Hi all, hope you're enjoying the balmy weather. Bob and I are busy finishing the hard-landscaping of our garden - I am much fitter than I was before! He starts a new contract on Monday (hooray) so we have to get it finished.......
I have been thinking about my cookbook and I really want to get it finished and published. If I'm going to do it myself then I have to start cooking some of the dishes and taking decent photos of the results. I much prefer to have a picture to refer to; to have some idea of the looks of the end result!
Try these dishes, fairly quick and lovely, they can be knocked up in less than half an hour - and I can spend more time laying bricks.........
Prawn and Chilli Linguine (serves 4)
4 tbsp olive oil
2 red chillies, seeds removed (or half a tsp of dried chilli flakes)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
12 large raw prawns (or a packet of defrosted smaller ones)
a knob of butter
2 large handfuls of rocket
the juice of 1 lemon
Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente (usually about 10 minutes).
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over a fairly high heat. Fry the chilli and the garlic for 30 seconds, take care not to burn the garlic. Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter, a handful of rocket and the lemon juice. Toss the mixture through the drained pasta.
Serve garnished with the extra rocket.
I find measuring for pastry easier in Imperial, but just remember 'half fat to flour', or twice the flour to the weight of fat!
6 eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced
12oz plain flour
6oz cold butter
3 tbsp caster sugar, plus a little for sprinkling
1 egg yolk, plus 1 egg for glazing
2-3 tbsp cold water
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/gas mark 7. Heat a saucepan with a splash of water in it. Add the sliced apples and cook gently, stirring occasionally, while you make the pastry.
Process together the flour, butter and caster sugar until smooth (or rub it in with your fingers). Add the egg yolk and 2 tbsp water. Process again until the pastry comes together. You may need to add a little more water if it looks too crumbly. Cut into 2 unequal halves (1 for the top and 1 for the bottom). Roll out the larger half to the size of your pie dish. Line the dish with the pastry and trim around the edge with a sharp knife. Roll the other half and leave on the side. Add 3 tbsp sugar and the cinnamon to the apples, then tip into the pastry case. Wet the edges of the pastry and put the top on, trimming around the edge as before. Make a small hole in the centre of the pie, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with a little caster sugar. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown and looking delicious!