Monthly Archives: January 2012

Prawn Cakes with Sesame, Orange and Tamari Dressing

Prawn Balls

It’s always nice to try and do something different and bring prawns to the front of a recipe. Normally prawns are a secondary addition to a larger list of ingredients like noodle recipes. This recipe takes advantage of  the prawn and its sweetness. You can easily halve the balls and use them as a starter or a pre dinner nibble.

Ingredients (makes 8 cakes)

500g prawns (uncooked, peeled and de-veined)
2 spring onions or shallots (75g)
10g coriander
2 de-seeded red chilies
30g fresh ginger
1 lime zested, then chopped and juiced
1 lime for garnish
White sesame seeds
1 teaspoon fish sauce
Sunflower oil for frying

Method

Put the un-cooked, peeled and de-viened prawns into a food processor and pulse into a paste (you can also use a stick blender).  Take out of blender and put into a bowl.

Finely chop the spring onions, coriander, red chillies and ginger then fold into the prawn paste with a spatula or a wooden spoon until mixed.  Squeeze half the lime and add a splash of fish sauce (if you don´t have this then  a sprinkle of salt will be fine) and lime zest and mix again. Wet your hands and divide into eight pieces. Roll into a ball shape. Have your sesame seeds ready in a bowl. Roll each of the balls in the sesame seeds and put onto a plate. With your hand press the balls flat so they will shallow fry (see photo).

Take a pan and brush the surface with sunflower oil, as minimal as possible. Place the cakes into the oil and cook until a golden shade of brown, turn them over and do the same. Finish off in a pre-heated oven at 180 for 8 mins. They should be firm to touch. Serve with a fresh crunchy salad and the dressing below.

Ingredients

125ml sesame oil
80ml fresh orange juice
40ml tamari (see store-cupboard)

Method

Put the ingredients into a old jam jar with a lid and shake really well, pour over a nice crisp green salad and serve.

Prawn Balls

Crispy Fish Fillet with Tahini Sauce

This is a meal that once you have done it you will keep using it. It’s got a nice Mediterranean feel to it as well as an interesting twist with the tahini sauce.  A recipe like this can be used as inspiration. Don’t get put off with what ingredients you don’t have, fish and tahini is the magic combination here, the rest of the ingredients just keep lifting it up.

Ingredients(serves 4)

4 fillets of white fish, trimmed and boned skin on (eg sea-bream, snapper, sea bass, salmon or cod)
2 oven roasted red peppers
1 aubergine
2 courgettes
2 lemons for garnish
Olive or sunflower oil for griddling

Tahini sauce ingredients

5 cloves (half a bulb) of garlic
125g tahini
Juice of a whole lemon
1tbsp (15ml) tamari
50-100ml water

Method

For the roast red peppers see Side Dishes.

Cut the aubergines into discs and the courgette into 1cm thick slices. Put a cast iron griddle pan onto a high flame, lightly oil the courgette and aubergine and sear either side so the lines of the pan are prominent on the vegetables. Aubergines take longer than courgettes.  When cooked, squeeze lemon juice over and season.  Place onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, ready for re-heating in the oven.

To make the tahini sauce the first thing you need to do is roast the half bulb of garlic in a hot oven for 8-10 minutes.  You can use raw garlic but when garlic is roasted the taste is subtler and works better with fish.Put the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and tamari into a bowl. Take a small whisk and bring the ingredients together.  The mix will become very thick at this point, you will need to slowly add the water until you get the right consistency.  We are looking for a single cream type pouring consistency.  For this dish, the sauce needs to be fairly thick as it will sit on the plate with the fish and the vegetables (if you were using this as a salad dressing, the sauce would be of a thinner consistency).

Buy the fish filleted and pin-boned, if possible.  If you do find any protruding bones then remove with pliers or tweezers.  To stop the fillet curling in the pan, pinch it on either side and score small incisions just below the skin, being careful not to cut too deep.

To cook the fish you will need a good non-stick frying pan.  Brush the pan and the skin of the fish with oil (sunflower oil works well as it has a higher heating point).  Lay the fish skin side down into the hot pan giving the pan a good shake until the fish starts to cook, this prevents the skin sticking and peeling off.  Don´t turn the fish until the skin is really crispy approximately 8 minutes cooking time.  When the skin is crispy turn the fillets over and turn off the heat.

To serve;

Whilst the fish is cooking lay out the four plates, distribute and arrange the courgette, red pepper and aubergine in the middle and pour the tahini sauce around them.  Then sit your fish on top of the vegetables and serve with a wedge of lemon.

Banana & Almond Bars

This is an alternative recipe to flapjacks. We found all flapjack recipes contained butter and sugar.  We tried a few flapjack recipes substituting the butter for oil but they did not hold together.

In this version the natural sweetness comes from the bananas and the dates. The bananas bind it all together.

Ingredients

2 large, ripe bananas
125g dates (buy dates without the stone)
60g walnuts
60g blended linseeds or pumpkin seeds (you can buy this already done in health food shops, there is a good brand called Linwoods)
225g small oats
125g flaked almonds

Method

Heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.  Place the flaked almonds into the oven and toast until golden brown.  Take out, leave to cool and reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees.

Mash the bananas until very soft.  Chop the dates into small pieces (size is not so important, but they need to be fairly small).  Roughly chop the walnuts, and mix together all of the ingredients except for the flaked almonds.

To bake these bars you need a 22x22cm (9x9in) glass or ceramic baking dish. Lightly grease the dish with olive oil.

Evenly spread the flaked almonds onto the bottom of the dish, and then press the oat mix over the top.  Press down firmly with your hands as you need the almonds to stick and to ensure a compact biscuit.

Bake in the oven for 30 mins.

Leave to cool completely, before cutting into squares.  If you have used a metal baking tray, then you will need to turn out onto a board, to prevent scratching the tray with your knife.