Mexican Prawn and Crab Soup

King prawns and swimming crab in a delicious prawn stock flavoured with tomato, chipotle, guajillo, garlic and bell pepper. Garnished with strips of fried corn tortilla, red onion, sliced chilli, avocado and coriander leaf.

This recipe is far simpler than it looks, and is made in three easy stages – making a prawn shell stock, making a paste to flavour the stock, then adding the meat and the garnishes.

Like all great soups it is important to get the absolute maximum flavour out of the ingredients, the garnishes not only look pretty but add extra flavour and different textures to the dish.

You must use whole raw king prawns for this dish, although tinned crab meat is ok. You require a mini chopper, blender or food processor for this recipe.

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Serves Two people

Preparation and cooking 45-50 minutes

 

Ingredients and method

For the prawn stock

Shells and heads from 250-300g raw king prawns – keep meat separate

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 carrot – peel, thinly slice

1 stick celery – thinly slice

1 onion – peel, slice

2 bay leaves

1-2 tbsp. coriander leaf and stalk

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1.25l water

Method: Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium high heat. Add the raw prawn shells and stir-fry until they all change from grey to pink. Add the onion, bay, carrot and celery and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes.

Add  the water, bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Add the salt, pepper and coriander and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool then strain the stock, ensuring that you squeeze all the juice out of the shells. Set aside for later.

To flavour the stock

3 dried guajillo chillies – soak in water for 30 minutes, discard liquid

3 large round tomatoes

6 cloves garlic – leave skin on, see method

1 large white onion

1 tsp chipotle paste

1 red bell pepper – remove stalk and seeds, cut into quarters

1 fish stock cube – I use knorr stock cubes

Method: Heat a large non stick frying pan over a medium heat until hot. Add the tomatoes, bell peppers, guajillo chillies and the onion. Dry fry these, turning occasionally for 15-20 minutes until they show some colour, then remove on to a chopping board and allow to cool.

Remove the garlic skins, remove the onion skin and quarter the tomatoes. Add all the ingredients into the mini chopper along with 1 tsp chipotle paste. Blitz until a smooth paste is formed.

Warm the stock from earlier over a medium heat, add the flavour paste and the stock cube, stir well until combined, bring to the boil for 10 minutes then reduce to a simmer.

For the Prawns, Crab and garnishes

250-300 Raw King Prawn meat

125-150g tin shredded blue swimming crab meat

Vegetable oil for shallow frying

2 corn tortillas – cut into strips

1 avocado – slice into strips at last minute

1 red onion – diced

1 red chilli – thinly sliced

2-3 tbsp. chopped coriander leaf

Method: Heat the oil to 175-180°c then fry the tortilla strips in small batches until golden and crispy. Only do a few at a time as they cook very quickly. Drain them on absorbent paper and set aside ready to add to the dish.

Prepare the other garnishes – dice the avocado, dice the onion and slice the red chilli, collect together ready to add to the soup.

Bring the soup back to the boil them add the prawns, turn off the heat and let the residual heat poach the prawns. As soon as they turn pink serve the dish.

Ladle the soup and prawns in to deep serving bowls. Add the shredded crab in chunks, add the tortilla strips, onion, avocado, chilli and coriander then serve immediately.

As always more than happy to answer any questions.

 

 

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King Prawn Dhal Curry

King prawns, potatoes and carrots in a delicious spiced lentil and tomato curry sauce.

A easy to make curry dish guaranteed to impress your friends and family – they won’t believe you didn’t pick it up from your local Indian restaurant.

Serve with choice of rice or Indian bread.

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Serves two

Preparation and cooking time around 1 hour

 

Ingredients and method

200-250g raw king prawns – devein, butterfly

100g peeled new potatoes – cut into small pieces to cook quickly

5-6 round vine tomatoes – cut into quarters

75g red spilt lentils – rinse thoroughly until water runs clear

1 medium/large carrot – peel and thinly slice into discs

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 medium size white onions – peel and dice

2 medium size red onions – peel and dice

1 small bulb of garlic – peel, crush

15-20g ginger – peel, thinly slice

1 heaped dessert spoon sliced Almond

2 bay leaves

5 cardamom pods

5 cloves

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp ground fenugreek

80g red split lentils – rinse thoroughly

1 tsp salt – plus extra to taste

water – see method

20-25g butter – cut into cubes

2-3 tbsp. chopped coriander leaf

Note: You require a stick blender (or glass blender) for this recipe

 

Method: Start by boiling the potatoes for 7-8 minutes , then drain them and set aside ready to add to the curry.

In a deep pan heat 2 tbsp. vegetable oil over a medium high heat and add a teaspoon of mustard seeds. Let the oil heat until the mustard seeds start popping like popcorn. Add the onions and fry for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions start to colour. Add the garlic, ginger, bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, tomatoes and sliced almonds and stir through the fried onions. Next add half a teaspoon of cumin seeds, ground turmeric, ground coriander and a quarter of  ground fenugreek. Stir well and fry the mixture for 4-5 minutes.

Next add the washed lentils and stir well, then add enough water to completely submerge the mixture (I added 2 and a half mugs of water) and a teaspoon of salt. Stir well, bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.  After this remove the bay leaves, cardamom pods and cloves from the sauce and blend into a smooth sauce.

Add the cooked potatoes and the thinly sliced carrot (these are both cut into small pieces so they cook quickly) and gently simmer in the sauce for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently as lentils can stick to pans and burn. Taste test the sauce – you may want to add more salt or add more water, depending upon how thick you like your sauce. If your sauce is too runny simply continue to simmer until it reduces to your preference.

When the sauce add the cubes of butter and stir them into the sauce, this will add flavour and the classic gleam to the curry sauce. Complete the dish by adding 1 tbsp. of chopped coriander and the raw king prawns – let them gently poach in the sauce and serve as soon as they turn from grey to pink.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with the rest of the chopped coriander, enjoy!

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King Prawn Linguine flavoured with Prawn and Pepper sauce.

Linguine pasta with king prawns, in a delicious sauce made from red pepper, tomato, garlic, basil, oregano, onion, flavoured with a stock made from the prawn heads and shells.

In this dish I use a simple stock made from prawn shells and heads to get every bit of flavour from the prawns. This is added to a flavour base (red pepper, garlic, tomato, basil, oregano, tomato pure, olive oil and onion) and cooked down to intensify the flavour. The sauce is completed with seasoning and a little sugar for sweetness. The raw prawns are gently cooked in the sauce, then the pasta is added to the sauce for the final few minutes of cooking, then finished with a little lemon juice.

I am really proud of this recipe and hope you like it as much as I do. Its very easy to make and certain to impress friends and family.

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Serves two

Preparation time 15 minutes, cooking time 12-15 minutes

 

Ingredients and method

150g good quality dried linguine – cook as per packet instructions to al dente 

250-300g Raw whole King Prawns – see method

250-300ml water

1-2 tbsp. olive oil

1 red bell pepper – remove stalk and seeds

1 large beef tomato – remove core

12 basil leaves – plus a few extra for a garnish

1 medium size red onion – peel

4 large garlic cloves – peel, crush

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tbsp. tomato pure

1 tsp brown sugar

Freshly ground black pepper – see method

Salt to taste – season at end once stock has reduced

Juice of half a lemon – cut other half into wedges to serve

You require a mini chopper of food processor for this recipe

 

Method: Begin by removing the shells and heads from the raw prawns, devein the prawns and set aside.

Pour 250-300ml of water into a sauce pan and bring to the boil, add the prawn shells and heads and simmer for 10-15 minutes until stock has reduced to 200ml. Unlike stocks from vegetables or animal bones stocks made from shellfish absorb all the flavour very quickly. Once reduced set aside ready to add to the dish.

Make the flavour base by adding the red pepper, basil, oregano, garlic, tomato, tomato pure, onion and olive oil to the mini chopper, blend until a smooth sauce is formed. Set aside ready to add to the pan.

Cook the pasta as per packet instructions (around 10-12 minutes), as soon as this starts begin to cook the pasta sauce. Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the blended sauce, stir frequently and cook for 5 minutes to bring out all the flavours in the sauce. Take care not to burn the sauce and if it begins to catch on the pan add a little of the prawn stock to loosen it.

Next add the prawn stock to the pan, stir well, increase heat to bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add a tsp of brown sugar and a generous amount of black pepper, do not add any salt until the dish is reduced. Keep simmering and stirring occasionally until sauce has reduced in half (should take 4-5 minutes), then taste test and add salt to taste.

Once the pasta is cooked drain it and set it aside ready to add to the pan.

Add the raw prawns to the simmering sauce and gently stir until they change from grey to pink (60-90 seconds), take care not to overcook them. I would recommend deliberately undercooking them here as they will finish cooking as you add the pasta.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and gently stir the sauce through the pasta and cook for 1 minute. Finish the dish by adding  juice of half a lemon and stir through to lift the sauce.

Serve immediately and garnish with a few torn basil leaves.

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Prawn, Sweet Peppers and Cashew Nuts

My version of the classic chinese take away dish using sweet bell peppers and honey to give the dish a delicious sweet taste. Green beans, onion and celery also give the dish some crunch. Like many Chinese dishes this is very quick and easy to cook.

Serve with your choice of rice or noodles.

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Prawn, sweet peppers and cashew nuts

For two people

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 5-6 minutes

 

What’s needed

12-14 Raw King prawns – peel, devein and butterfly

4 cloves garlic – finely chopped

Thumb sized piece of ginger – peel, cut into fine match sticks

1 tablespoon corn flour – dissolved in 50ml warm water

Dash of shaoxing  rice wine

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of five spice

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

handful of trimmed fine green beans – cut into batons

handful of cashew nuts

1 stick of celery – cut into 2cm cubes

1 medium brown onion – cut into 2-3cm cubes

1 yellow bell pepper – cut into 2-3cm cubes

1 orange bell pepper – cut into 2-3cm cubes

Black pepper to season

1 tablespoon wok oil

Serve with choice of rice or noodles.

Get cooking

  1. Start by adding oil to your wok and heat till smoking hot. keep your hob on full heat for the whole cooking process, remove wok from heat when needed rather than reduce heat.

  2. Fry the chopped garlic and ginger for 1 minute. Remove wok from heat if required to prevent burning.

  3. Add the vegetables to the wok and stir fry for 1 minute. Then add the King prawns and continue to stir fry for 1-2 minutes

  4. Now add the corn flour (dissolved in water),  2 tablespoons soy sauce, a tablespoon of honey, dash of shaoxing rice wine and teaspoon five spice. Stir fry for 1 minute, until the sauce starts to bubble.

  5. Taste test – add more honey if more sweetness is required or more soy sauce if you require more seasoning. Crack a little black pepper through the dish.

  6. Serve with rice/noodles and enjoy.

     

 

Sweet and Sour Prawn noodles

A quick and delicious recipe for stir fried sweet and sour prawn noodles.

This version of this classic dish has the classic sweet and sour flavour without being too sweet. This delicious dish is cooked in four easy steps.

First shelled and butterflied king prawns are stir fried quickly in very hot oil to make them nice and juicy. A mixture of peppers, onion, celery, carrot, tomato and pineapple is then stir fried in the wok.  This provides a fresh sweet crunch to the final dish. A sauce is prepared from pineapple juice, vinegar, tomato ketchup, dark soy, ginger and garlic. The sauce is added to the wok before adding the cooked prawns and some pre cooked egg noodles. This is quickly fried so that the sweet and sour sauce flavour is absorbed into  the noodles. The dish is finished with a garnish of coriander leaf.

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Serves two people

Preparation time 10 minutes, cooking time 10 minutes

Ingredients

2 portions of cooked egg noodles – separate with a fork before adding to wok

12 raw king prawns – shells off, devien and butterfly

1 orange pepper – diced

1 yellow pepper – diced

2 white onions – cut into large chunks

1 stick celery – diced

1 carrot – cut into fine batons

2 large round tomatoes – sliced into eighths

140g tinned pineapple – cut into small chunks (retain juice for sauce)

vegetable oil  – to shallow fry prawns

1-2 tablespoons wok oil – for main dish

For the sauce:

2 dessert spoons white vinegar

Juice from tinned pineapple

3 dessert spoons tomato ketchup

1 desert spoon dark soy sauce

thumb of ginger – peel, cut into fine match sticks

3 gloves garlic – peel, crush, finely chop

Combine sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl, sir well, cover and set aside. The sauce is best prepared 1-2 hours before cooking and left at room temperature.

 

Get cooking!

  1. Start by heating vegetable oil in the wok to stir fry the prawns. This should be around 2-3 cm deep and smoking hot before you add the prawns. Keep the hob on its maximum setting and quickly stir fry the prawns. As soon as they turn pink tip the contents of the wok through a colander to drain the oil and then set the prawns aside.
  2. Wipe the wok clean then add 1-2 tablespoons of wok oil, place on hob at maximum setting and heat until smoking. Add in the vegetables and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Tip in the sweet and sour sauce and continue to stir fry for a further minute. Then add the prawns and cooked noodles to the wok and stir fry for a further 2-3 minutes – until the noodles have absorbed the sauce and the dish is heat through.
  4. Serve straight away with a garnish of coriander leaf.

 

Korean King Prawn Chilli noodles

Stir fried egg noodles with King prawns and vegetables in a Korean style chilli sauce.

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Serves two people

Preperation 10 minutes, cooking time 10 minutes

Ingredients

12 raw king prawns (shell, devien and buttefly)

2 tablespoons wok oil

6 trimmed broccoli spears

8 trimmed green beans (cut into 3-4cm lengths)

1 carrot (cut into thin matchsticks)

1 red chilli (thinly sliced)

6 baby corn (thinly sliced)

1 red onion (cut into thin strips) 

2 portions of cooked medium thick egg noodles

Thumb of ginger (cut into very fine matchsticks)

2 teaspoon sesame seeds

1 desert spoon sesame oil

1 desert spoon gochujan

1 desert spoon honey

1 desert spoon vinegar

2 desert spoons dark soy sauce

4 cloves garlic (crush, finely chop)

 

Get cooking

  1. Start by making the sauce, this is best 1-2 hours before cooking. Mix the crushed garlic, dark soy, vinegar, honey, gochujan, ginger, sesame seeds and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Stir well until combined, cover and set aside at room temperature until cooking.
  2. Cook the noodles as per packet instructions then drain and set aside. It is best to use a fork to seperate the noodles to make it easier when frying them.
  3. Heat one tablespoon of wok oil until smoking hot. Keep your cooker setting at maximum for the whole cooking process – it is better to lift the wok off the cooker than to turn it down. Stir fry the prawns until they turn from gey to pink (2-3 minutes), then tip the contents into a colander to drain the oil. Set aside.
  4. Wipe the wok clean then add a further tablespoon of wok oil and heat until smoking hot. Add the vegetables (onion,, carrot chilli, baby corn, brocholi spears and trimmed green beans) and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked prawns followed by the sauce then the noodles, stir fry for 2-3 minutes until the dish is piping hot.
  6. Serve immediatley and enjoy!