King prawn-red pepper pasta – Katkarapu-paprika pasta

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As I have mentioned several times I absolutely love seafood. That is why I feel very lucky of my husband coming from Queensland Australia as when we travel there I can always enjoy the most amazing seafood that the Great Barrier Reef and Australian tropics can offer. I cannot believe how big king prawns and scallops are over there, they are huge, flavoursome and so fresh that I could not imagine anything better. I have also tried to educate myself to become familiar with the different type of fish they have over there. As funny as it is some of the fish have European names but are totally different fish.. I guess the first Europeans who immigrated in Australia run out of names and thought they would name the fish with the familiar names they used to grow up with :)! So do not get confused if the fish you order over there whilst having the same name is something totally different! Anyway I hope you enjoy this simple prawn pasta recipe, it is a perfect dish to cook after the working day as it won’t take much time or effort but still tastes good.

For 2-3 people:
1 onion
1-2 garlic cloves
1 spring onion
150-200g king prawns
50ml white wine
1-2tbsp chopped dill
3tbsp eggplant pepper paste (see the recipe below)
100ml soy cream
150-200g pasta ( I used corn-rice pasta to make it gluten free)
3tbsp olive oil
juice of half of the lemon
black pepper, salt, paprika

Eggplant-red pepper paste:

1 eggplant

1 big red pepper

1. Bake the eggplant and red pepper cubes in the oven in 200 celsius degrees for half an hour until soft and a bit brownish.

2. Blend the cubes to get the smooth paste.

3. Use in any cooking or spice it up with some salt and black pepper and use on the top of the bread.

Prawn pasta instructions:

1. Cook pasta.

2. Cook the onions until golden, add king prawns and white wine and let it boil for a couple of minutes (not too long as otherwise prawns become chewy!).

3. Add eggplant-rep pepper paste. dill and soy cream.

4. Add the pasta, spices, juice of half of the lemon and olive oil.

Serve and enjoy! Home made, fresh and so irresistibly  good!

White wine always compliments this dish. For those who live in England I can recommend a good every day wine that is -I think- rather exceptional price -quality wine: Calvet Prestige Sauvignon Semillon. Be aware of not getting ripped off. In Ocado this wine is £11.99 but for example Morrisons has it quite often reduced to £6-8 and so does Sainsbury’s. I quite often hunt these offers and buy many bottles at once as this wine is definitely worth that £11.99 in flavour and good to serve in casual house parties when friends are visiting:)

white wine

Mainokset

Easy Minestrone soup- Helppo Minestrone keitto

WP_20131101_005This is one of Rachel Khoo’s recipes. As usual I did not follow the recipe religiously but decided to add something and leave something out, but I would say this minestrone soup was inspired by Rachel’s Khoo’s soup that can be found in her book ”The Little Paris Kitchen”.  This soup belongs to the Provençal cuisine and is perfect now when the winter is approaching and houses are cooler (at least here in England). The secret of this delicious soup is the ”pistou”, it gives such a wonderful touch for it and of course you need  a proper loaf of French country style bread on side! My dear Aussie husband almost licked her soup bowl last night as the soup was so tasty, so you should try to make it too! By the way I love the small Creuset soup bowls that you can see in the picture. They are fantastic. The soup stays warm for ages and also you can put them to the oven and cook small portions of soup like onion soup in them. They are visually gorgeous too, don’t you think?

Soup:

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

500ml chicken stock

500ml vegetable stock

3 tbs tomato puree

1-2 tbs sugar

sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

1 red capsicum

1 carrot

1 zucchini

1 can of Green giant beans in tomato sauce (or white beans in tomato sauce)

1 portion of pasta (1cm bunch of dry pasta) -I used corn and rice pasta to keep it gluten free.

50ml dry white wine

1. Cut the onions and garlic. Fry them until golden brown.

2. Add chicken and vegetable stock.

3. Add tomato puree, sugar, thyme and bay leaf.

4. Add the cut carrot, capsicum and zucchini and let it simmer.

5. Add gigantic beans and their sauce. Add the wine.

6. Finally add the pasta (fold the long ones to smaller pieces) and cook until Al dente.

Pistou:

bunch of basil

3 tbs olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1. Puree until it is pesto like consistency.

Serve the soup with the small bit of ”pistou” on top -yum! Bon Appétit!

Tämä resepti on Rachel Khoon. Kuten yleensä, en seurannut ohjetta orjallisesti vaan sovelsin lisäämällä jotakin ja jättämällä jotakin pois. Toisin sanoen, tämä resepti on Rachel Khoon innoittama ja antoi minulle inspiraation luovasti soveltaa hänen mainiota minestrone keiton ohjettaan. Koko ohjeen salaisuus piilee mielestäni ”pistou” pureessa (hieman kuten pesto), joka tarjoillaan keiton silmänä ja antaa viimeisen silauksen herkulliseen reseptiin. Ohje on helppo ja nopea, juuri sopiva työpäivän jälkeiseen kiireiseen kokkailuun tai kotiäidin minuuttiaikatauluun. Tämä ihanainen keitto tulee luonnollisesti tarjoilla ranskalaisen maalaisleivän kanssa! Kuvassa näkyvät Creuset keittokulhot ovat ehdottomia suosikkejani. Keitto pysyy niissä lämpimänä pitkään ja  kulhot voi myös laittaa uuniin ja niissä voi kypsentää esimerkiksi yksittäisiä sipulikeittoannoksia.  Kulhot ovat visuaalisesti myös kauniita, eikö?

Keitto:

1 sipuli

2 valkosipulin kynttä

500ml kanalientä

500ml kasvislientä

3 rkl tomaattipuretta

1-2 rkl sokeria

muutama oksa timjamia

1 laakerinlehti

1 punainen paprika

1 porkkana

1 kesäkurpitsa

1 purkki kreikkalaisia giganttipapuja (voipapuja) tomaattikastikkeessa tai sitten vaaleita papuja tomaattikastikkeessa

1 annos pastaa (1cm nippu kuivaa spagettia) Voit käyttää maissi tai riisipastaa gluteiinittomaan ohjeeseen.

50ml kuivaa valkoviiniä

1. Pilko sipuli ja valkosipuli. Ruskista sipulit pannulla.

2. Lisää kana- ja kasvisliemet.

3. Lisää tomaattipure, sokeri, timjami ja laakerinlehti.

4. Lisää pilkotut porkkanan, paprikan ja kesäkurpitsan palat.

5. Lisää pavut ja viini.

6. Viimeiseksi lisää pasta ja keitä siten, että pasta on juuri al dente.

Pistou:

nippu basilikaa

3 rkl oliiviöljyä

2 valkosipulin kynttä

1. Soseuta kunnes on sileää sosetta.

Tarjoile keitto pienen pistou silmäkkeen kanssa -herkullista! Bon Appétit

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Fried squid with salsa -Paistettu mustekala salsalla

Like I mentioned in my previous post I got very excited after having the amazing culinary pub lunch on Saturday. From the pub we walked straight to our huge local supermarket that has a fantastic fishmonger in it and I went and bought the whole squid! I know, pretty extravagant, but I felt like it plus I had never cooked squid before. My first attempt went pretty well in fact and I was rather proud of myself in the end. I sliced the squid I fried it and I served it with mango salsa.

Kuten mainitsinkin edellisessä blogipostauksessani, innostuin lauantain ihanasta kulinaarisesta pubilounaasta niin paljon, että kävelimme rakkaan aussimieheni kanssa pubista suraan lähimpään ruokakauppaan (jossa on muuten aivan uskomattoman monipuolinen kalatiski) ja ostimme kokonaisen mustekalan. Tiedän, se oli hieman hullu tempaus, mutta mieleni teki valmistaa mustekalaa, sillä en ole sitä koskaan aikaisemmin tehnyt. Päädyin siis paistamaan mustekalaa ja tarjoilin sen magosalsan kanssa.

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The whole squid. Kokonainen mustekala.

First you need to gut the squid. You just simply pull the inside of it out but watch out the ink. If you go on too hard you will end up with black ink everywhere. After removing the guts you peal the actual skin such as the flesh is white in colour and smooth. Then you cut it into the slices that you want to serve it in, you can do rings or squares. I did squares with pineapple cut. Pineapple cut looks very pretty after grilling or frying as the skin gets nice decoration on it.

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Mustekalan perkaaminen on hyvin yksinkertaista. Ensin vedät lonkeroista niin, että sisälmykset tulevat ulos. Tee tämä hellävaraisesti sillä mustekalan mustetankki on sen sisällä. Jos olet liian kovakourainen päädyt levittämään mustetta kaikkialle. Pienenä välihuomautuksenä muuten, tiesittekö, että osa fine dining ravintoloista käyttää musteen kastikkeen mausteeksi ja värjäämiseksi -mielenkiintoista! Joka tapauksessa, kun olet poistanut sisälmykset, kuori uloin nahkaosa pois, jotta jäljelle jää kaunis vaalea liha. Voit leikata mustekalan joko renkaiksi tai neliön muotoisiksi palasiksi ja tehdä neliöihin ananasviillot ristiin rastiin. Tämä antaa kauniin koristekuvion kun mustekala grillataan tai paistetaan (katso kuva yllä).

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Gutted and cleaned squid ready for spicing. Perattu ja puhdistettu mustekala valmiina maustamiseen.

For the squid:

3 cloves of garlic (squeezed in)

1 tsp onion granules

1 tsp salt

1 tsp paprika

hint of black pepper

1. Mix the spices with the squid and fry.

2. Use a lot of oil, so shallow fry the squid to get the best result.

3. After frying, dry the pieces on the kitchen towel.

Mustekala:

3 valkosipulin kynttä

1 tl sipulijauhe

1 tl paprikajauhe

1tl suola

mustapippuria

1. Sekoita mausteet ja paista mustekala runsaassa öljyssä.

2. Kuivaa öljy pois levittämällä paistetut mustekalapalat paperin päälle.

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Mangosalsa:

100g mangoes finely chopped (pineapples go perfectly too, in fact could be even better!)

1 red onion finely chopped

1/2 red capsicum finely chopped

5cm piece of cucumber finely chopped

juice of one lime squeezed in

1/2 tsp coriander ( I used the spice but fresh one -maybe 1-2 tbsp chopped- would be better)

1 tbs sweet chilli sauce

(1 tbs balsamico optional)

hint of black pepper

1. Mix the ingredients together.

Mangosalsa:
100g mangoa (myös ananas käy, itse asiassa sopii loistavasti mustekalan kanssa!!!)

1 punasipuli

5cm pala kurkkua

1/2 punainen paprika

1 limen mehu puristettuna

1/2 tl korianteri maustetta (1-2 rkl tuoretta korianteria on parempi!)

1 rkl makeaa chilikastiketta

mustapippuria

hieman balsamicoa (ei pakollinen)

1. Pilko ainesosat hienoksi silpuksi ja sekoita yhteen.

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I served the fried squid on the top of salsa with a tiny bit of chilli jam on top.

It was super tasty! Enjoy!

Tarjoilin paistetun mustekalan salsan päällä ja koristeeksi ja mauksi lisäsin hieman chilihilloa. Jam! Oli niin herkullista! Nauti!

Tempting Tabbouleh

4 dl cooked coucous/bulgar

5 tomatos

1 red onion

1 dl fresh parsley

2 tbs fresh mint

2 tbs fresh coriander

1 red capsicum

1 red chili/chilipowder/chili sauce

1 tbs olive oil

1/2 pressed lemon

salt and blackpepper

1. Cook the couscous.

2.Cut all the ingredients into small fine cubes. Chop all the fresh spices.

3. Mix everything together and spice it in the end.

4. Tzatziki goes extremely well with this tempting tabbouleh and falafels!

Quick Ham Lasagne

This recipe was my first entire own one. I thought it might be a success or a disaster…luckily it ended up into my category of successful recipes! I started to think what kind of sauce would be the best one in lasagna…creamy, sweet and tomatofull, but definitely not a traditional minced meaty one! I know that my dear Aussie man loves his so-called ”Single man dinner” which is a creamy sauce spiced with lots of onions, cold cuts, salt and pepper served with tortellinis. So i decided to combine this kind of sauce with the idea of lasagne and I ended up to create a fantastic Ham Lasagne…at least I thought I did..My Aussieman finished his plate quickly and in half way through started to ask a second serving! It was a success! Here are the ingredients…

200-300g ham/beef cold cuts

1 big onion

1tsp garlic paste or one clove of garlic

2dl of finely diced spring onion

1 capsicum

4dl light cream (15%)

1dl milk

1dl water

3-4 tbs ketchup or tomato paste

2-3 tbs KeCap Manis sweet soy sauce  (this is THE secret ingredient! This has been one of the most amazing discoveries that I wouldn’t have done without my dear Aussieman..KeCap Manis is an Indonesian soy sauce…Wouldn’t have even popped into my small Finnish mind to try or buy one without my   commercial speech and praising words -and every word was true! What a  brain exploding taste! Works every time!)

1tbs sugar

1 tsp black pepper

3-5tbs corn flour

lasagne sheets

1 mozzarella ball (150g)

1. Cook the onions, add ham, capsicum, garlic, cream, milk and water.

2. Let it cook for a while. Add tomato paste, KeCap Manis, sugar and black pepper. Let it cook.

3. You can thicken the sauce by adding for example some corn flour (Maizena).

4. Cut the mozarella ball into small cubes. Build a lasagne into the baking dish. First some sauce, then sprinkle some mozzarella cubes then set lasagne sheets. Repeat this a few more time to get 3- or 4-layer lasagne!

5. Bake it in the oven in 200 degrees for 30-40min.

6. Enjoy! It is delicious!