One of the things I love about cooking is the presentation of the finished article. I’m quite happy pottering away in the kitchen working on the finishing touches but with two young kids it’s become less and less about good looking food and more about speed and shortcuts. This mushroom & cheese tart looks very rustic but is the perfect quick tart. A couple of minutes to fry some mushrooms and onions, mix up some eggs, cheese and herbs. Unwrap some ready made puff pastry. Throw it all together and into the oven and by the time you’ve cleaned everything up you have a delicious tasting tart. Perfect to take on a picnic, a light lunch with a mixed salad or even as a starter.
Ok, so I’m not going to tell you my exact age but I will admit that I’m at an age where I have to start thinking about the health of my bones and joints. Yup, the old joints are stiffening up on me 🙁 It is well documented that oily fish helps to reduce swollen joints, pain and stiffness so I try to eat at least two portions a week. One of my favourite lunch snacks is this smoked mackerel pate. It takes a few minutes to put together and keeps well in the fridge for a good few days. Served with toast, crackers or oatcakes it makes a delicious snack packed full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
One problem though – it is hard to stop eating it. Enjoy!
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.
“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.