Indonesian Seafood Curry

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Indonesian Seafood Curry, so called because I made it in Indonesia with ingredients from the local market, definitely not because it is an authentic Indonesian curry. Still delicious as anything though!

I’ve been a bit slack on social media of late. Caught up in the shoeless island life. Sun, sea, fish bbq and countless margaritas…it’s been bliss.

Use this curry paste with any veggies, tempeh, tofu, eggs, seafood or meat. It would also work with rice instead of noodles. I’ll be posting a recipe for a jackfruit curry using the same curry paste soon.

Use less chillies if you aren’t up for a hot curry!

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Recipe

Ingredients

Curry Paste (makes about 3 cups)

1 red onion, peeled and chopped

10cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped

10 birdseye chillies

6 kaffir lime leaves

4 lemongrass stalks, white and pale green parts, peeled and chopped

Bunch fresh coriander, leaves, stalks and roots, washed and chopped

Whole bulb garlic, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup tamarind pulp

80g palm sugar

6 limes, juiced

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp turmeric powder

3 tsp coriander

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp salt

1/4 cup coconut oil

Curry

1 tbs sesame oil

1 1/2 cups curry paste

1 litre coconut cream

2 cups chicken or veg stock

3 tbs fish sauce

Bunch snake beans, chopped (about 2 cups)

3 asian eggplant, sliced into 3cm rounds

12 spears baby corn

2 bok choy, quartered

500g prawns

To serve

Cooked rice vermicelli

Fresh shallots, chopped

Fried shallots

Fresh coriander

Beansprouts

Chilli sambal

Method

In a large wok, heat the sesame oil over medium to high heat. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, for about 1min until fragrant. Add the coconut cream, stock, fish sauce, beans, eggplant and corn. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened and vegetables are just tender, about 10mins. Add water if necessary.

Add the bok choy and prawns and cook for a further 3mins or until prawns are just cooked.

Serve curry in bowls over the cooked noodles and top with the fresh and fried shallots, coriander, beansprouts and sambal on the side.

 

 

 

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Creamy Champagne Prawns with Leek and Thyme

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IMG_4163 IMG_4238 IMG_4250I made this dish while we were staying in a cute little apartment in the middle of Paris. I started the day wanting to make Champagne Mussels, a popular French dish, but couldn’t find mussels anywhere. In the end I was glad I ended up with these beautiful tiger prawns instead. The flavours in this dish are really delicious, and made even more perfect when soaked up with some fresh buttered baguette. People in France really do buy baguettes every single day! I found a new appreciation for fresh white bread and butter while we were there, a treat I decided to leave in Paris as my shorts are starting to feel a little tight…

Warning, this meal can get a bit messy. Either have some good napkins on hand, or, peel the prawns, leaving the tail on, before you cook them.

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Recipe

Serves 4 as an entree

Ingredients

500g raw tiger prawns

2 tbs olive oil

1 leek, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tbs fresh thyme leaves

2 bay leaves

500ml champagne

1/2 tsp curry powder

1 tbs dijon mustard

200ml cream

salt and pepper

Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped

Fresh baguette and butter, to serve

Method

In a large, deep frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek and cook, stirring, for 5-10mins, until soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for a further 2mins. Add the zest, juice, thyme, bay leaves, champagne, curry powder and mustard. Bring to the simmer and cook for about 10mins, or until thickened and reduced.

Add the prawns and cook, adding a little water if necessary, for about 3mins or until just cooked. Add the cream, salt, pepper and parsley and cook for a further 1min.

Serve with the baguette and butter.

Enjoy!

 

 

Seafood Laksa (kind of)

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This is another favourite from the weekend markets here in Darwin, each stall has their own recipe; all equally delicious. I wouldn’t ever claim this to be anywhere near an authentic replica, I used a lot of what I had on hand, and also tried to use a little less oil compared to the traditional recipes. I love this dish for that reason though, so long as you have a few of the key elements, you will no doubt be able to produce a delicious meal.

Another awesome part about this dish is that half of the elements don’t even get added until the very end, so, by putting all of these ingredients out on the table, you not only make for a colourful and exciting table full of food, you also allow people to top their soups in whichever way they choose. This is a great way of catering for a mix of, meat eaters, seafood lovers/haters, and vegetarians. To the list of toppers I have included in this recipe, you could also add; shredded chicken, boiled egg, cucumber, carrot, cabbage…anything you think might be nice.

One more awesome thing…. it’s incredibly delicious as a cold dish the next day; if you manage to keep any leftovers that is!

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Laksa Paste

Ingredients

1 1/2 tbs dried shrimp, soaked in 1/2 cup boiling water for 10 mins

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp turmeric

2 long red chillies

2 birdseye chillies

3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, diced

1 red onion, peeled, diced

2 stalks lemongrass, white and pale green part, diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled, diced

10 roasted cashews

2 tsp roasted shrimp paste

1 tsp peanut oil

Method

In a frying pan, over medium high heat, dry fry the spices for about 1-2mins, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind into powder.

Place the spices and the soaked shrimp, along with the soaking water, and all the remaining ingredients into a small food processor or a bowl deep enough to process with a stick blender. Process until a smooth paste forms.

Transfer to a jar and keep refrigerated. It will last about 1 -2 weeks.

Seafood Laksa

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tbs peanut oil

12 large green prawns, peeled (reserved), de-viened, tails left on

1/2 cup laksa paste

6 cups fish/chicken/or vegetable stock

400ml coconut cream

250g firm tofu, cubed

250g green beans, trimmed and halved

1 tsp coconut sugar

1 tbs fish sauce

Juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper

500g firm white fish fillet, cut into 4cm cubes

200g vermicelli noodles

200g wide rice noodles

Bean sprouts, spring onion, chilli, coriander, mint, thai basil, fried shallots, roasted peanuts, lime wedges, to serve

Method

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Fry the reserved prawn shells for about 3 mins, until they turn red. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving as much oil in the saucepan as possible.

Add the laksa paste to the saucepan and cook, stirring, for 2-3 mins.

Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the coconut cream and bring to the simmer. Add the tofu, beans, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and some salt and pepper and allow to simmer for 10-15mins.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of boiling water, cook the rice noodles and vermicelli, cooking the thicker ones first for about 2 mins, then adding the vermicelli for about 1 min. Strain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

Add the fish and prawns to the laksa. Turn off the heat and allow to gently cook through for about 5-8mins.

Divide the noodles between the serving bowls. Top with the laksa, ensuring even distribution of ingredients.

Top with remaining ingredients as desired.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut Crusted Prawns with a Lentil, Tomato, Cucumber, Coriander Salad and Green Mango and Ginger Chutney

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I’m in heaven at the moment. Camping in a tiny fishing village called Karumba in the Gulf of Carpentaria. It has one shop, one petrol station, one guy that sells mud crabs, one caravan park that sells local seafood and of course, there’s two pubs, one of which is especially awesome, where you can sit on the water and watch the sun set over the ocean. An occurrence I have never witnessed in this country!
It’s actually not the most amazing place, but after the five days of travelling through the dusty, hot, fly and croc infested route we just did from Cooktown, anything would seem like heaven.
It was a slightly testing experience, three couples, all with different ideas and at times different schedules, it was a good test for what we have to come on the road to Darwin and beyond. I’m quite proud of our little posse and I hope the others are too. Coming here and recouping has been great for us, especially being able to share a nice meal together and a cold beverage or two (especially without the fear of crocs, snakes and wolf creek style men in the middle of the night).
The wildlife we have seen on this trip so far has been amazing, including huge Salt Water Crocs (of which we had a much to close encounter with), Cassowaries, Turtles, big butterflies, huge Wedge Tail Eagles, Brolgas, Raptors, Kangaroos, Wallabies, wild pigs/horses/cows, snakes, lizards and Goannas. Fishing has been fun, although difficult at times because of the risk of crocs. We have a bush tucker book with us which was very handy when we caught a couple of Catfish. We were all under the assumption that we couldn’t eat them but the book told us otherwise, and with a few spices and some lemon, cooked on the fire, the flesh was beautifully silky and delicious.
Back in Cooktown I picked a big bag of green mangoes, slightly disappointed that they weren’t ripe yet, but also excited to see if this chutney would work. And it did! Deliciously tart and sweet and perfect for seafood. You could add extra chilli too, almost turning it into more of a chilli sauce. This recipe makes a good amount so that you can keep it for sandwiches etc. There are two recipes here; one for the chutney and one for the prawn dish.

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Recipe

Chutney

Ingredients

2.5kg Green mangoes, peeled and flesh diced
2 tbs rice bran oil, or other lightly flavoured oil
2 red onions, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp black mustard seeds
5 tsp fresh ginger, grated
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
3 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chilli flakes

Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft, about five minutes. Be careful not to let it go brown or stick to the bottom. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and ginger and sauté for another minute or so or until fragrant.
Add the mango and all other remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour, until mango is soft and liquid has reduced.
Transfer into sterilised jars and leave to cool. Store in the refrigerator. Ideally leave for a day or so before consuming, to allow the flavours to develop.

Recipe
Serves 4 as a lunch or light dinner

Ingredients

Prawns
24 green prawns, peeled and de-veined, leave the tails on for presentation if you wish
2 eggs
1/4 cup cold water
4 tbs rice bran oil or other mild flavoured oil
1-2 cups coconut flour
1 tsp salt
1-2 cups shredded coconut
Salad
250g puy lentils (also known as french green lentils), boiled in salted water until just cooked, cooled
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
2 lebanese cucumbers chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 green capsicum, chopped
1 clove garlic, finley chopped
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
Olive oil
White wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
To serve
Green mango and ginger chutney
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Plain yoghurt

Method
For the salad, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, stir well to combine the flavours, drizzle with olive oil, vinegar, pinch of salt and pepper, stir again to combine and set aside.
For the prawns, whisk the egg, water and 1 tbs of the oil in a bowl. Put the coconut flour and salt in another bowl and the shredded coconut in another bowl.
Dip a prawn in the egg mixture, then in the coconut flour, then back in the egg and then coat with the shredded coconut. Continue until all the prawns are coated.
Heat a frying pan or bbq to medium high heat. using the remaining 3 tbs of oil, quickly fry the prawns, flipping them with a spatula after about a minute, being careful not to separate the crust from the prawn. Cook for another minute or two until prawns are just cooked through and the crust is golden brown.
Serve the prawns with the salad, chutney, lemon and yoghurt. Enjoy!

King Prawn, Watermelon and Feta Salad with Spelt Crisps

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So after months of planning, I’m finally on the road. I arrived in Queensland today, I’m pretty sure the sun came out as I crossed the border. Walking around the streets and breathing in the flowery, warm air is making me very happy. We’ve got lots to look forward to!

I just spent the last couple of days in beautiful Lennox Heads, surfing, walking, laying in the sun and dreaming of the delicious tropical ingredients that await. I’m looking forward to the challenge of creating delicious meals with limited pantry ingredients; so here is my first of many fresh, simple and delicious meals to come.

If you like, you can replace the prawns with crispy, fried pieces of speck; it’s seriously delicious. Or, you can leave meat out entirely and still have a very satisfying and tasty vegetarian meal. Replace the spelt crisps with any type of bread, or use a gluten free alternative if need be.

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Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 a small or 1/4 of a large watermelon, cubed

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 bunch of mint, leaves picked

1 cup kalamata olives, pitted

2 limes, 1 juiced and 1 quartered for serving

1/8 cup macadamia oil, plus extra for drizzling

salt and pepper

185g firm feta, cubed

20 cooked king prawns, peeled (leave tails on for presentation if you like)

4 spelt mountain bread wraps

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line two baking trays. Cut the mountain bread into triangles and place on trays without overlapping. Drizzle with macadamia oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 10 mins or until crispy. Remove and allow to cool.

In a large bowl combine the watermelon, onion, 3/4 of the mint leaves, olives, prawns, lime juice, macadamia oil, and salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine.

Turn salad out onto a serving platter and top with the feta, remaining mint leaves and quartered lime.

Serve with the spelt crisps, drizzle individual servings with extra lime juice and a fresh crack of salt and pepper. Enjoy!