Tag Archives: Prawn Cocktail

Christmas Special #A traditional Christmas Menu…

Thank you to everyone who made such lovely comments on my vegetarian Christmas menu it was a menu of dishes I cook at home but apart from devising a menu for home, I don’t publish a menu as a general rule.

This week’s menu is a mix of the traditional with a couple of other dishes thrown in…I always like to make at least one new dish every Christmas some I never make again as they were ok…Just not that memorable…You know what I mean, don’t you…?

Prawn Cocktail

As far back as I can remember Prawn Cocktail has been a must-have for our Christmas starter…..One year I fancied a change and we had a fantastic fresh seafood platter with Oysters, Langoustines everything you could think of and some Thai dips made by the daughter in Law…The only way to…eat Oysters.

But we also had to have Prawn Cocktail….I think I would get lynched if I didn’t make it and the sauce has evolved over the years. This is one of our family traditions a topic which Norah was talking about on her blog today…How as we enjoy another Christmas we trot out the traditions some of which are passed down through the generations like the prawn cocktail…my mother used to make it and now I do and my children, of course, the recipe has evolved we also make new traditions as our children grow up and our families evolve…

I now add horseradish for that extra bite. Some add Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce but we like it with just horseradish and I use Salad cream instead of mayonnaise. Sometimes I mix the two it just depends on how I feel on the day. But as with anything it is personal taste so play with the sauce and find how you like it best.

Ingredients:

• 500gm of Cooked Prawns, peeled.
• 4 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
• 5 tbsp Salad Cream or mayonnaise or a mixture of both.
• 2-4 tsp hot Horseradish Sauce.
• Salt and freshly ground Pepper.
• 3 tsp Lime Juice.
• Shredded Iceberg lettuce

To Garnish:

Tomatoes sliced, Paprika pepper, Extra prawns …I leave the tails on these.

Let’s Cook!

Mix tomato ketchup, salad cream together. Add horseradish sauce, lime juice, salt and black pepper.

At this stage, I taste and adjust the seasoning and add more of whatever I need to…. generally horseradish.

Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

To serve: Put some shredded lettuce in individual serving dishes with cucumber if using. Put a generous serving of the cocktail sauce on top. Sprinkle with Paprika. Garnish the dish with Prawns, A slice of lemon and tomatoes if using.

Crab, Coconut, Chilli and Coriander Soup.

I use fresh crab for this soup as it is readily available and picked here but you could use tinned crab.

Ingredients

• 500 gm crab meat
• 4 cups of crab or fish stock
• 1 large tomato chopped and peeled
• 1 cup of coconut milk
• 1 onion finely chopped
• 1 celery stick chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic crushed
• 1 fresh red chilli, chopped and seeded ( if req) I don’t
• 2 tbsp of olive oil
• Juice of 1 lime
• Salt to taste
• 3 tbsp of freshly chopped coriander
• Lime wedges and hot chilli oil to serve.

Let’s Cook

Heat the oil in a pan over low heat. Stir in the onions and celery and saute for about 5 mins until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the garlic and the chilli stir to combine well and cook for a further 2 mins.

Add the tomato and half of the coriander and turn up the heat and cook stirring for 3 minutes then add the stock. Bring to a soft rolling boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in the crab and the coconut milk and simmer for a further 5 mins.

The soup should be thick but not too thick so add some water if required.

Stir in the lime juice and remaining coriander and season as required with salt.

Serve in hot bowls with the chilli oil and lime wedges on the side.

Beetroot Tartare.

Ingredients:

• 160 gm of cooked beetroot.
• 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp of double cream

For Fried Capers:
• 10 capers
• Oil to fry about 3 tbsp.

For the crispbread:
• 2 very thin slices of stale bread
• 1 tbsp of olive oil.

Let’s Cook!

Make the crispbreads by cutting the bread into squares allow 3 to 4 squares per person.

Heat the grill on its highest setting and put the bread on a tray and drizzle with the oil. Grill on each side for 1-2 mins until crisp and golden being careful not to burn (like I did)

To make the tartare, finely chop half the beetroot and blitz the other half with the olive oil to make a rough paste, and then combine with the chopped beetroot and cream and season to taste.

Rinse the capers and pat dry then heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat add the capers and fry for 30 seconds until they have started to open up then drain on kitchen paper.

To serve: Place a 6-8cm ring on a plate and put in some beetroot mix then remove the ring.
Garnish with capers and the crispbread.

Pigs in Blankets. – Christmas dinner would not be complete without them, would it?

• 8 thin slices smoked bacon
• 16 chipolata sausages
• I tsp Worcestershire Sauce
• 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
• 2 tbsp clear honey.

To prepare

Mix honey, thyme and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl, add sausages and make sure they are coated in the mix. Cut bacon down the middle longways. Wrap bacon around sausages.

To freeze now put in a container and separate the layers with greaseproof then remove from the freezer on Christmas morning and cook as below

Put sausages on a baking sheet well spaced apart.

Cook on 180 for about 30 minutes until nicely browned and bacon is crispy.

Crispy Roast Potatoes.

I always parboil my potatoes and give them a good shake before putting them into a hot pan with some duck fat and roast…Basting and turning every 30 minutes until nice and golden.

To jazz your roasties up a little add some herb butter, garlic and or rosemary sprigs.

Brussel Sprouts.

Christmas dinner would not be the same without a bowl of Brussel sprouts and there are many ways you can cook these lovely little cabbages and even people who don’t like sprouts …Love them!

My spicy pan-fried Brussels come very close or top depending on whether you are bacon or a chilli fan…

I love just plain little Brussels lightly steamed or boiled with my Christmas dinner. Sautéed with bacon they are to die for…

This recipe serves 4 people.

• 1lb of Brussel sprouts trimmed and halved
• 1 tbsp of olive oil
• 1-2 garlic cloves
• 1 tbsp of cumin seeds
• 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
• 6 shallots peeled and quartered
• Chilli flakes and chopped fresh chives to garnish.

Let’s cook!

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and shallots and stir fry for 3-4 minutes until the shallots just start to turn golden.

Sprinkle in the cumin seeds and add the sprouts. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes over medium heat then reduce the heat and cover the pan, cook for a further 4-5 minutes or until the sprouts are almost tender.

Sprinkle over the balsamic vinegar and let it cook just for a few seconds. Season the sprouts to taste with salt and cracked black pepper.

Garnish with chilli flakes and chopped chives.

A beautiful side dish with your Christmas dinner.

Broccoli with red chilli and anchovies.

Ingredients:

• 300 gm tender stem broccoli, trimmed and cut lengthways
• 3 tbsp Olive Oil
• 1 Onion finely chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic crushed
• 2 anchovy fillets drained and finely chopped
• 1 red chilli finely chopped
• Juice of half a lime
• Parmesan shavings

Let’s Cook

Blanch the broccoli for 3 minutes in boiling water and then drain. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat add the chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is golden brown.

Add the garlic, anchovies and red chilli and cook for 1 minute.

Add the blanched broccoli and fry for 2-3 minutes or until broccoli is tender.

Squeeze over the lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper and toss together.

Top with parmesan shavings

Bacon, Chestnut and Cranberry Christmas Stuffing.

Ingredients:

• 450g sausage meat
• 2 rashers unsmoked back bacon, cut into strips
• 100g dried cranberries
• 50ml ruby port
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 50g butter
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 140g fresh white or brown breadcrumbs
• 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
• ½ tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
• 140g peeled, cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
• 1 medium egg, beaten

Let’s Cook!

Soak the cranberries in the port for an hour.

Fry the onion and bacon gently in the butter, until the onion is tender and the bacon is cooked.

Add the garlic and fry for another minute or so.
Cool slightly, and then mix with all the remaining ingredients, including the cranberries and port, adding enough egg to bind I find it easiest to use my hands so get those hands in and mix thoroughly.

Next, I do a little tester; in fact, I generally do that with all my stuffing as it is the only way to tell if the seasoning is correct. Fry a knob of stuffing in a little butter, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

This stuffing can be baked in a dish or rolled into balls that will be crisp on the outside and moist inside.

Bake in a greased dish at 190C/gas 5/fan 170C for about 40 minutes, until browned and, in the case of sausage meat stuffing, cooked right through.

Alternatively, roll into balls that are about 4cm in diameter. Roast the stuffing balls in hot fat (they can be tucked around the turkey or done in a roasting tin of their own) for 30-40 minutes, until crisp and nicely browned on the outside.

Cranberry Sauce.

Ingredients

• 3 cups or 12oz of cranberries.
• The juice of 2 large Oranges.
• A cup of sugar.
• 1 stick of cinnamon.

Let’s Cook

Put all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pan, bring to the boil and turn down so it is still a rolling boil and cook for 10 mins if ( using) frozen berries or 20 minutes if using fresh cranberries as they will take a bit longer to pop.

Allow mixture to cool and put in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Bread Sauce

Freeze the breadcrumbs ready to use (I always) keep a bag of frozen breadcrumbs in the freezer. The sauce can be made the day before and reheated on the day… I have been surprised living here that many people have not heard of bread sauce my mum always made it at Christmas we couldn’t have turkey without bread sauce…

Ingredients:

About half loaf of good quality stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.
• I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
• 2 bay leaves.
• Salt & Pepper.
• About half-pint of milk.

Let’s Cook!

Pour milk into a saucepan and add the clove-studded onion. Slowly bring to boil and turn down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool.

When cool remove Onion and bay leaves. This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.

If it was down to me and there were only two of us for Christmas Dinner then I would have something like this lovely quail with Juniper Sauce.

Juniper Berry Sauce:

Ingredients:

• 1 banana shallot peeled and finely chopped.
• 8 juniper berries very lightly crushed.
• 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped.
• 1/2 tsp sugar
• 200 ml white burgundy or a dry white wine.
• 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
• 40 gm butter
• 25 gm flour
• 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves.
• 3oo ml venison stock
• 100 ml double cream
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook!

Put the shallot, garlic, sugar, white wine vinegar, juniper berries, white wine and the fresh thyme in a pan and bring to the boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes this needs to reduce to about 2 tbsp.

In another pan melt the butter and whisk in the flour to make a roux. Strain your wine reduction through a fine sieve and still whisking…we don’t want a lumpy sauce now do we? Add the wine reduction….keep whisking!

Pick out the juniper berries from the strained mix in your sieve and add to the sauce. Keep whisking and add the stock slowly ….to the sauce a ladle at a time. Cook the sauce for 10 minutes or until it coats the back of a spoon.

Finally, pour in the cream and bring to a very slow simmer. Remove from the heat and season. The sauce can be used immediately or reheated when it is needed.

This is a beautiful sauce over when poured over a luscious piece of beautifully cooked venison or my favourite quail… if you have guests for dinner or just for the two of you for that special occasion.

Enjoy!

Christmas Pudding

Christmas Dinner would not be complete without a little bit of Christmas Pudding and I love to see the Christmas Pudding flaming as we pour over the brandy it looks so nice.

For those of you who don’t like Christmas pudding or want a lighter dessert this lovely crème caramel fits the bill perfectly.

Crème Caramel.

For the caramel
• 160g/6oz sugar
• unsalted butter for greasing the ramekins

For the custard
• 4 free-range eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 25g/1oz caster sugar
• 600ml/1 pint full-fat milk
• pouring cream, to serve ( optional)

Let’s Cook!

Pre-heat oven 150C/300F/Gas 2.

Warm the ramekins in the oven, so they are warm when the caramel is poured in.

First, make the caramel. Pour the sugar and six tablespoons of water into a clean stainless steel pan.

Dissolve the sugar slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon over low heat.

When there are no sugar granules left, stop stirring and boil until the sugar turns a dark copper colour.

Remove immediately from the heat to ensure the caramel does not burn. Quickly pour the caramel into the warmed ramekins.

Set aside to cool and become hard. (Do not put in the fridge because the sugar will absorb moisture and go soft and tacky).

Once hard, butter the sides of the ramekins above the level of the caramel.

For the custard

Whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and caster sugar together in a bowl until well mixed.

Pour the milk into a saucepan, gently heat over low heat until you can still just dip your finger in for a moment, then strain the milk through a fine sieve onto the egg mixture in the bowl.

Whisk together until smooth, and then pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins.

Stand the ramekins in a roasting tin and fill the tin half-way with boiling water from a kettle.

Cook in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until the custard has set.

Do not overcook the custard – check around the edges of the dishes, to make sure no bubbles are appearing.

Take the crème caramels out of the oven, remove the ramekins from the tray and set on a cooling rack. When cool, transfer to the fridge overnight so that the caramel is absorbed into the custard.

To serve, loosen the sides of the custard by tipping the ramekin and loosen with a small palette knife around the edges. Place a serving dish on top of the ramekin and turn upside down. Serve with pouring cream or decorate with some fruit…

I hope you find something to like about this menu and that one of these dishes will be your new addition to your Christmas menu xxx

 

Christmas…In my house…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…

Welcome to my house and the Christmas preparations...

As Christmas is not celebrated here our Christmas is far more low key…Not so frantic as it was in the UK…I do miss the atmosphere and the build-up but I don’t miss all the crowds and the must-have this as it does take away from the real meaning where family and friends get together and enjoy each other’s company…I used to love the Nativity and this picture of my little grandson a grown man now always tugs at my heartstrings.

For me, the essence has gone when I look at pictures of people’s trees and the mound of presents…No child or person needs all of that to me that is what is wrong with the world. Wrong when there are people who are starving, cold, homeless or just working to keep the bills paid and food on the table but with no wiggle room for all the advertised goodies it must be a terrible time of year…

Here when asked what would you like me to buy you at Christmas much thought is given and I will be given an answer of the ONE…Yes, one thing they would really like…No lists as long as your arm and some…

It makes such a refreshing change…xx

Christmas Starters or Aperitif…

Last week I gave you some ideas for plant-based starters today I am giving you a few tried and tested starters which include fish or meat…

I normally make two starters one is always prawn cocktail which is a given in our house my mum used to make it and I have made prawn cocktail every year without fail since I married… I have tried to drop it from the menu but even I wouldn’t dare as the fall out would be akin to a nuclear one…haha…

Prawn Cocktail.

prawn cocktail

 

Ingredients:

  • 500gm of Prawns, peeled.
  • 5 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 5 tbsp Salad Cream.
  • 2-4 tsp hot Horseradish Sauce.
  • Salt and freshly ground Pepper.
  • 3tsp Lemon Juice.
  • Paprika to garnish.

Shredded Iceberg lettuce.Tomatoes to garnish. Extra prawns for garnish…I leave the tails on these.

Let’s Cook!

Mix tomato ketchup, salad cream together. Add horseradish sauce, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.

At this stage, I taste and adjust the seasoning and add more of whatever I need to…. generally horseradish.

Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

To serve: Put some shredded lettuce in individual serving dishes with cucumber if using. Put a generous serving of the cocktail sauce on top. Sprinkle with Paprika. Garnish the dish with Prawns, A slice of lemon and tomatoes if using.

Enjoy!

This next recipe is an authentic Thai recipe … Pumpkins and squash grow very well here and are found on every market stall and on every street food stall so much is done with this versatile vegetable lots of lovely Thai desserts and soups…

Ingredients:

  • 400 gm  pumpkin peeled and diced into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 tsp white peppercorn
  • 2 coriander roots
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass  very finely sliced
  • 3 small shallots diced
  • 1 tsp fermented shrimp paste…You will be able to purchase this from most Asian stores or online.
  • 300 ml of prawn stock….I always keep my prawn heads and bits in the freezer until I have enough to make some stock.
  • 700 ml of coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp roasted chilli paste
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 16 prawns /shrimp, peeled and deveined or crab meat
  • A handful of fresh Thai basil leaves save some for garnish
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil to stir-fry

Let’s Cook!

Firstly pound the peppercorns and the coriander root into a smooth paste. Then in a large saucepan, over a medium heat stir-fry the peppercorn/coriander root paste, pumpkin, lemongrass, onions and shrimp paste, stirring all the time for about 3 minutes until all those lovely Thai flavours are released.

Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan with a lid and cook very gently for about 20 minutes until the pumpkin is soft, stirring occasionally.

Next, transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend with the shrimp stock until smooth. Pour back into a saucepan and add the coconut cream and bring to a slow gentle boil.

Add your seasonings, lime, fish sauce, sugar, chilli paste and stir to combine, add your prawns/ crabmeat and cook for 1-2 minutes…Now taste and adjust seasoning if required.

Remove from the heat and pour into serving bowl or bowls. Stir in the basil leaves and garnish with extra leaves.

pumpkin-soup-1804351_1920

The true Thai way is to also garnish with spring onions or garlic stems, some fried crispy garlic or chicken skin and it always looks so vibrant and you just want to dive in and drown in the lovely flavours.

Enjoy!

Chicken Liver Pate is an old favourite which I make throughout the year…It is easy and tasty

SAM_6863

 

Ingredients:

  • 220g/8oz  butter.

  • 4 shallots chopped.

  • 2  cloves, crushed or finely chopped.

  • 450g/1lb chicken Livers, trimmed and cut in half.

  • 1 tbsp Brandy.

  • 1 tsp mustard powder.

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  • 1 bay leaf, to garnish.

  • 2-3 fresh cranberries, to garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Melt 110g/4oz of the butter in a pan over medium heat, then add the onion and fry until softened, but not coloured.

Add the garlic and chicken livers and fry the livers until golden-brown all over and cooked through. Add the brandy and mustard powder and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the liver mixture and 55g/2oz of the remaining butter into a food processor and blend until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Transfer the pâté into a serving ramekin or small dish and decorate with a couple of cranberries and a bay leaf….. I use lime leaves as cannot always get fresh bay leaves.

Melt the remaining 55g/2oz of butter in a clean pan. Skim off the froth and pour the butter over the pâté. Transfer to the fridge to chill, then serve from the ramekin when ready.

Enjoy!

Or!

How about a baked whole camembert cheese served with cheese straws wrapped in bacon???

Now that ticks all the boxes for Moi…

Did you know?…

What is the most popular meal for Christmas in Japan?

KFC fried chicken

It’s so popular in fact, that you have to order in advance or face standing in long lines to get your Christmas fried chicken. Some people even start lining up Christmas Eve to make sure they get their Christmas KFC.

An Aperitif…

The aperitif is typically served, approximately 30 to 60 minutes before dinner. For the digestive system, some say, it is best to serve after the dessert or cheese course,

As for what glass to present your aperitif in, this varies greatly depending on the type of drink you’ve made…What is your favourite aperitif?…

We always start the day with a mimosa…Maybe a glass of Bailey’s with my first mince pie of the day and then while cooking the lunch…a bloody Mary goes down very well…

Bloody Mary’s… just saying! One of my favourite cocktails and this Naga Vodka which my son bought me apparently the best way to drink it is in a Bloody Mary… Shots are not advised! I am waiting until New Year’s Eve until I sample it ….Have any of you been that brave and tried Naga Vodka yet ????

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 ¼ cups of tomato juice
  • 1 ¼ cups of vodka ( or thereabouts) Hic
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp horseradish
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce or peri-peri sauce
  • 2 tsp Lea & Perrins sauce ( Worcestershire sauce)
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 stalks of celery with leaves.

Let’s Brew!

Combine everything together in a jug or cocktail shaker and TASTE… this is where I adjust and give it a tweak or two…I make my own tomato juice and as tomatoes vary so does the TASTE….It is a fine art and needs much testing to get this just right …Hic
Chill in the fridge until required… this recipe makes about 6 glasses.

To serve.

Add some ice to a chilled glass and fill with the Bloody Mary mix…pop in your celery stick and a slice of lime and or some olives and if you are feeling really….well… If you have some bacon to use up then crisp it up and stick a slice in with the celery… Anything goes when I am making cocktails.

I love chai tea..and for those you who rather have a hot aperitif this lovely recipe fits the bill…

Can you not just tell that on this one day of the year…I enjoy a favourite tipple or three…Cheers one and all …xxx

That’s all for now ..Enjoy your weekend xxx

Lastly, remember not everyone is fortunate and some people dread this time of year be aware and if you can add a little cheer please share your joy but also remember the other 364 days of the year pass your smile around and be kind… 

About Carol Taylor: Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend 🙂 xx

 

 

Prawn Cocktail.

prawn cocktail

As far back as I can remember Prawn Cocktail has been a must-have for our Christmas starter…..One year I fancied a change and we had a fantastic fresh seafood platter with Oysters, Langoustines everything you could think of and some Thai dips made by the daughter in Law…The only way to eat Oysters. But we also had to have a Prawn Cocktail…I think I would get lynched if I didn’t make it and the sauce has evolved over the years. I now add horseradish for that extra bite. Some add Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce but we like it with just horseradish and I use Salad cream instead of mayonnaise. Sometimes I mix the two it just depends on how I feel on the day. But as with anything it is personal taste so play with the sauce and find how you like it best.

Ingredients:

  • 500gm of Prawns, peeled.
  • 5 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 5 tbsp Salad Cream.
  • 2-4 tsp hot Horseradish Sauce.
  • Salt and freshly ground Pepper.
  • 3tsp Lemon Juice.
  • Paprika to garnish.

Shredded Iceberg lettuce.Tomatoes to garnish. Extra prawns for garnish…I leave the tails on these.

Let’s Cook!

Mix tomato ketchup, salad cream together. Add horseradish sauce, lemon juice, salt and black pepper.

At this stage, I taste and adjust the seasoning and add more of whatever I need to…. generally horseradish.

Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

To serve: Put some shredded lettuce in individual serving dishes with cucumber if using. Put a generous serving of the cocktail sauce on top. Sprinkle with Paprika. Garnish the dish with Prawns, A slice of lemon and tomatoes if using.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Christmas Recipes Part 2.

Mince pies

 

Hello everyone and how did your pudding making go have you done it yet?

Today I have some more favorites, Mince Pies now what Christmas be without them, Prawn Cocktail which I have made every year since for ever it’s like a tradition now so whatever new starter I come up with I still have to make that… and a wonderful home-made drink and those who know me well were wondering when I would slip that one in..ha ha…can’t think why…..Who likes Bailey’s? Well this is the closest you will get to it  and if you sip Bailey’s and then this….. hardly any difference whatsoever…..Lets get with it then……

Mince Pie Pastry.

I use half fat to flour so for example 8oz Flour and 4oz fat.

Ice cold water added tbsp at a time( amount depends on flour used)

1 egg beaten for glaze.

I know that fat varies depending on where you live, in the Uk ..well spoilt for choice because we invented pastry…well from as far back as the Romans when it was crude flour and water wrapped around meat and game before cooking and no way would you eat it…it was to retain meat juices.

Over time pastry was enriched with fat and milk and began to vaguely resemble today’s shortcrust.But living here in Thailand my choice is restricted…..I have a choice of pastry fat or crispo…sometimes I mix the two when making meat pies but I digress.

For mince pies, I use the pastry fat. When making pastry it must be kept cool which here is never easy ..so fat from the fridge, iced water from fridge and fan madly whirring to keep the air cool..and me folks…I touch the pastry mix as little as possible, I quickly rub fat into flour to resemble breadcrumbs, add iced water gradually, draw together with your fingers to make a ball, if too dry add more water, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 mins in the fridge.

When I roll I use the heel of my hand to start to flatten pastry and roll gently out to desired thickness…I handle as little as possible to keep cool.

SAM_4080 Using a pastry cutter, cut circles and line patty tins, add filling and top with a pastry lid. Brush tops with beaten egg. Cook in the oven on 200c/gas7 for 15-20 mins until golden. Remove from oven, cool slightly and dust with icing sugar.

Note: Some of you may have noticed I don’t add sugar to my short crust pastry…With the sweetness of the filling and the icing dusting  I /we all feel it is sugar overload but personal preference if you like to add 1 tbsp sugar to breadcrumbs before adding water.

Irish Cream:

Ingredients:

10 oz Irish Whiskey

1/2 pt whipping cream

1 can condensed milk.

2 eggs.

11/2 tbsp Chocolate syrup.

1/2 tbsp each of, Vanilla Extract, Coconut Extract, and Chocolate Extract.Home made Baileys

Blend all ingredients together and refrigerate.

Serve cold and or over Ice.

Now isn’t that easy? and …you can get  about 4 batches from one bottle of  Irish Whiskey so by my reckoning that’s a real saving and lots of Baileys…yay……

Prawn Cocktail:

Ingredients: Serves 4.

500gm of prawns, peel and devein (saving a few to decorate glass)

Iceberg lettuce, 1 tomato, piece cucumber, slices of lemon/Lime.

To Make Sauce:

8tbsp good mayonnaise or make your own.

1tbsp Tomato ketchup.

2tsp horseradish sauce.

2tsp lemon juice.

Black pepper for taste.

Paprika.

Method:

Mix all ingredients except black pepper together, season with black pepper.Chill in fridge.

To serve: prawn cocktail

Shred iceberg lettuce or lettuce of your choice, thinly slice tomatoes and quarter, and finely diced cucumber.

Put iceberg lettuce in bottom of glass or serving dish, add diced cucumber and 3 pieces of tomato. Top with cocktail sauce, sprinkle with Paprika and garnish with prawn and twist of lemon. Enjoy.

Well, that’s it, for now, I am off to make some ham, it’s finished brining and now to cook…I so love home cooked ham…..

 

Until next keep smiling, be happy and stay safe..don’t get crushed in the Christmas rush….