Before I lived in the States I only ever really thought of tacos as the hard, crunchy shells you buy from the supermarket and fill with chilli and cheese. I was utterly oblivious to the world of deliciousness which ‘proper’ tacos provide, there are so […]
Crab was a particular speciality where we were living in the USA. Hauled out of the Chesapeake and boiled up with Old Bay seasoning or turned into delicious crab cakes.
It’s a delicacy back home in Cornwall too, freshly picked and eaten in sandwiches. I’ve gone super-Cornish with this recipe, which I made for St Piran’s day, and wrapped up the delicious sweet white crab meat into little pasties using a wonderful all butter pastry.
Using strong flour in the pastry dough makes it much stretchier and easier to work with when you’re shaping your pasties.
225g strong white flour
85ml (ish) cold water
120g white crab meat (tinned works fine)
1 small red chili
small bunch of fresh coriander
zest of 1 lemon
To make the pastry sift the flour and gently rub the cold butter into it until you have a breadcrumb-like mixture. Slowly add enough water to bring this all together to form a ball of dough. You can do all this in a food processor if you prefer. It’s a good idea at this point to wrap the dough in cling film and let it rest in the fridge whilst you prep the filling. Pre-heat the oven now to 200°c.
Thinly slice the shallot and finely chop the chili. Combine this with the crab meat, black pepper and the lemon zest. Roughly chop the coriander and stir this through the mixture.
Unwrap the dough and gently roll it out to about 3-4mm. Using a small plate or saucer as a guide cut out 4 discs from the dough, re-rolling as necessary. Divide the filling evenly between the pastry discs, heaping it in the centre. Brush the edge of the dough with beaten egg, fold the pastry over the filling and firmly press down the edges.
Now time to crimp! Not nearly as hard to do as it is to describe I promise. Place your index finger on the edge of the pastry at one end of the pasty. Now take the pastry just in front of it and pull it over your finger. Pull out your finger and repeat the process all around the edge and then simply tuck in the end. If that all sounds a bit too challenging them simply press around the edge with a fork.
Cut a couple of steam holes in the top of each pasty and brush with egg wash. Arrange on a greased baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes until they’re beautifully golden. Enjoy hot or cold!
I keep holding my breath and hoping for the spring weather but the rain and chilly winds keep laughing in my face! I’m trying to make the most of it by creating some delicious, warming, indulgent puddings. These little beauties are just fabulous. Fluffy chocolate […]
This summer we visited Ecuador on our way back from the US to the UK (yeah, I know, it’s not the most direct route!) I bought a big block of spiced hot chocolate back with me as an edible souvenir (the best kind). You just chop it up and melt it with milk to produce deliciously rich, thick, warmly spiced hot chocolate.
In spite of its size it’s not going to last forever though so I thought I had better set about working out a recipe to recreate it when it does eventually run out. Cinnamon, chili and dark chocolate are always delicious together and the touch of cornflour gives it a gloriously velvety feel. This is a real treat.
80g dark chocolate
2 tsp cornflour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of chili powder (or to taste)
splash of rum (optional)
whipped cream to serve
Finely chop the chocolate and add it to a pan with the milk. Whisk in the cornflour and flavourings and then set the pan over a low heat. Whisk or stir the pan until everything has melted together and the cornflour has thickened the hot chocolate a little. Add the booze, if you’re using it, and then pour into mugs and top with whipped cream.
I really do love my veggies but when the chilly weather arrives I’m less keen on the idea of tucking into a fridge-cold refreshing salad. I always want something that feels a bit more hearty and nourishing. This vegetarian delight certainly ticks those boxes. The […]
Succulent and aromatic, these little prawns cakes make a delicious appetiser or a great addition to any Asian soup or noodle dish if you’re in the market for something more substantial.
They’re pretty easy to whip up with the help of a food processor but don’t be tempted to skip the chilling stage, it really does make them so much easier to cook.
This recipe also multiplies easily if you need to feed more of a crowd.
1 red chili
1 6” lemongrass stalk
10g piece of fresh ginger
bunch of fresh coriander
1 tsp palm sugar/soft brown sugar
1 tsp dark soy sauce
juice of ½ lime
2 spring onions
175g fresh raw prawns
Remove the tough outer layers of the lemongrass and then finely slice it. Peel the ginger and de-seed the chili. Put all of this and the soy, sugar and lime juice into a food processor and whizz it into a rough paste. Slice the spring onions and add them, the coriander and half of the prawns to the food processor and mix it all together until it is quite well minced. Add the remaining prawns and then pulse the processor until they are roughly chopped.
Shape the mixture into eight small patties and then chill them for 30 minutes.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan and cook the prawn cakes for a couple of minutes on each side, until they become a little golden on the outside. Serve with sweet chili and soy dipping sauce.