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When cooking with frozen prawns, my usual go-to dish is a curry – as you can see in my recipes here and here. This time, I combined one of my favourite pasta sauces with prawns and ham, and used coconut milk instead of regular cream or white sauce.

You will need (for 2 portions):

1 cup prawns, shells removed

2 slices of ham, cut into bite-size strips

2 cups spinach (more, if using fresh)

400ml can coconut milk

2 tablespoons Stilton (or Danish blue cheese)

1 medium onion

2 cloves of garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Rice / Pasta / Noodles / Quinoa to serve

*Make a vegetarian version by omitting the prawns and ham and replacing with mushrooms

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How to make:

Use a deep pan to heat up some coconut oil (or olive oil). Cook the onions until they start to turn translucent, stirring every few seconds to avoid browning. Add the garlic and prawns and continue stirring.

If you are using frozen spinach, defrost in the microwave before, then remove excess liquid before adding to the pan. Add the spinach and ham, and continue to stir, blending the ingredients together.

Now add the coconut milk and blue cheese, mashing the cheese to help it melt. Let the sauce come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add some freshly ground pepper, and taste it to check if it needs some salt added too.

In the meantime, cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and add to your pan to mix everything together. Serve hot.

You might also enjoy: Prawn Risotto and Brussels Sprout, Spinach and Prawn Salad


IMG_20150302_204200This weeknight dinner worked well because the intense taste from the salmon was counterbalanced with more subtle and light flavours as well as the sweetness of the tomatoes. The marinade imparted a surprising kick to the palate too.

For the entire recipe you will need:

Salmon:

Salmon steaks, one per person

Chili sauce

Fresh ginger, thinly sliced

Sesame oil

Coconut oil

Vegetables:

Olive oil

rock / sea salt

Cherry tomatoes

Aubergines, chopped

Garnish:

Crushed walnuts

Optional: barley (boil with water for about 20 minutes)

Place your raw salmon steaks in a mixture of chili and ginger (according to taste), sesame oil (1 teaspoon) and some dark soy sauce (2 tablespoons). Let it sit for some time until you prepare your vegetables.

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius and place your vegetables on a flat dish. Sprinkle some olive oil and salt on top. Cook the tomatoes for about 25 minutes until the skin starts to split.

The aubergines will need more time, even if you’ve chopped them into small chunks. Turn the pieces every few minutes until they start to brown, approximately 30-40 minutes.

About 10 minutes before the vegetables are ready, start cooking the salmon.

Place 1 tablespoon of coconut oil into a pan and let it heat up. Lay the salmon in the pan with the extra marinade on top. Let it cook without touching it for 4 or 5 minutes, then carefully flip over and cook for about 4 minutes. It should be blackened on both sides by now. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and let it sit for a couple more minutes.

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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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