Garlic Prawns (Gambas)

Serves 4 as part of tapas
300g raw prawns
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 lemon peel, sliced plus 1 lemon, 
100ml olive oil 
½ tsp dried chilli flakes 
1½ tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp chopped parsley, to garnish 
Crusty bread & lemon wedge, to serve

Heat a large frying pan on low, add the oil, garlic and sliced lemon peel and the zest directly into the pan cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Strain the oil into bowl, discarding the lemon and garlic. Return this flavoured oil to the pan and add dried chilli flakes and prawns, sauté until cooked, they will turn pink, it takes about a minute to two on each side. Pour in the sherry vinegar and the lemon zest and parsley. Spoon into bowls and serve with crusty bread and wedges of lemon.

Tip: For a stronger garlic flavour, add in 2 cloves of chopped garlic whilst frying the prawns.

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Serves 4-6 as part of tapas

Patatas Bravas

800g potatoes, peeled and diced in to 2cm pieces
2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
50ml olive oil
For the tomato sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
250ml diced tin tomatoes or 6 whole plum tomatoes (if making from scratch)
1 tsp sweet paprika
¼ tsp chilli powder
2 bay leaves
1½ tsp caster sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

A few sprigs of thyme and parsely to garnish

Rinse the potato dices and pat dry.  Heat a large frying pan (you may need to do this in two batches or use two frying pans), add the olive oil and fry the potatoes until golden on each side, then lower the heat to ensure they are cooked through. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Prepare the sauce in the meantime, heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds before adding the tomatoes, paprika, chilli powder, bay leaves, sugar and salt and freshly ground black pepper. Leave to simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. 

Check the seasoning, adding salt and freshly ground black pepper if required. 

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Transfer the fried potatoes to an oven proof serving dish (or individual serving dishes), spoon over the tomato sauce and place in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Garnish with sprigs of rosemary and chopped parsley. 

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Baba Ghanoush

Babaganoush 

Ingredients

3 medium-sized aubergines
1 lemon – juice of
3 tbsp of tahini paste
Glug of extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp Cumin
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of natural yoghurt
1 tbsp of chopped parsley

Method
Roast the aubergines in the oven at 170° for 30 minutes. Remove place in a bowl and cover in clingfilm. Leave for a half hour. Squeeze out the juice
Carefully remove the flesh from the skin and place in a bowl. Season with 1 tablespoon of salt add Olive Oil, Cayenne pepper and yoghurt refrigerate for three hours.

Remove from the fridge and check the seasoning. Garnish with a splash of olive oil and some freshly chopped parsley well textiles, salt to taste.

Taboulleh

Taboulleh/Tabouli

Ingredients – Serves six

140g bulgar wheat
150ml boiling salted water
3 firm plum tomatoes chopped
1 cucumber deseeded and finely chopped
5 spring onions finely sliced
1 lemon – juice of
3 tbsp of chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tbsp of mint chopped
4 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Method
Pour boiling salted water over Bulgar wheat in a large bowl. Covered in clingfilm and allowed to rest for 40 minutes. Remove the clingfilm and stir with a fork. Add the rest of the chopped ingredients and the lemon juice. Add all of the oil and mix. Check seasoning, serve.

Hummous

Hummous

Ingredients

120g of tahini paste
60ml of olive oil
1/2 tsp of ground Cumin
1 level teaspoon of salt
3 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
1 medium lemon juice + zest
1 tin of chickpeas  – retain the can juice & add as needed while the chick peas are being blended

Method
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a smooth paste using some of the can juice to loosen the blended mixture if too dry or water if you prefer. Garnish with Olive oil and Paprika.
Tip- if you are making by hand simmer the chickpeas for 20 minutes until soft instead so easier to mix.

Poutine in the Blue Mountains.

Cathrine and Mark go to Blue Mountain resort Ontario’s only year-round mountain resort, with over 50 different shops and restaurants also located there. While there they tasted poutine for the first time, a Canadian staple.

Wheaten Bread Recipe

Makes 2 bannocks of bread

340g plain flour
340g coarse whole meal flour
1 tbsp caster sugar,
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp heaped of baking soda
1 pint wheat bran
600ml quality buttermilk
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Method

Sieve the plain flour, caster sugar, salt and baking soda in a bowl. To this add coarse whole meal flour and the wheat bran. Stir well and then pour in the buttermilk & vegetable oil. Mix well and divide the mixture between two loaf tins and place in the centre of the oven at 200ºC, gas mark 6 or 392°F for 45mins. To check that the loaves are properly cooked, tip each one out of the tin and tap the base, It should sound hollow, if not return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Tip out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely. To serve, place the brown wheaten bread on a breadboard and cut into slices.

Maple Taffy

As long as you can secure real 100% pure maple syrup, then you’re good to go at any time of the year in any climate.

Ingredients

1 to 3 cups of pure maple syrup (1 cup is enough for a small family of three)
1 to 2 teaspoons of butter (it reduces splutter and spillover)
candy thermometer (not mandatory, but preferable)
snow (or finely crushed ice)
popsicle sticks

 

On medium heat, bring maple syrup and butter to a boil while stirring constantly. Use a sugar thermometer and remove maple taffy from heat when the mercury reaches anywhere from 235ºF to 245ºF. If you’re making taffy without a sugar thermometer, then keep stirring the syrup at a boil for roughly between 5 – 10mins or until it reaches 115 – 118 degrees. Prepare a tray of finely crushed ice by adding ice to blender/food processor, or place a  large dish or tray into the freezer for a few hours. Once this step is complete, remove taffy from heat and let it cool until all bubbles subside. Then conduct a test by pouring a small amount of taffy onto the crushed on ice, or the plate/tray from the freezer. 

Is the taffy thick yet supple enough that it wraps around a popsicle stick with ease? 

Does it stay put on the stick? Perfect. You’re good to go.

If the Taffy is too thin? Then put it back on the heat and bring to a boil again for 2 to 5 minutes max. And try the test again. 

If it’s too thick and rigid? add small increments of water and stir until the taffy reaches