Monthly Archives: July 2012

Prawns with Red Curry Cream

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.
 Prawns with Red Curry Cream
Prawns with Red Curry Cream

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Prawns with Red Curry Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 tblsp red curry paste
  • 125 ml coconut milk
  • 175 ml cream
  • 2 sticks lemongrass, crushed
  • 1 small knob fresh ginger, peeled & crushed
  • 16 medium tiger prawns
  • oil for frying
  • 200 g cooked sushi rice
  • Half a butternut, boiled and cubed
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 50 g peanuts, chopped finely
  • fresh baby leaves to garnish

Instructions

  1. To make the red curry cream, place a saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. Add the red curry paste and heat for a few seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add the coconut milk, cream, lemongrass and ginger and simmer for 15 mins until slightly reduced and full of flavour.
  4. To cook the prawns, place a pan over a high heat. Lightly toss the prawns in the oil before flash frying for 20 seconds on each side.
  5. Divide the rice and butternut between 4 plates and top with 4 prawns each.
  6. Scatter over the sesame seeds and peanuts before drizzling with the red curry cream.
  7. Top with the fresh baby leaves.
http://mygoldenpear.com/2012/07/31/prawns-with-red-curry-cream/

MY NOT SO GOOD CHOCOLATE MASCARPONE CHEESECAKE

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.

Written by : Angela Darroch

Spicy Crab and Prawn Fritters

“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!!

Spicy Crab and Prawn Fritters

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.

Spicy Crab and Prawn Fritters

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 large or 10 small patties

Spicy Crab and Prawn Fritters

Ingredients

  • 200g shelled, uncooked prawns (large)
  • 170g tinned crab meat, drained
  • ½ tblsp red curry paste
  • 1 green (salad) onion
  • 1 tblsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh lemon grass
  • 1 red chilli, seeded & chopped
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. Dry and drain the prawns and crab meat as much as possible.
  2. 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.
  3. Using your hands, shape into fritter shapes. The mixture can still be quite wet at this point.
  4. Place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook fritters, in batches, until golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Serve with a dipping sauce.
http://mygoldenpear.com/2012/07/20/spicy-crab-and-prawn-fritters/

Spicy Prawn and Crab Fritters

Enjoy!

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

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.

Vanilla Ice Cream

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 300ml milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 5ml cornflour
  • 300ml double cream

Instructions

  1. Using a small knife, slit the vanilla pod lengthways.
  2. Pour the milk in a saucepan, add the vanilla pod and bring to the boil.
  3. Remove from the heat and leave for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl until the mixture is thick and foamy.
  5. Gradually pour over the hot milk, whisking constantly.
  6. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a gentle heat, stirring all the time. (I leave the vanilla pods in while I am doing this to maximise the flavour.
  7. When the custard thickens and is smooth, pour it back into the bowl. Chill
  8. Fold the cream into the custard and churn in your ice cream maker until thick.
http://mygoldenpear.com/2012/07/18/classic-vanilla-ice-cream/

Enjoy!

CLEMENTINE & ALMOND BUTTER CAKE

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.

Clementine and Almond Butter Cake

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.
Clementine and Almond Butter Cake 1

CLEMENTINE & ALMOND BUTTER CAKE

For the printable version – click here

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

Yield:8 large muffins

Ingredients

  • 2clementines
  • 175gbutter, softened
  • 175gcaster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 175gself-raising flour
  • 3 tblsp ground almonds
  • 3 tblsp single cream
      Glaze and topping
  • juice from 2 clementines
  • 2 tblsp caster sugar

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F).
  2. Prepare muffin tin or if using a cake tin, grease and line the base with baking parchment. An 18cm/7 inch round tin is about right.
  3. Using a fine grater, grate the rind from the two clementines and add to the caster sugar.
  4. If you want to intensify the orange flavour a bit more – you can whizz the sugar and zest a couple of times in a food processor to release the oils but no harm done if you miss this step.
  5. In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and clementine rind until pale and fluffy.
  6. Gradually add the beaten eggs to the mixture, beating well after each addition.
  7. Gently fold in the self-raising flour, followed by the ground almonds and the cream.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases or prepared tin.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes (muffin size) or 55 – 60 minutes for a large cake, or until a fine skewer comes out clean.
  10. Leave to cool slightly.
  11. Meanwhile, make the glaze.
  12. Put the clementine juice into a small saucepan with the caster sugar.
  13. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  14. Brush the glaze over the cakes until it has been fully absorbed.

Clementine and Almond Butter Cake 2

Written by : Angela Darroch
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