Prawn Jambalaya

I hadn’t really heard of the term “Jambalaya” before, but Wikipedia informs me that this is a dish from Louisiana with French & Spanish influences – so think Paella influence. Normally meat with vegetables & rice… however mine was made purely with prawns and no other “meat” as such.

I found the recipe on the BBC Good Food website while doing a google-box search for a prawn recipe and adapted to my own store cupboard ingredient. Although it was a tasty dish – I am not sure that I would make it again. Firstly because the recipe makes enough for 4 portions and because we are only 2, the rest was “leftovers” for the next day – and I am not a huge fan of reheating prawns.

Having said all that – I repeat that it was still tasty!

Prawn Jambalaya

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 celery sticks, sliced
200g rice
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon piri piri
400g can chopped tomatoes
250ml chicken stock
2 garlic cloves crushed
300g prawns (thawed if frozen)
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

  • Heat oil in a large, deep frying pan
  • Fry onion & celery for 5min
  • Add rice, spices, garlic, tomatoes & chicken stock
  • Cover with a lid & simmer for 30min until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed (add more liquid if needed)
  • Stir in the prawns – until cooked through
  • Stir in parsley & serve

Advertisements

Mexican Rice and Beans

Generally I make up a pot of chili con carne and serve it over rice… but one night, I decided to rather incorporate everything into one pot and which lead to my version of a “Mexican Rice and Beans“.

An easy(ish) mid-week meal that tastes great!

And of course, Mommy’s little helper got in on the action as well 😉

Mexican Rice and Beans

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1Tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves – crushed
tin of tomato paste
500ml Passata
425g tin of red kidney beans (I like to use the variant that is already in chilli sauce)
1 green pepper – diced
200g tin of sweetcorn
500ml stock (I prefer to use chicken stock – which means that this isn’t vegetarian)
1teaspoon brown sugar
1 and half cups long grain rice

  • Heat frying pan over a medium heat
  • Add cumin, allspice, chilli flakes and paprika and *dry fry* for about a minute to release the flavours
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and spices and cook for 2-3minutes
  • Add garlic and rice and cook for a further minute
  • Add the tomato paste, passata, sugar and stock
  • Bring to the boil
  • Reduce the heat and add beans, green pepper & sweetcorn.
  • Simmer, covered for 15-20minutes, stirring occasionally until rice is cooked

Takumi – Japanese Restaurant (Brussels)

Recently, HIM and I ventured out in our neighbourhood to finally try out the Japanese inspired Restaurant on Lesbroussart in Ixelles – called Takumi.

Takumi 1

I had read such wonderful reviews about the place on S Marks the Spots & The Foodalist blogs – that I knew that this was where I wanted to have lunch on my birthday.

It is a dinky little spot – offering a little counter space (4 bar stools) as well as seating for about 20 – decorated in simple tons of bamboo-style wood & splashes of red (Plus we both loved the funky design of the blue paper placemats as well as the well placed pictures on the wall. Clean and fresh is how I would describe it!

Takumi 8 Takumi 3 Takumi 2

We started off by sipping on their home made jasmine iced tea (3,50€ per jar)

Takumi 7

and checking out their menu (short… but fulfilling all needs!)

Takumi 9

They offer a lunchtime special whereby you can enjoy 3 gyoza’s & a rice bowl for 13€ – so we were sorted!

HIM ordered the 3 Ginger Pork Gyozas while I got the 3 Chicken Classic Gyozas… OMG… so good… so fresh and I could have inhaled more! (Normal 6 cost 7€; 8 cost 9€ and 10 cost 10€)

Takumi 6

For our rice bowls (otherwise known as Donburi) – HIM ordered the Niku Miso (rice topped with minced pork with miso, ginger & cucumber 13€)

Takumi 4

I got the Karaage (rice topped with crumbed fried chicken, cucumber and sweet soy sauce 13€)

Takumi 5

I tried HIM’s and love it… definitely what I would order the next time that I am there. Mine… as tasty as it was – was a bit disappointing – but only because of my own personal aversion to chicken skin… as they had taken pieces of chicken (thigh/breast, etc) and battered and deep-fried them with the skin still on – which always made it very juicy – but just a little on the fatty side for me.

Would I go back? Definitely – it ranks up there along with places like Knees to Chin & La Piola for a quick and easy dinner in the neighbourhood.

TAKUMI

address: Rue Lesbroussart 8, 1050, Ixelles, Brussels, BELGIUM

telephone: +32 488 43 04 42

website: http://www.takumi.be

email: takumibruxelles@gmail.com

Opening Hours: Monday: 18h30-22h00; Tuesday-Wednesday: 12h00-14h00 & 18h30-22h00 and Thursday-Saturday: 12h00-14h00 & 18h30-23h00

Indian Rice Salad with Chicken

As I start to work through the pile of magazine recipe cut-outs (7years worth), I am drawn to the fact that there is so many things that I want to make… and so little time!!!!!!

This particular recipe was from the BBC Good Food Magazine (issue August 2013) & is perfect for the holiday season – when there are leftovers to be used up!!!! I adapted it slightly based on what was in my fridge – using basil leaves instead of coriander, I added a tin of peach slices which I diced up, I used mayo instead of creating a dressing & I omitted the blackbeans & pomegranate seeds.

All in all – this is definitely a great idea for clearing out the fridge!!!

Indian Rice Salad with chicken

indian rice salad 3

2 cups of uncooked rice (even better if you have leftover cooked rice!)
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon of medium curry powder
100g cashew nuts
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 chicken breast sliced (or whatever leftover fowl meat you might have!)
Fresh herbs – finely chopped
1 tin of peaches, chopped
2 Tablespoons of mayo

  • Cook rice with tumeric & curry powder
  • Rinse with cold water to cool down & drain well
  • Mix all ingredients together & serve

indian rice salad 1

Apparently this recipe can last 2-3days in the fridge … but it is so tasty, I would be surprised if it lasted that long!

Easy Egg Fried Rice

Around new years… when cooking and food were WAY down on my list of priorities (the post-Christmas feeling)… I did however decide to make something quick and easy for dinner one night…

so googlebox to the rescue….

And the best recipe that I found was from the Recipe Critic … and it is something that I have already re-made in the meantime as it easily can become a staple in our menu planning… PLUS it beats any restaurant version hands down!

Easy Fried Rice

egg fried rice chopsticks

2 cups of rice (already cooked)

drizzle of oil

half an onion – diced

1 cup of frozen peas (I place these in room temperature water for about 10min to take the frost off – remember to drain before using :))

1 cup of carrots – diced

3 Tablespoons of soya sauce

2 eggs beaten (I would even throw caution to the cholesterol-wind and make it 3 :))

egg fried rice ingredients

  1. Fry onion in a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan
  2. Add the carrots… and fry for about 5minutes
  3. egg fried rice carrots
  4. Add peas and cook on a medium heat for another 5minutes (or until tender)
  5. egg fried rice carrots and peas
  6. Remove from the pan
  7. Pour the beaten egg mixture into the frying pan and using a spatula… create a dry scrambled egg mixture
  8. egg fried rice pan
  9. Place rice, veggies, egg mixture and soya sauce into pan
  10. egg fried rice final 1
  11. Stir through until everything is heated through
  12. Eat & enjoy…
  13. egg fried rice final 2

Pork Sausage meatballs and rice one pot

Friday nights have become *date night*… as HIM works Monday-Thursday evenings and I work Monday-Friday days (he also works Friday day)… we don’t really get enough Quality-time (Kwality with a capital “K”) – until we get to Friday afternoon/evenings.

We are in the process of perfecting this *tradition*… sometimes we go out for dinner (just the 2 of us), sometimes we order in a pizza… and sometimes… if I haven’t almost collapsed after a week of work… I cook!

This past Thursday night – I had already started to scour the recipes to see what I could cook for Friday night and both HIM & I agreed that we liked the below recipe!

Straight out of the BBC Good Food magazine (March 2009 issue)… it was a quick, easy, cheap and very tasty meal.

Mr Draper – I would like you to know that this is a recipe that we will DEFINITELY be doing again 🙂

Pork Sausage meatballs & rice one pot

sausage rice one pot final 2

6 good quality sausages (we used the Waitrose ones that have leeks in them – YUM)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons of cumin & coriander

200g rice (the recipe called for 140g – but in my humble opinion – there was too much sauce for that amount of rice)

850ml stock

300ml passatta (my change to their call of a can of chopped tomatoes)

1/2 small bunch of coriander, leaves picked

sausage rice one pot ingredients

  • Split the sausage skins & squeeze out the meat – which can be rolled into small meatballs about the size of a large olive
  • sausage rice one pot balls
  • heat oil in a large pot and brown meatballs (will need to be done in batches)
  • sausage rice one pot balls cooking
  • Set meatballs aside
  • Add onion & garlic to the pot
  • sausage rice one pot onions
  • Soften for 5minutes, then stir in spices and rice
  • sausage rice one pot rice
  • cook for another minute
  • Pour in stock & passatta & stir (scraping up the sausage bits from the bottom of the pot)
  • Simmer away for 15-20minutes
  • Stir in meatballs and leave for another 5-10minutes
  • sausage rice one pot sauce
  • ladle into bowls, scatter with coriander and serve with crusty bread to soak up the liquid
  • sausage rice one pot final 1

ps – this recipe almost is like a stew with lots of rich sauce in the first helping… but when we went back for 2nd helpings – the rice had absorbed all the additional liquid

quick and easy … but this time with taste… *Rice fusions*

Now I know that I am supposed to be promoting my favourite recipes… but I need to take this opportunity to also broadcast to the world that there are also some fantastic *quick and easy* options out there that take the hassle out of cooking.

Don’t get me wrong – I find a huge amount of joy, happiness and contentment while I am in the kitchen… but sometimes finding something that adds value when you don’t have time to be in the kitchen for more than 20minutes is an absolute *FIND*!!!

Once again – a trip to the British Shop STONEMANOR was the source of this super duper FIND… and at first I was a bit skeptical… but then I thought “3min to cook rice? Bring it on!”

Birds Eye have launched this new product called “RICE FUSIONS” in 4 different flavours (Aromatic Pilau rice with peas and spinach; Egg fried rice with peas; Country Mushroom rice and Mediterranean vegetable rice)…which are basically microwaveable (straight from the freezer) pyramid rice bags…and ready within a few mere minutes!

2 pyramid portions per bag

I laughed and told a friend last night that these 3minute Rice inventions were quicker than 2minute noodles !?! (my rationale was that you still have to boil the kettle before you make the 2minute noodles – so technically they take longer than 2minutes!!) – but it really is THAT SIMPLE. Pop a pyramid bag into the microwave for 3minutes on high (they also recommend letting it stand for a minute afterwards)

Rice Pyramid

Anyway – so far I have only tried the *Egg Fried Rice with peas* version… and am hooked!! (From now onwards… there will ALWAYS be a bag in my freezer which is smaller than a shoebox… so this a HUGE compliment that it will have a permanent little spot)