Tag Archives: easy meals

Linguine with prawns

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As I look out the window this afternoon, the sky is grey and so gloomy. Unbelievable. I won’t complain but boy we need the Sun, and soon! (Hopefully the weather will give us a break by the time this is published.) What do I do then to bring some sunshine in? I cook. This.

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It’s very very easy. To me pasta is a healthier version of fast food. Did you know that four portions of sweet and sour pork from a takeaway have around 36g of salt? So why not make this instead? It’s really child’s play. You can even throw in some spring greens or some young baby spinach instead of the courgette, and some honey for extra sweetness.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 courgette, cut into cubes
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • shot of white vermouth
  • 200g large frozen prawns
  • 1 large tomato, cut into cubes
  • juice of half a lemon
  • pepper
  • 250g dried linguine

Fill a pasta pan with water and wait for it to boil.

In the meantime, place a large shallow pan on the heat and leave it to heat up properly. Pour in the olive oil (not extra virgin – it would be a waste) and on a gentle heat add the garlic, onion, chilli flakes, salt and stir.

Add the courgette, red pepper, give everything a stir or two and wait till the veggies are softened but still have a bite to them. If you prefer cook them for a few more minutes. Pour in a shot of white vermouth and let it bubble away.

Cook the linguine according to packet instructions; they usually take 7-9 minutes to cook through.

Now it’s time to add the prawns to the sauce. When these are done add the lemon juice and the tomato. Add a little pepper.

When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and tip it into the sauce (that’s why you need a large pan), and mix everything well.

Serve immediately into 2-3 serving bowls and eat away.

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A fresh weekday dinner great for Spring, preferably eaten in a garden or terrace. Enjoy!

Rob x

Fajitas.

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My idea of a lovely evening would be inviting some friends over for a simple supper, which I can prepare in less than 30 minutes – in less than 10 preferably! I love my kitchen and spend days and days cooking and baking but I do get tired sometimes. So anything that can help me prepare an informal party in no time for and with the people I love spending time the most is always welcome in my book. It takes away the stress and panic, and I think that the simplest meals can be the best meals. These fajitas also take away the assemblage, which in this case is done by others! All you have to do is some prepping – cooking the meat in minutes in a pan and chopping the veggies. Easy stuff.

You can make these fajitas with chicken or beef, or any mixture of veggies you like. If you’re using any kind of meat, the trick is to marinate it well ahead of time to make it moist and tender. Who would want a dry fajita anyway? I had one once and it was stringy and chewy. Not nice. I made this some weeks ago after a very full day when I really didn’t want to spend more time in the kitchen than I had to. There was a little planning beforehand, nothing big – I knew I wanted to cook something quick, simple, and without too much work.

So I bought some rump, cut it into thick strips when I got home and marinated all of it for a couple of hours in the fridge. I then shallow-fried it and left it in the pan till it cooked to medium/rare, keeping an eye on it, as always. You don’t even need any oil if that’s what you prefer, especially if you use a non-stick pan – the marinade has plenty of moisture anyway. But I don’t like burnt meat, so this time I played it safe. All you have to do then is to chop a red pepper, throw in a yellow pepper for luck, dice one or two fresh tomatoes. Place these in individual serving bowls, together with a packet of ready washed rockets leaves and you’re done. Place everything on a corn tortilla, wrap it up and eat. For something extra you can serve it with cornbread for a meze style meal. Perfect for summer. The following is what you need for the marinade:

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed or very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small cubes or crystallized ginger (or ¼ teaspoon ginger powder)
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cold water

Place the meat in a bowl and pour the marinade over it. Mix it well, cover with cling film and put it in the fridge for an hour or two or until needed. Cook and serve on corn tortillas with greens and other vegetables. Easy!

Rob x