Tag Archives: sweet chilli sauce

sweet chilli prawns

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The daughter was away over the weekend. While she is an obliging offspring, there are some things she’d prefer not to see on her plate, & so we like to take advantage of these absences in order to indulge ourselves. Thus on Saturday, as we did our supermarket shop, the husband earnestly besought me to make ‘nice tasty prawns’ for dinner. And so we picked up 400g of raw frozen prawns as we passed the chilled/frozen seafood section, & went on our way to the checkout.

When dinner time rolled around, I decided that some noodles would be good – I try to keep a few packets of udon noodles in the pantry, so grabbed a couple of packets & transferred their contents to a bowl before putting the kettle on to boil. (These are the Trident noodles from the supermarket ie soft & longlife.)

Then I got everything else together: a thumb-sized piece of raw ginger, very thinly sliced (I love my slicey-grate-y mandoline-y thing that I bought at Fieldays) and then chopped even finer; 8 cloves of garlic (because that was how many there were in the small head of garlic in the kitchen; no vampires at our place tonight!); a long sweet red pepper, also very finely sliced; freshly squeezed lime juice, & the bottle of sweet chilli sauce. And the prawns, which I’d left out to defrost.

I sloshed a bit of olive oil into my heavy-based frying pan & brought it to a medium heat before adding the ginger & garlic, shaking it around so they didn’t burn. The prawns, once drained, went in next. It took 4-5 minutes, stirring often, for their flesh to go from translucent to white and their tails to that nice pink that tells you they’re done. After they’d been cooking for about 2 of those minutes I added the red pepper slices.

At that point I also poured the hot water from the kettle over my noodles, stirred them around to separate them, and microwaved on high for 60 seconds.

By this time the prawns were done, so I added the lime juice and a decent slug (ie to taste πŸ˜€ – about 1/4 c in my case) to the prawns & mixed so that everything was coated, then drained the noodles & yelled that dinner was ready.

I regret to report that between the two of us we ate the lot.

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crispy pork belly with sweet chili caramel sauce

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We’ve got Nana staying at the moment ** and we’re doing our best to spoil her rotten. In part this involves cooking things that she’ll love but would never cook for herself. So on Saturday I tried a recipe that my friend Fiona had told me about – I had a piece of pork belly in the freezer that was just begging to have something nice done to it.

When Fiona made this recipe she cooked the pork in her slow cooker, but my piece was the wrong size for that. So I put it – frozen, because I only decided to do this on Saturday morning! – in a roasting dish, poured a litre of chicken stock over the top, covered the dish with aluminium foil & sealed it as much as possible, & then put it in the oven at 120 degrees C. After 4 & 1/2 hours the meat was sooooo tender!

I decanted the stock (through a sieve, to catch the meaty bits) into a jug, skimmed off the fat (the birds in our garden were very happy about that, next morning πŸ™‚ ), & put the jug in the fridge; it will be excellent in the risotto I’ve got planned for Tuesday. The meat went in a smaller dish, skin side up & with crumpled foil around it so only the skin was exposed. Using a sharp knife (what other kind is there?) I cut a series of lines through the skin, to make it easier to serve later, then brushed the skin with oil & sprinkled it with salt, before putting it aside to wait while the roast veges cooked.

And while they cooked, I made the sauce. Fiona had told me about its delectable nature but not what the actual ingredients were, so I decided to go the usual route & Make Stuff Up. Into a small saucepan went 1/2 sugar (I used white but Fiona told me this morning that brown also works well) & a couple of Tblsp of water. I cooked this over a low heat, stirring lots, until the sugar melted & went a light golden brown. At this point it came off the heat & I added the juice of 2 limes – we have an oversupply of these at the moment but apparently they freeze really well – followed by half a cup of sweet chilli sauce. You’ll need to be careful doing this as the caramel may spit!

The final step was to put the meat under the grill until the crackling was done, before serving the meal up to a very happy family. (The sauce was voted a ‘keeper’, & certainly the leftover sauce went very well with last night’s chicken burgers πŸ˜€ ) Nana said, perhaps she should stay longer πŸ™‚

** Β Poppa died a few weeks ago, after a mercifully short last illness. Hence the blogging hiatus; I’ve had other things on my mind & simply couldn’t get into writing. Hopefully we’re all moving onwards now.

sweetcorn salsa

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Recently we’ve been trying to eat our sweetcorn crop before the drought dealt to it. (Sweetcorn sucks through the water & we feel there’s a limit to how much hosing we should do.) We usually just boil it & eat with a littlebittabutter, but casting about for something different, I came up with this. You could vary the quantities & the other ingredients too; I really don’t think it would matter πŸ™‚

I husked and removed the silk from 5 largish ears of corn before popping them in a large pan of boiling water. While they simmered for 5 minutes before being cooled in a sink of cold water, I de-seeded a couple of our long red peppers & cut them into small dice (about the size of corn kernels; funny, that), then added them to a bowl along with 3 finely-sliced spring onions.

When the corn was cool enough to handle, I used a sharp knife to slice the kernels from each cob, & tipped those into the bowl too – stir everything up as this will help to separate the kernels.

The final step was to slosh in some sweet chilli sauce (as much as you like, really) & add salt & pepper to taste.

And the salsa went down a treat as a side dish for a barbecue dinner.

garlic prawns & fried rice

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When I went past the ‘fish’ section of the supermarket the other day, I noticed that they were selling raw prawns for $9.99 a kilo. (I can’t for the life of me see why they don’t just make it $10 or whatever; is anyone really fooled by the .99???) Now, the daughter dislikes prawns intensely but she was away in Taupo, so I bought a kilo & popped the bike saddlebags along with the things I’d actually gone there to buy. (At this point I must say that I hadn’t really thought about the effort entailed in peeling the things, but anyway πŸ™‚ )

It’s been barbecue weather here for what seems like ages, so that’s how I intended to cook my little crustaceans. After shelling them – there were rather a lot but everyone seemed hungry – I mixed together: 2 egg whites (left over from the brioche the other day), 2 Tbsp cornflour, a good grind of salt & pepper, & several (small) heads of garlic, crushed. That was then stirred through the prawns, & I left them in the fridge to soak in that garlicky goodness while I contemplated the rest of dinner.

Salad? That went without saying; we have lettuce & cucumbers & tomatoes in abundance, & there was still a nice avocado from last weekend’s market trip. I decided on a fruity, spicy dressing as that would go well with both salad & prawns: into the blender went the contents of a 450 g tin of peaches in fruit juice, along with 3-4 Tbsp of sweet chilli sauce. (It would have been mango dressing but I only had peaches in the cupboard.) Yum!

We also had about 2 c cooked rice in the fridge, left over from the previous night’s dinner. So I chopped a red bell pepper into eensy little pieces & added that to the rice with a handful of chopped garlic chives & a Tbsp or so of grated root ginger before beating in a couple of eggs.

At which point the husband fired up the barbecue: the rice/vege mix went onto the hot plate in large spoonfuls (I got about a dozen little cakes from that quantity) & the prawns went in batches onto the grill until their heads & tails were pink & their flesh white & cooked through. It took us a while to get through them all, but somehow we managed it πŸ™‚ And the peach-&-chilli dressing wentΒ so well with everything.