Brussels Sprout and Spinach Salad (with Prawns)

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This meal was a delight for all the senses. You can prepare a vegetarian version and it will still be very tasty – simply omit the bacon and prawns and there is really no need to substitute with anything else (although adding some nuts would be fun) because the flavours are already there. This was my starting point, then I did my usual thing of taking a tangent…

Incidentally – the correct spelling is Brussels sprout.

You will need:

A big bunch of fresh spinach; rinsed and dried and with rough stalks removed.

A dozen or so brussels sprouts

2 or more rashers of bacon, chopped

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 – 2 cups shelled king prawns

Method:

Heat up a nonstick deep pan and cook your bacon (doesn’t need additional oil) until crisp or to your liking. Remove from the pan, keep any oils that came out of the bacon and if necessary (i.e. there is approximately less than one tablespoon of fat left in the pan) add some olive oil.

In the meantime, wash and remove any dried up parts of the brussels sprouts. Chop off the very outer edge of the stalk. Peel off a few leaves from each brussels sprout until they become too fiddly to remove. This step is not obligatory if you don’t have the patience; however the little ‘cups’ of brussels sprout leaves will be perfect for holding juicy flavours. Slice the rest of each brussels sprout.

Place the sliced brussels sprouts in the pan, flat surface down and add some drops of balsamic vinegar (be careful because this will cause a splatter with the oil). Let them brown for a few minutes before flipping them around and adding the leaves that you removed earlier.

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Make some space in your pan and add the prawns. Let them cook for 1-2 minutes before turning them around. Add the bacon that you cooked earlier add some freshly ground pepper and rock salt, then cover everything with the spinach. Cover your pan with a lid and let it be for 3-4 minutes.

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By now the spinach would have wilted and the prawns cooked.

To plate: divide the spinach into two plates and form a flat pile. Stir and serve the rest of the ingredients on top of this. Garnish with roasted pine nuts and freshly ground pepper.

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Party Tortellini Salad

IMG_4907Born out of the idea of making some sort of Caprese-inspired skewer and then not having enough time for assemblage, this salad made for a very colourful centre-piece at a house party.

Preparation is simple; it is best to choose the small variety of tortellini as they are friendlier for bite-size snacks at parties. Prepare by boiling as explained on the packet and then add a splash of olive oil and leave them to cool completely. Stir a few times to ensure that the oil helps them from sticking to each other.

Then you will need basil, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella balls. Cut the mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes in two and tear up the basil leaves with your hands (or else chop roughly with a knife). Store in the fridge until ready to serve. You may drizzle a bit more olive oil or pesto sauce on top. Mix it all up or serve it as is. Serve with toothpicks or forks or on little plates.

Et voila… ready to party!

Airfryer Foil Envelope Chicken

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With this method, everyone can have their favourite herbs/spices or condiments with their portion of chicken.

This is how I made mine (two ways).

I used boneless chicken thighs but you can also use breast meat and since you’ll be closing it in foil, it shouldn’t dry up.

Prepare a square piece of foil with ample space to fold over into an envelope shape and turn the edges twice to secure it.

Lay your chicken breast or boneless thigh in the middle of the foil sheet. Add your choice of condiments, I used:

– some sprigs of thyme, garlic slices from 1 clove and 1 tablespoon of olive oil

– 1/3 cup BBQ sauce and 2 chopped shallots

Preheat your airfryer or fan oven set at 200 degrees. Cook for 20 minutes, then pierce the envelope slightly with a fork, lower the heat to 180 degrees and cook for another 15 minutes. Let the envelope cool for a few minutes before opening and do so carefully as the steam coming out will be very hot.

 

Miriam's blog – food for the body and food for the mind

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