The secret to great food is to not do a lot to it!
We’ve just returned from holidays & had the most amazing time away! We are relaxed, revived & refreshed as only a break at the beach can provide!
Whilst we were there, we were so fortunate to find ourselves alongside some extremely accomplished fishermen. Mini-Me delighted in seeing their catch each day with the incredible variety of different species they hauled in.
One day, they snagged themselves two very impressive Kingfish! Then the most beautifully generous thing happened, they handed us a bag of their freshly caught Kingfish! I mean, WOW, right?!?!?! Unless you’re a fisher person yourself, you just don’t get fish that fresh!
Now something that I’ve always done, no matter what the produce & is my Top Tanz Tip for you all today is –
Always ask the Farmer/Hunter/Fisherman/Gatherer HOW they cook it!
You will be absolutely blown away with the culinary knowledge that will be so freely given to you.
Our lovely fishermen advised that with this particular fish, the best course of action was to simply season some flour with salt & pepper, toss the fish through it & then pan fry in some hot oil quickly until they’re cooked through.
Seafood is the most convenient of all the foods to cook as they have a built in timer to tell you when they’re ready! When seafood changes colour from see through translucent to a lovely opaque white, It’s Chompin Time!
A crunchy exterior gives way to fabuliciouzly smooth fish that’s sure to put a smile on the dial of any seafood lover but dunk it in this well balanced Asian classic sauce & you’re on a WINNER!
Start by popping 500g worth of fresh fish fillets into a blender & turning into a creamy mince. Bung it into a mixing bowl then add in a well beaten egg, 1 tablespoon of cornflour, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice & a good pinch of salt. Mix that lot up really well & form into balls. Now the mixture is quite sticky & just a wee bit tricky to work with so they’re not going to be perfect, go for the rustic look 😉
Chill the fish balls in the fridge for half an hour whilst you crack on with the sauce.
Grab a saucepan & whack in 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of pineapple juice, 3 teaspoons of tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1/2 cup of raw sugar & a good pinch of salt. Cook over a low heat to dissolve the sugar then you can start to thicken the sauce by blending 2 tablespoons of corn flour in 2 tablespoons of water ( so equal quantities guys) & adding to the sauce. Just keep that reducing down over low heat until you get it to the right thickness for you.
To finish off the fish balls, simply coat them in corn flour & shallow fry them off in hot oil until they’re a lovely golden colour & cooked through.
Perfect as a fancy dinner party starter or just at home as a drinking snack on a Friday night,
these gems of soft, creamy, sea salty discs encased in a fabuliciouzly crunchy crust are simply divine & oh so easy to make!
Grab yourself a mixing bowl & bung in a 140g can of Blue Swimmer Crabmeat (we prefer this one as it has a stronger flavour) along with 300g of mashed potato, a good sprinkling of chopped flat leaf parsley, 1 teaspoon of paprika & crack in an egg. Season generously with salt & give that lot a jolly good mix up before popping in the fridge for half an hour.
Remove from fridge & shape into bite size medallions before dusting with a wee bit of flour.
Shallow fry the Crab Cakes in a some hot oil over a medium heat until each side is gloriously golden (about 3-5 minutes or so each side) then drain before serving.
A fabuliciouzly flavour packed curry that can be on the table in half an hour!
This is going straight into my post ballet quickie file! Juicy prawns, fresh veggies & wonderfully fragrant coconut curry soup – what’s not to love?!?!?!
Start by trimming the ends off a solid handful of green beans before chopping them in half & popping into a bowl. Then slice off two sides of a red capsicum to dice up & whack that on top of the beans. Next, drain a 400g tin of corn kernels, giving them a good wash & rinse & setting those aside separately.
Bung a good splash of peanut oil into a wok (or fry pan if you don’t have one) to heat before throwing in the beans & capsicum along with 2 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste. Cook those for 3-5 minutes on a medium heat keeping it all moving.
Add in the drained corn & a 400ml tin of coconut milk then reduce the heat to simmer away for another 5 minutes.
Chuck in 500g of raw green prawns (peeled & cleaned – no poo tubes please!) & stir until the prawns have turned a blushing pink to indicate they’re cooked through.
Finally, freshen it all up with the juice & zest of 2 limes & season with 2 teaspoons of fish sauce.
Ladle over bowls with prepared rice noodles already in them.
It’s Chompin Time!
A fabuliciouz dry salad that your BBQ guests are gonna love this Summer!
Get a wee taste of South East Asia at your place with this easy peasy rice salad. The trick is to be totally organised as this one comes together in a flash!
Now, you’ll need to either save 1 & 1/2 cups of left over cooked rice from the night before or cook it up specially for this recipe as that’s the secret to making this rice salad a touch of the Orient.
We’re going to have 3 wee groups of ingredients ready for wok action!
Group 1 – in small bowls have 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, 1 finely chopped lemongrass stalk (white part only) & a handful of snow peas.
Group 2 – is your bowl of leftover rice from the day before.
Group 3 – once again grab your small bowls for 2 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce & the juice of 1 lime.
Right, you’ll need 300g of peeled & deveined raw prawns ready to roll along with a clean bowl to receive them & we’re ready for WOK ON!
Heat a glug of oil in your wok & cook those prawns off until they’re a lovely blushing pink. Remove them from the wok to the waiting clean bowl.
Heat another glug of oil & bung in Group 1 to cook until they’re nice & soft. Tanz Tip- put the lemongrass in first to give it a wee bit extra time.
Next, in goes Group 2, get all that rice coated in the oil & separated on the grains.
Finally, whack in Group 3 along with the prawns & stir quickly to heat it all up & mix it all through.
Throw it into a pretty serving bowl & get set for the praise oh kitchen goddesses!
There are so very many different versions of Garlic Prawns out there,
from crumbed to kebab & everything in between!
It’s a firm favourite that’s just at home in fine dining restaurants as it is at a backyard Barbie!
My quick & easy version could well make it onto your table soon!
Into a mixing bowl goes a good glug of olive oil along with 1/3 cup of your favourite dry white wine & 4 teaspoons of minced garlic. Give that lot a jolly good stir to combine & bung in about 250g worth of raw prawns (shelled & deveined). Stir them in to ensure they’re well coated in the marinade, cover the bowl with cling film & whack in the fridge for at least an hour, but longer is better for more flavour!
When It’s Chompin Time, simply heat up your wok (or frypan if you don’t have one), hold back the prawns with your cooking fighting iron of choice (I use my wok shovel but a wooden spoon works too) & allow the marinade to hit the hot surface with a sensational sizzle! Reduce it to form a nice sauce before sliding the prawns in to cook. Prawns are awesome as they tell you when they’re done by changing colour to pink, how very thoughtful of them.
I like to serve these wee beauties over cooked rice where the sauce can be sucked up.
Well, what can I say about the combination of delicately fresh crab meat & creamy cheese sauce?
It’s, quite simply, FABULICIOUZ!
I probably don’t really need to say this….but……you’d better start off by popping on a pot of water to bring to the boil, once bubbling away like a Shakespearean cauldron, add salt & cook off your macaroni pasta. This can all be done while we make the cheese sauce……just don’t confuse the hubby with multi-tasking 😉 Because I use Gluten Free Pasta, it comes in a smaller box than wheat varieties, but it’s usually around 2 cups worth (I just chuck in the entire lot!). Once cooked, drain & bung into a casserole dish.
Meanwhile, let’s get cracking on that decadently creamy cheese sauce!
Pop 2 tablespoons of butter (the real stuff so it’s not oily) into a saucepan over the lowest heat setting possible. Once that’s melted, take the pan off the heat & add in 2 tablespoons of plain flour along with 1 teaspoon of salt. Give it a jolly good whisk to get it all nicely combined. Next, pop it back onto that lowest of low heat to keep stirring for about another minute or so. This just gets rid of that flour taste, you’ll know it’s done when it all starts to turn back into a melted state rather than the clumpy bit you had off the heat. Then just slowly add in 2 & 1/2 cups of milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps, before throwing in a few good handfuls of grated cheddar cheese. Keep stirring until it’s all melted into a luscious gooey cheesey delicious just wanna dive right in there with a spoon mess.
Now, what turns this cheese sauce into a mornay sauce is simply the addition of one more ingredient – 2 tablespoons of mustard. Use whatever type your tastebuds like. Stir it in & you’re good to roll!
Pop your crab meat ( I’ve used an entire can, 140g, of fresh blue swimmer crab meat) into the sauce & stir through before pouring over the pasta in the casserole dish. Stir it all together before bunging in a layer of grated parmesan cheese & crowning it all off with your favourite crumb.
Whack that into a 180c oven for 20-25 minutes & It’s Chompin Time!
This one is so light & reminiscent of warmer days.
Sweet succulent fish, juicy watermelon, creamy haloumi & crispy mint!
Start off with a bowl to mix together thoroughly 2 tablespoons of rich brown sugar along with 1/2 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika & mustard powder before seasoning generously with salt & white pepper.
Heat a good glug of oil in a frypan.
Coat some firm flesh fish fillets, I’ve used Basa, in the spiced sugar before frying them off on each side in the hot oil until cooked. Set those aside to drain on a cooling wire over baking tray.
Meanwhile, slice up a 200g block of haloumi cheese, brush with a wee bit of oil & whack them straight onto a hot griddle pan. Cook on both sides until they’re lovely & golden. Remove those to the cooling wire as well & drizzle them with the juice of a freshly cut lemon (straight off our luscious tree!)
Grab yourself a small saucepan & bung in just a smidgeon of oil in the bottom to get nice & hot. Now, don’t freak out at what I’m going to tell you to do next. Pop some fresh mint leaves into the hot oil. They will cook very quickly so be ready to pull them out when nice & crispy to toss onto your cooling wire as well.
Have some juicy watermelon already cut into wedges scattered onto a serving platter, then crumble over the cooked haloumi cheese before gently placing your fish fillets on top & crowning with the crispy mint leaves.
This cheeky wee starter is definitely my idea of Surf n Turf!
Whether you want to impress at a party or a weekend BBQ, then this ripper recipe is for you! Bonus is, it’s so simple it’ll blow your mind!
All you need to do is take some raw green prawns that have been shelled & had the vein (poo tube) removed but tails left on, this not only looks attractive but makes for a rather convenient handle.
Then simply squish some pork mince around them to fully encase the prawn before rolling in rice, that’s the crunchy bit.
Heat up some oil & deep fry those suckers until they’re cooked. It’s pretty easy to tell when they are done as the tail of the prawn will turn pink.
Drain on some paper towel & arrange nicely before basking in the glory of compliments.
This has got to be the easiest (i.e laziest!), impressively decadent starter you could ever whip up in a flash!
So, this is another one of those moments where I flung open my pantry & fridge doors in complete desperation of Oh My Gawwwwwwwwwdddddddddddd what can I throw together in about 5 minutes! I reckon I did alright with the result.
Take some plump smoked oysters & roll them up in the most delicately thin sliced Jamon Serrano Ham from Spain.
Heat a wee bit of olive oil to pan fry these beauties to fabuliciouzly crisp before draining on paper towel. Because the Serrano is so thin, that really is done in the blink of an eye!
Arrange them on a serving board or platter, before lightly drizzling over the best quality Chilli Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil you can find.
Finally, finish it all off with a sprinkling of dried hot chilli flakes.
Wrap your laughing gear around that lot.