I’m always on the look out for new and interesting starters so with my hubby away on business I thought I would try this one which I found in one of my old Taste magazines. There is a lot involved in making all the different components so probably not one for your average family get together but more for a flashy dinner party. It is quite spicy and I think it needs to be in order to cut through the richness of the coconut cream sauce. I did try one version with less curry paste but it was just too insipid. I have also tried using Thai sticky rice instead of the sushi rice but it was far too heavy and glutinous. I think a small portion of plain boiled rice would work just as well.
Amongst my collection of cookery books and magazines I have a large pile of folded up pieces of paper which I have collected over time. These are recipes which have been passed on to me, articles torn out of magazines, quick notes made from my favourite TV shows – you name it – I’ve got it. Every now and again I haul this treasure trove out of my cupboard and look through it for something to catch my eye. This time round it was a recipe for a Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake. When I read through the list of ingredients I just knew it had to be delicious and that it would be perfect for my ‘fancy’ dinner coming up soon. What is not to like about mascarpone cheese, double cream, chocolate, almonds, brandy and best of all – hot chocolate sauce over the top? I set to work with great anticipation. The smell was heavenly, the tasting of each process was divine. It was a messy process with loads of bowls and utensils but it didn’t bother me, the reward would be worth it. After an hour in the oven it looked perfect. I plated up a slice with some vanilla ice cream and the homemade chocolate sauce whilst patting myself on the back at how delicious it looked. I spent the next half an hour taking my photos trying not to tuck in too early. Finally the moment had arrived – tasting time. My first mouthful was a bit of a surprise – nothing much to taste. I tried another mouthful – it was worse than the first. The texture was nothing less than awful. It was like eating air but in a sandstorm – slightly grainy from the ground almonds. I called my 5 year old son to ask for his opinion. “Mmm – I don’t think we should take it on the picnic tomorrow” was his reply. What? How can something that looks this good not taste delicious and not even appeal to a 5 year old? With no further ado it was tossed in the bin and I spent the next half an hour tidying up the mess in my kitchen – very grudgingly I might add.
So sadly there is no recipe to go with this delicious looking dessert. It was a bad day at the office for me. Better luck next time.
“Help – I’m in trouble!!” This is what I said to my hubby this morning on a rare trip together into our local town. I had noticed a new bookshop had opened and it is one that I used to pop into frequently when I worked in London. It sells heavily discounted books including cook books. Now I used to be able to justify buying cook book upon cook book because I was earning a salary but now it is different. I’m supposed to be watching what I spend and to be honest I really don’t need any more cook books. Apart from the fact that I have absolutely no more space for books I must have at least one recipe for every conceivable kind of dish out there. BUT if you are an avid collector of cook books like me you will know how difficult it is to walk past a book without having a peek inside and then of course convincing yourself that you absolutely must have the book to add to your collection. My hubby didn’t say much at the time but I did notice that later in the day he was reading through the Property magazine so I am guessing he thinks it is probably cheaper to move house than to let me loose on a whole lot of new cookery books. He’s probably right!!
Anyway – back to cooking. This recipe for spicy crab and prawn fritters is from The Australian Women’s Weekly Best Food collection. They are so versatile – you can make them into larger patties and serve them as a main course or make them smaller and serve as a light starter or canapé. The addition of fresh lemon grass makes all the difference. It is not always easy to get in the shops here so when I do see it I make sure I get some just for these fritters. They do need some kind of dipping sauce – here I have used my own Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce – isn’t that colour gorgeous? They are definitely worth a try.
Dry and drain the prawns and crab meat as much as possible.
Blend or process the prawns, crab meat, curry paste, green onion, herbs and chilli with about half the egg until just combined. Every time I make these the consistency is different. It will depend how much water the prawns have absorbed. If the mixture is really too wet to form into patties I would add some fresh breadcrumbs but you really don’t want too much as it will detract from the taste of the fish.
Using your hands, shape into fritter shapes. The mixture can still be quite wet at this point.
Place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook fritters, in batches, until golden brown and cooked through.
There are so many good vanilla ice creams on the market but for pure indulgence there is nothing to beat a good homemade version.
If you are worried about making the custard – don’t be. If you end up with a lumpy mess then just take a whisk to it and beat the lumps out and nobody will be any the wiser.
If you are not sure what to make with the left over egg whites then freeze them in an ice cube tray for later. Just remember to label them once frozen or you could ruin your next lovely cocktail drink.
There is nothing light and airy about this butter cake. It is rich, dense and buttery giving it a beautiful moist texture. I can’t imagine them ever drying out but to be honest they are never around long enough to find out. I usually bake mine as small individual cakes so that I can freeze them but you could use a loaf tin or a normal cake tin. You would just need to increase the cooking time to about 55 – 60 minutes.
I was in two minds about whether to blog this recipe – not because it doesn’t taste good but because I couldn’t think how to make them look good in the pictures. For me this is the hardest part of blogging as I am neither a photographer nor a food stylist. Anyway – I decided that that wasn’t a good enough reason to not share this recipe – so here are my very unglamourous but tasty clementine and almond cakes.