Tag Archives: tomatoes

A few hot prawns


Two posts in as many days. Perhaps I’m back. Perhaps it’s the fact that I just made a commitment to update this blog more than once a quarter. Or perhaps I’ve finally managed to cook a few new things for a change. Whatever the reason, you’re a lucky reader because this one is a classic and definitely worth the almost zero effort to prepare…

Fried prawns with chilli, garlic and tomatoes

Buy the best quality prawns you can and wash them. Chop a few cloves of garlic, a red chilli and a halve a large handful of cherry tomatoes. Heat a wok as high as you can and pour in a few glugs of good oil. Drop in the prawns and fry them for a minute. Add the garlic, chilli and tomatoes and continue for another couple of minutes. Finally, add a decent splash of vermouth and plenty of salt and pepper and let it bubble away for just a couple more minutes. Finish with a handful of chopped parsley and serve with a crusty baguette and a bottle of Cassis blanc. Your guests will not know what to do with themselves.


It has been a while…

…but I had dinner with Tom a couple of nights ago and he told me that he had actually read this blog and used some of the recipes (in fact all of them as it turns out), so it is with renewed vigour and inspiration that I return to have another go at bashing something out regularly enough that I will have the courage to ask someone to start sending traffic this way.

The problem is that my kids (and yours, I might guess) display a somewhat limited sense of adventure when it comes to food and as a result, Friday Night Pasta tends to be the only thing they ask for, regardless of whether it is indeed Friday night, Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning. I just have to be strong. That said, Friday night pasta is a goodie, and one that I don’t think I’ve covered as I always thought it too simple – but it is probably a good way of easing myself back in – I’ll add a photo next time I cook it (next Friday I would imagine), but in the meantime…

Friday Night Pasta
Finely chop a decent sized onion and three cloves of garlic and fry them in lots of olive oil. Add oregano, salt, black pepper and caraway seeds to the pan (have you noticed how many spices start with c?).
As they are frying gently, add boiling water to a pan along with salt and oil, and add whatever dried pasta you fancy – I like to use penne or rigatoni.

Add the onions to the a saucepan of tinned chopped tomatoes and let them simmer together as the pasta is cooking. Add a dash of red wine if you fancy a little deeper flavour.

When the pasta is ready, drain it, add it to the sauce and if you have it, throw in a handful of chopped basil.

Serve it in bowls, grate parmesan all over and if you fancy, drop a big dollop of yoghurt or soured cream on top (and if you need to spice it up, just a few drops of tabasco).

Kids are happy, I’m happy…

Bruschetta and the shorts

Friday 6.30 until Sunday 6.30. Two days of the shorts – I love it.
Friday night supper is quick and easy – I never show off on a Friday – best to start simple and build up over the weekend to a climax at Sunday lunchtime. So this time it’s sausages and mustard-mashed potato.

Saturday morning and it’s off to the shops to get food for the weekend, then back for a really easy breakfast of pain au chocolat and croissants for the kids – smoked mackerel and buttered toast for me (although William steals half of it). Then off to Play Space – a rubber-clad indoor playground full of single parents desperately trying to snatch a few peaceful moments over a luke warm cup of machine-made crappucino. Still – the kids love it…

Saturday lunch and it’s the shorts favourite –
Chicken goujons in pitta with salad and a sweet chilli dressing.
Cut the chicken into strips and drop into a bowl with one beaten egg. In the meantime make some breadcrumbs from any left-over white bread or baguette and add tarragon, flour, salt and pepper. Pull the chicken out of the egg and roll around in the breadcrumbs then place in a hot frying pan with a couple of mm of olive oil. Fry for five mins on each side and then serve in toasted pitta with the salad and sweet chilli sauce. They love it…
After lunch and I’m watching them create weird miis all afternoon on the wii – mainly obese ones called fat kid, fat lady, fat girl etc – what is it about kids and fat people??
Saturday Supper – the X-factor excitement builds as we approach Saturday evening, only to be briefly dampened by a dismal firework display courtesy of a Tesco firework family pack – never again – next time I’ll go back to the local guy who makes his own rockets and bombs. Fairly hit and miss on the safety front but considerably more exciting – and it’s only once a year isn’t it?
Garlic bread with tomato and basil
Half fill a small mixing bowl with plain flour, add a sachet of yeast to half a mug of warm water and mix them together with a little salt, sugar and a good glug of olive all. Mix it all together and knead with floury hands for about five minutes than leave it in
a warm place while the oven warms up to 250c (with a large baking tray warming up inside). In the meantime chop three cloves of garlic finely and mix with a really good chunk of butter, salt and pepper. Chop a handful of plum tomatoes and put into and bowl with a handful of chopped fresh basil, another good glug of olive oil, a tiny splash of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
Get the dough, split into two and roll one piece out and place on the hot tray pricking it and rubbing olive oil all over. Put it in the oven for about five minutes, take it out and cover with the garlic butter then put back into the oven for another five minutes.

Take it out, cut it into pieces and cover with the tomato and basil. Shorts destroyed in seconds… twice…
Next stop Simon Cowell…