parsley and cook the prawns for 15-20 minutes or until the prawns are all pink and opaque.

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Parsley time

My pictures of the cooked prawns in the tray turned out pretty blurry so I decided not to include them. I served my prawns with rye bread which I used to mop up the lemony butter from the roasting tray (not something to do in polite company).

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Don’t forget to serve your prawns with an extra plate so you can put discarded shells onto it. I hope you enjoy making these.