Monday, 21 June 2010

Spaghetti with Prawns, Lasagne and Chocolate Brownies

Well, another very hectic week here in Dorking!  I always forget how busy the summer term is, what with cricket seemingly every night of the week and swimming and May Queen festivals and Prize Days, the list goes on!  My ability to cook every night is somewhat diminished, but here are a couple of quick and easy recipes to keep you going.  I made some brownies last weekend and my friend, Beth, requested the recipe - Happy Cooking!

Spaghetti with Prawns

2 red chillies, remove the seeds
2 cloves garlic
400g spaghetti
olive oil
12 large prawns preferably raw
a knob of butter
a large handful of rocket
1 lemon, juiced

Using a pestle and mortar, crush the chilli and garlic with a pinch of salt.
Cook the pasta until al dente, 8 minutes for spaghetti.
Meanwhile, heat 4 tbsp of oil over a high heat.  Fry the chilli paste for 30 seconds then add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter, a handful of rocket, lemon juice and the pasta.  Toss to mix and serve with extra rocket on top.

Easy Lasagne

1 box lasagne sheets
Olive oil
1 onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
Splash of red wine
400g tin tomatoes
Some fresh herbs
500g creme fraiche (I use half-fat)
3 handfuls of finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus some for the top
1-2 balls of mozzarella, diced

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees/Gas Mark 7.  Fry the onion in 2 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan until soft.  Add the garlic, stir, then add the red wine.  Cook for 2 minutes until the liquid is reduced.  Add the tomatoes and herbs and season well.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, tip the creme fraiche into a bowl and add the Parmesan and lots of seasoning.
When the tomato sauce is done, put two spoonfuls into the base of a shallow oven dish and place three sheets of lasagne on top.  Spread a quarter of the tomato over and then some dollops of the creme fraiche.  Sprinkle some mozzarella over.  Repeat these layers, making sure you keep a little of the creme fraiche sauce for the top.  Spread the remaining sauce over the lasagne sheets, right to the edges.  Sprinkle over some Parmesan and any mozzarella left and bake for 35 minutes until oozing and crispy on the top.

Everyday Chocolate Brownies (from Brownies and Bars by Liz Franklin)

250g butter
500g caster sugar
100g cocoa powder
4 eggs, beaten
100g self-raising flour (use wholewheat to even out your energy levels)

Melt the butter, caster sugar and cocoa in a large saucepan.  Add the eggs and beat to mix well.  Add the flour and mix.  Tip into a baking tin 20x25cm or so, lined with parchment paper, and bake for 35 minutes at 180 degrees/Gas Mark 4.  Allow to cool, if you can, and cut into squares.  Dust with icing sugar for a professional effect!
These keep in a tin for at least 3 days, and even then are just a little dry around the edges and perfectly acceptable.

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