Spiced Coriander, Lime and Chilli dressing

A spicy and zingy fat free salad dressing, perfect for adding a different flavour to your salad. Made from lime juice, chilli, coriander leaf, sugar, salt, pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander and sweet smoked paprika.

Add a special flavour to your salad….

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Ingredients

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

1.5 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 heaped dessert spoons brown sugar

Juice of 4 limes

1 large red chilli – remove stalks and seeds, very finely dice

3 tbsp. finely chopped coriander leaf

Method: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until the sugar and salt dissolve, cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the flavours to combine and develop. Drizzle sparingly over the salad of your choice.

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Scottish Mussels in roasted Tomato and Pepper sauce

Rope grown Scottish mussels, cooked in a sauce made from roasted tomato, red pepper, onion, garlic, chilli, fish stock, white wine and coriander.

One of my favourite ways to cook mussels, guaranteed to bring flavour to your diner table. The secret of the flavour comes from the roasted sauce, which brings a rich deeply satisfying flavour to the dish. Serve with some nice sour dough or crusty bread.

Many people are put off cooking mussels at home because they think it is either hard or too time consuming. In reality it is very easy, to prepare the mussels simply rinse them in water, then soak them in water for 10-15 minutes, discarding any that stay open. To clean them scrape any barnacles off the shells and remove the beards by pulling them gently then cut them off with kitchen scissors. Rinse them well under running water, then they are ready to cook – which takes a matter of minutes, and is easy to tell because they open when they are cooked.

Note: to cook this recipe you require a wide, deep pan with a tight fitting lid.

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Serves two people

Preparation 45 minutes, cooking time less than 10 minutes.

 

Ingredients and method

For the roasted tomato sauce:

2 small red onions – roast whole

1 medium white onion – roast whole

1 Romano pepper – remove stalk and seeds

2 red chillies – remove stalk and seeds

4 plum tomatoes

2 round tomatoes

6 cloves garlic

Method: Pre heat your oven to 220°c. Place the tomatoes, onions, chilli, garlic and pepper on the tray and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove the skins from the tomatoes, chilli, peppers, garlic and onion. Place all in a mini blender or food processor and blitz until a smooth sauce is made.

For the main dish

1 kg rope grown mussels – see opening notes for cleaning instructions

1-2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 glass dry white wine

500ml fish stock

1 tsp brown sugar

Salt and pepper – to taste

3 tbsp. roughly chopped coriander

Method: Heat 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil in the pan over a medium heat. Add the roasted sauce along with the white wine, fish stock, sugar, black pepper and a little salt – take care not to add too much as there is salt in the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Add the chopped coriander, stir well, then add the cleaned mussels. Increase the heat until sauce starts to bubble then place the lid on the pan, reduce heat slightly and leave to cook for 3 minutes. Carefully remove lid and look at the mussels, they are ready when they open (see picture for example) if necessary replace lid and cook for further minute. It is important not to over cook the mussels as they will turn rubbery.

Ladle into pre warmed bowls and serve straight away with some nice sourdough or crusty bread to soak up the wonderous sauce.

 

 

 

 

Scottish Parsnip Soup

A very easy recipe for fantastic tasting Scottish parsnip soup.

The inspiration for this soup comes from my Grandmother or Granny as we call them in Scotland. She made truly amazing soups and my aim is always to try to match hers. She is sadly no longer with us but I do think she would have liked this.

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Ingredients

500g parsnips – peel and thinly slice

100g carrots – peel and slice

1 medium sized leek – wash and slice

2 sticks celery – slice

75g garden peas

4 medium sized white onions – peel and slice

2 bay leaves

1.5 litres vegetable or chicken stock

1.5 tbsp. rapeseed oil

Sea salt – for grinding

Black pepper – for grinding

Method: Add the rapeseed oil to a deep soup or stock pot and warm over a medium heat. Add the leeks, bay and onions and fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrot, celery, peas and parsnips, stir well and fry for 5-7 minutes until the mixture softens.

Add the stock, stir well, increase heat to bring to the boil for 2 minutes then reduce to a simmer, cover and let it bubble away for 35-40 minutes.

Carefully remove the lid (watch for steam), fish out the bay leaves, then use a stick blender to blitz soup until smooth. Season with a little salt and black pepper to taste and stir well. Serve with rolls or crusty bread and enjoy!

The soup can be cooled then stored in a fridge overnight for the next day, when it tastes even better.

Pan fried Tiger Prawns on a bed of Crab Linguine with Roasted tomato, Garlic and Romano Pepper sauce.

Pan fried Tiger prawns on a bed of crab linguine with roasted Jack Hawkins tomato, garlic and red Romano pepper sauce.

I came up with this recipe after watching a lot of Mediterranean cookery shows recently. My aim was to come up with a tomato based pasta sauce which had a different taste to my usual pasta sauce. I didn’t copy any particular recipe more like used techniques I saw in a variety of these shows showcasing local chefs making traditional local dishes.

I bought some nice large Jack Hawkins tomatoes and thought they would make an excellent base for the sauce. I decided to roast one along with some round tomatoes, garlic in its skin and a deseeded Romano red pepper – this is the base for the sauce and roasting them before cooking brings out their rich deep flavours. Once roasted and cooled I removed the skins from all three, as well as the core of the tomatoes, then blend them into a smooth sauce.

With the second Jack Hawkins tomato I used a blowtorch to blister then remove the skin, then removed the core and diced the tomato. I added the chopped tomato to a bowl along with some finely chopped parsley and basil. The purpose of this is to give both added flavour and texture to the dish.

I had some really nice Indonesian tiger prawns which I pan-fried in their shells with some olive oil until they were just cooked – its so important not to overcook prawns as they just become tough and chewy. I cooked them in the same pan that I then cooked the pasta sauce to get every last bit of flavour.

The sauce itself was made by frying the chopped herb/tomato mixture in a little olive oil along with a splash of white wine followed by the roasted sauce. The pasta was cooked until all dente, drained then finished off in the sauce so that it absorbed the delicate yet deep flavour. Some crab meat was added to the pan so that it was heated through by the steam from the sauce then carefully and gently mixed through the sauce with the back of a wooden spoon so that the chunks of crab meat stayed intact. The Pasta was then spooned into pasta bowls and the cooked prawns carefully placed interlocking on top.

I was really pleased with the results and can confidently say that this was not just restaurant standard but very good restaurant standard. I will be cooking this again for certain.

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Serves two people

Preparation 20-25 minutes, cooking time less than 15 minutes

 

Ingredients

200g dried Linguine – I used De Cecco, cooking times may vary  

2 Large Jack Hawkins tomatoes – use beef or other large varieties as alternative

4 cloves garlic – keep skin on

1 romano red pepper – remove seeds and stalk

3-4 round tomatoes

4 large Tiger prawns – devein in shell, keep head on. Trim legs and feelers with scissors

180g tinned white crab meat – drain before use

8-10 basil leafs

1-2 tbsp. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

100ml dry white wine – choose one which works with shellfish

2-3 tbsp. olive oil

Sea salt – generous pinch plus extra to taste

Black peppercorn mill

1 tsp brown sugar

 

Method: Start by roasting the red pepper, garlic, 1 jack Hawkins tomato and the round tomatoes in a hot oven (approx. 200°C) for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled remove the skins and the tomato core then add to a mini chopper/food processor and blitz until a smooth sauce is formed.

Remove skin from the second Jack Hawkins tomato, I used a blowtorch, however this could also be done by boiling the tomato in water for 3-4 minutes then placing in a bowl of cold water. Dice this tomato and add to a bowl along with the chopped herbs.

Cook the pasta as per packet instructions until all dente in well salted water. In a deep frying pan heat 2-3 tbsp. of olive oil until very hot, add the prawns and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side – the second they turn pink they are ready, don’t keep cooking them as the residual heat from shells will finish them. Set them aside on a plate ready to add to final dish, retain the oil in pan to cook the sauce.

Add the chopped tomato and herbs to the pan and fry over a medium high heat for 1-2 minutes then add the wine. Stir and fry for a further 2 minutes then pour in the roasted sauce, stir well until combined. Add a generous amount of black pepper, 1 tsp brown sugar and a generous pinch of salt then stir well until combined with the sauce. Add the cooked pasta, mix well then taste for seasoning, add extra if required. Carefully add the crab meat to the top of the pasta sauce and let the steam from the pasta heat the crab for 1-2 minutes then use the back of a spoon and gently mix the crab through the pasta, try to keep the crab chunks intact.

Spoon the pasta into pre-heated pasta bowls then place the cooked prawns interlocking on top. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

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Chicken enchiladas with tomato and guajillo chilli sauce.

Enchiladas stuffed with leftover chicken in a rich Mexican tomato and guajillo chilli pepper sauce. Oven baked and served with tomato and avocado salsa.

This dish is a great way of turning leftover chicken into something really special. Garlic, tomatoes, red pepper, red chilli and guajillo chillies are pan roasted until charred to unlock their deep flavours, then blitzed into a smooth sauce which is mixed with the leftover chicken. The tortillas are brushed with a mixture of a little oil and tomato sauce before baking so that they take on some flavour and to prevent them over crisping or burning. A little of the sauce is also used as a garnish on top of the enchiladas.

A simple yet delicious salsa is made from tomatoes, red chilli, red pepper, avocado, coriander, red onion, lime juice, a little sugar and seasoning. It is important to leave this covered at room temperature for 1-2 hours to allow the flavours to fully develop. It just doesn’t taste as good if its been chilled, like tomatoes in general.

The dish is completed with some sour cream drizzled over the enchiladas, along with a garnish of coriander and lime wedges. I have been to Mexico many times and this takes me back there…..

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Serves two people

Preparation 15-20 minutes, cooking 10-12 minutes (plus time for salsa to develop)

Ingredients and method

For the salsa:

1/2 a red chill – finely chopped, remove seeds (keep for hot)

1/2 a red bell pepper – finely diced

3 tomatoes – diced

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp brown sugar

1 baby avocado – diced

1 medium size red onion – diced

Good handful coriander – roughly chopped

Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper

Salt – to taste

Method: Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well, cover bowl and set aside at room temperature for 1-2 hours. This helps the favours combine and gives a far tastier salsa.

For the enchiladas

Approx. 150g leftover/precooked chicken – cut into small pieces or shred

4 corn tortillas – must be corn ones 

3 large garlic cloves – keep skin on (see method)

2 guajillo chillies – if using dried, soak for 45-60 mins then discard water

1/2 red chilli – remove seeds and stalk

1/2 red pepper

3 round tomatoes

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tbsp. coriander leaf, plus a few leafs for garnish

1/4 tsp salt

Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

Sour cream – to garnish

Method: Start by dry roasting the pepper, chilli, tomatoes, garlic (keep skin on) and guajillo chilli peppers over a medium high heat. Turn occasionally but the aim here is to dry roast and get some charred colour to bring some deep flavour to the sauce. Once the peppers and chillies are charred on all sides, carefully remove the garlic and tip the rest into a small food processor/mini chopper. Allow the garlic to cool then squeeze to remove roasted garlic from the skin then place in food processor. Add the coriander, sugar, salt and pepper then blitz until a smooth rich red sauce is formed. Taste test and add a little extra sugar, salt or pepper if required, the sauce should be rich and flavoursome, but not too sweet. Retain 1-2 tbsp. of the sauce and mix the rest through the chicken. With the retained sauce mix with a tbsp. of vegetable oil – this will be used to brush the enchiladas.

Preheat your oven to approx. 180°C then start to make the enchiladas. Lay one out flat on a chopping board, place a generous amount of filling just below the middle then roll the bottom over carefully then roll into a enchilada. Place into a roasting dish with the seam on the bottom. Repeat for the other three enchiladas, making sure to space them out in the roasting dish. Using a brush give the enchiladas a thin coat of the sauce/oil mix to prevent the tortillas crisping up too much during baking. If you have any sauce left you can also add a couple of small drops on top of the enchiladas before baking, this is mainly for aesthetics and entirely optional. Add to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.

When plating, take care when transferring the enchiladas so they don’t loose their shape or any of the contents. Serve with a side portion of the salsa and garnish with sour cream and a few coriander leafs.

 

 

 

Smoked Duck Noodles

Slices of smoked duck breast with egg noodles, served with a delicious honey and sesame sauce.

A quick, easy and extremely delicious recipe perfect for any occasion or a quick mid-week meal.

Garlic, green chilli and ginger is fried in a little wok oil then vegetables are added and stir fried quickly to retain some crunch. Cooked egg noodles are then added and stirred through the vegetables. The sauce is added and stirred through the dish until it coats all the noodles and vegetables. In a separate pan the slices of duck breast are heated through then added to the wok. The dish is finished with a garnish of roughly chopped coriander.

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Serves two people

Preparation 10 minutes, cooking time less than 10 minutes

Ingredients and method

For the sauce:

2 tsp sesame seeds

2 dessert spoons of honey

1 dessert spoon light soy sauce

2 dessert spoons dark soy sauce

1 dessert spoon shaoxing rice wine

1 dessert spoon sesame oil

Method: combine in a bowl, mix well until all ingredients combined. Set aside ready to add to wok, give another good stir just before adding it to noodles.

For main dish:

2 portions cooked egg noodles – as per packet instructions

1-2 tbsp. wok oil

80g sliced smoked duck breast – marinate in a little soy sauce before cooking

75g fine green beans – trim, cut into 3cm batons

1 small carrot – peel, slice into 3cm batons

1 onion – slice into medium sized pieces

3 spring onions – slice

3 green chillies – remove seeds, finely chop

Thumb of root ginger – peel, chop into fine matchsticks

4 cloves garlic – peel, crush, finely chop

1-2 tablespoons roughly chopped coriander – for garnish

Method: Add 1-2 tbsp. of wok oil into the wok and heat until smoking hot. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and quickly stir fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Take care not to burn these, remove wok from heat if necessary but keep hob on maximum setting to cook dish quickly. Next add the green beans, carrot and spring onion and stir fry for 1-2 minutes, no longer as you want these to retain some crunch. Before adding the cooked noodles run a fork through them to break them up then add them to the wok. Stir well to mix the vegetables through the noodles and stir fry for approx. 1 minute until noodles are hot. Add the sauce to the wok and stir through so that all the noodles and vegetables are coated, stir fry for just over a minute until the dish is piping hot. In a separate pan heat the duck through by dry frying on a high heat for 30 seconds on each side then add them to the cooked noodles. Serve dish and garnish with a little roughly chopped  coriander.

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