Seared scallop, king prawn and crab linguine

This scallop, prawn and crab linguine is a celebration of seafood. I have paired it with the lightness of creme fraiche, the tang of lemon and the freshness of parsley to lift the dish to dizzy heights. A hint of red chilli also works well here if you like to add an extra layer of flavour. The sauce should lightly coat each strand of pasta; if you find it is a bit too thick then add a splash of the pasta water to loosen it slightly.

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Ingredients- serves 4
300g linguine
Knob of unsalted butter
300g raw king prawns- peeled and deveined
300g scallops- cleaned
Pot of white crab meat
1 clove of garlic
1 small red chilli- deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
100ml white wine
2-3 tbsp creme fraiche (I used light creme fraiche)
Lemon
Handful of fresh flatleaf parsley- finely chopped

1. Start off by boiling a large pan of water and cook the linguine according to the packet instructions; drain when al dente. As the pasta starts off then get going on the sauce as this is relatively quick.

2. Take a nonstick frying pan and heat the knob of butter over a medium heat. Sear the scallops for approximately 3 minutes on each side until golden, remove from the pan and set aside. Cover with foil. The scallops I used were large and I then cut them across so give two discs so it was easier to toss through the pasta.

3. Add a glug of oil to the pan and fry off the garlic and chilli (if using) for a minute or two. Pour in the wine and cook until reduced by half. Lower the heat and add the creme fraiche, a good squeeze of lemon juice and the prawn and crab. Simmer until the prawns are cooked through and a beautiful blush pink. Just before this, add the scallops back into the pan. Before serving sprinkle through some parsley and toss the scallop sauce through the pasta.

Seared scallop, prawn and crab linguine- simple, fresh and decadent!

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Sticky teriyaki chicken bites

Teriyaki actually refers to the method of cooking in a glaze of mirin, soy and sugar but think teriyaki and you think of a glossy, sticky sauce that is so easy to make so there’s no excuse not to make your own. Yes, yes, it’s quick to buy it from the shelf of your local supermarket but the finish is not the same so spend 5 minutes over this sauce and you’ll never buy it again!

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Ingredients- serves 4
4 tbsp dark soy or tamari
4 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
2 tsp cornstarch
4 skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

1. Start off by taking a small pan and add the soy, mirin and sugar and bring to the boil. Meanwhile add the cornstarch to the water and stir well so no lumps remain and add to the pan. Continue to cook the sauce until it starts to reduce. Take off the heat and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180 fan. Place the chicken on a baking tray before coating in the teriyaki sauce. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds, or roll them in a larger amount if you like, and cook for around 15 minutes or until cooked through depending on the size of each portion. Remove the chicken and allow to rest for a minute or two before cutting the breasts into slices. Alternatively you can slice the chicken whilst making the sauce and you can cook it in the teriyaki as it’s reducing before sprinkling with toasted sesame to serve. Enjoy with stir fried vegetables or on a bed of rice.

Sticky teriyaki chicken- a quick sauce for a delicious chicken dish!

Carmarthen ham, asparagus ribbons and ricotta fusilli

This has to be one of the quickest recipes around so there’s no excuse not to get cooking in the week. Keep it simple and keep it delicious! I love the lightness ricotta brings which makes the other ingredients sing!

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Ingredients- serves 4
300g dried fusilli
1 banana shallot- finely sliced
2 garlic cloves- finely chopped
1 small red chilli- deseeded and finely chopped
4 slices of Carmarthen or Parma ham- cut into pieces
150g asparagus- ribboned with a vegetable peeler
4 tbsp ricotta

1. Start off by boiling a large pan of water and cook the fusilli according to packet instructions. Meanwhile take a large frying pan and heat a glug of vegetable oil over a medium heat. Pop in the shallot, garlic and chilli and cook out for a minute or so. Next up goes the asparagus and ham. Cook for an additional couple of minutes until the asparagus has a slight crunch to it and the ham is cooked through.

2. Drain the pasta well, add a little olive oil and stir through the ricotta whilst the pan is on the heat. Add in the asparagus and ham mix and combine. You may also like to top with a parmesan and panko crumb for added texture. Simply take the panko and parmesan and toast in a dry pan before sprinkling over.

A light, fresh pasta for a summer day!

Smoky chilli, tequila and lime brisket

Smoky chilli, tequila and lime is a classic Mexican combination which have been brought together in this wonderfully full and deep flavoured chilli. The key to this is to cook the brisket for a longer time on a low heat to give it chance to develop the spice levels. I have used a combination of ancho and arbol chillies as the ancho brings a gentle smokiness and the arbol adds a bit of fire! Stock up on these beauties over at http://spicemountain.co.uk.

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Ingredients- serves 4
600g (approx) beef brisket
Glug of vegetable oil
1 onion- chopped
2 garlic cloves- finely chopped or grated
2 tsps of the following spices: ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, cayenne
30ml tequila
1 lime
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
400ml beef stock
2 large dried ancho chillies
2 dried or fresh arbol chillies (optional)

1. Start by preheating the oven to 170c/ 150 fan. Take a deep casserole that will by large enough to fit the brisket and add a splash of oil. Brown off the brisket on each side over a medium/ high heat before removing and setting aside.

2. Pop in the onion and garlic and cook on a medium heat until softening but not turning golden. Next up go the spices, stir well to coat the onion and cook for a further minute to help release their flavours. Add the tequila and juice from one lime and reduce by half; this will also deglaze the bottom of the pan. The tequila adds a bit of bite but if you prefer you could also use a light beer.

3. Add the chillies, stock and tomatoes and return the brisket to the pan and bring to a simmer. I leave it for a few minutes on the hob bubbling away before placing in the oven for 2- 2 1/2 hours. Check it for time to time and add a splash of stock if needed so it doesn’t try out. The chilli should be rich, dark and unctuous when it is ready and the meat should fall apart. Serve with rice or filled in tacos and dig in!

Smoky chilli, tequila and lime brisket- a taste of Mexico in the comfort of your own home!

Lamb, beetroot, feta and mint koftas with homemade tzatsiki

Go Greek this summer with these lamb, beetroot, feta and mint koftas. Ideal to make and enjoy straight away but also delicious cold as well as freezing well. Dig in for dinner or pack for a picnic! Every for kofta need a killer dip so I’ve given you my homemade tzatsiki recipe too- don’t say I don’t treat you!

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Ingredients- serves 4-6
400g lamb mince
2 medium beetroots- peeled and grated
1 small pack of feta
1 small pack of fresh mint- finely chopped
Ground cumin and coriander
Salt and pepper

For the tzatsiki
Natural Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber- grated
Handful of fresh mint- finely chopped
2 garlic cloves- crushed
Olive oil
Ground cumin

1. Start off by placing the lamb mince in a large bowl and add in the grated beetroot, crumble in the feta, chopped mint and season well. Add 1 tsp of the ground cumin and 1 tsp ground coriander. Work the mince with your hands so it becomes firm and binds together. Decent mince shouldn’t need an egg or breadcrumbs to help it along so give it a little time and form small sausages with the mixture. Place the kofta on a baking tray and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour or until you need them.

2. Meanwhile make the tzatsiki by grabbing a bowl and pouring the yogurt in followed by the mint, cucumber,garlic, a glug of olive oil, pinch of salt and a good pinch of ground cumin. Cover and chill.

3. When you’re ready to enjoy the koftas, simply heat a little oil in a large nonstick frying pan and fry in batches over a medium heat. Serve in pitta bread with salad, pickled chillies and top with the tzatsiki. If you have leftover kofta then they are delicious cooked in a tagine style with a base of tomato- http://wp.me/p4O5jd-e3.

Greek lamb, beetroot, feta and mint kofta with homemade tzatsiki- a summertime winner!