I absolutely adore this recipe, it’s wonderfully versatile and makes great use of whatever seasonal produce is available. You can switch the vegetables in and out depending on what you have, what’s in season and what you do (or don’t) like. For example I can’t […]
I love visiting Brittany, probably because it’s quite similar to Cornwall. And because the food is so delicious. I can’t go to Brittany and not eat a galette at some point. Preferably filled with gooey, melty Emmental. Mr Colonial Cravings is a fan too, although […]
Just because a meal is quick and easy doesn’t mean that it can’t be packed with flavour. Soft, creamy cheesy polenta and sweet plump prawns in a rich smoky tomato sauce. What could be better on a chilly evening?
I never tried shrimp and grits when we were living in the States, it was always made with bacon and I think the lack of a real sauce with it meant that it was never that appealing. A steaming bowl of this though? There’s a chance that I could eat that every night for dinner.
1/2 onion (any type)
1 fat clove of garlic
1 tbsp tomato puree
big handful of cherry tomatoes
1/2 sweet pepper (red, orange or yellow)
red chili (optional, as much or as little as you like)
1/2 tsp chipotle powder or smoked paprika
150g cooked large prawns
knob of butter
salt and pepper
olive oil for frying
Slice the onion and gently fry it in a little olive oil. Finely slice the garlic and add this to the pan once the onion has become translucent. Slice the pepper and quarter the tomatoes. Stir the tomato puree and the spice into the onion mix and add a splash of water to help it blend. Toss in the pepper and tomatoes and cook over a moderate heat for a couple of minutes until the tomatoes start to break down a little. Toss in the prawns and cook until they are just warmed through. Season to taste.
Meanwhile bring the water to boil in a medium pan. Reduce the heat and whisk in the polenta, cover and leave for 2-3 minutes to cook. Beat in the parmesan, butter and salt and pepper to taste.
Pile the polenta onto a plate and top with the tomato sauce and prawns before garnishing with a little chopped coriander and freshly ground black pepper.
Cornbread has become increasing popular in the Colonial Cravings household of late. But we’re not content to settle for standard, plain old, run-of-the-mill, common or garden varieties here. No, we like to (and actively encourage you to) play with our food here.
So this one got a makeover with the help of some jammy, sweet, roasted mini tomatoes and savoury fresh thyme. And it was scrummy! It’s like a savoury upside-down cake (secretly we all want cake for dinner) with fluffy, moist cornbread and lots of concentrated sweet tomato flavour.
makes 10 slices
185g ish of small tomatoes
handful of thyme sprigs
85g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
3 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for roasting the tomatoes)
Pre-heat your oven to 220°c.
Cut the tomatoes in half and toss them with the thyme in a little olive oil, salt and pepper in whichever tin you want to bake your cornbread in. Pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes (depending on how big they are) until they start to become soft and nicely roasted.
In a decent sized mixing bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients, so that they are really well combined and there are no lumps.
In another bowl or jug whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and olive oil. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in about half of the wet mixture. Stir it together so that it is loosely combined and then incorporate the rest of the liquid.
Use a spoon to gently arrange the tomatoes in the tin so that they will look pretty when you flip the corn bread over and then pour the batter evenly over them. Pop the tin back in the oven and bake it for about 20 minutes.
Allow the cornbread to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of it and place a serving plate over the top. Invert the plate and you should (hopefully) be able to lift off the tin to reveal the tomatoes. Serve whilst it’s still warm.
Who say’s muffins have to be a sweet treat loaded with sugar? These are packed with yummy veg and tangy cheese and are great at any time of day. They make a great brunch addition, grab and go breakfast or a portable lunch. These will probably become a bit of a breakfast staple for us at times when our American exploring warrants disgustingly early starts in the morning.
You can be pretty loose with all of the amounts for the veggies, if you don’t like olives then leave them out, if you love sun-dried tomatoes stick more of them in, it doesn’t really matter. If you do lose the olives then you might want to add a touch of salt or use parmesan cheese, I didn’t include it because I find that olives are quite salty anyway. The only one that you really have to stick with is the courgette (it keeps them nice and moist) but you can pick and choose any of the others that you like.
1/4 red pepper
1 small courgette
30g mixed olives
35g sun-dried tomatoes
150g plain flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp chopped fresh mixed herbs (I used parsley, oregano and thyme)
50g grated strong cheese
40g butter, melted
Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and line a 12 hole muffin tin with wrappers.
Dice the onion and pepper into fairly small pieces and gently sauté them in a little olive oil or butter. Grate the courgette and roughly chop the olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, herbs and pepper in a large mixing bowl. In a separate jug whisk the buttermilk, egg and butter together.
Mix about 2/3 of the grated cheese with the flour, making sure that it is well-distributed, before stirring through the prepared vegetables. Make a well in the centre and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir the batter together 3-4 times, don’t over mix, it should be just combined.
Spoon this batter into the muffin cases and sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake for 35 minutes (or there abouts) until they have risen and browned on top.
Enjoy hot or cold!
These will also freeze quite well.