Classic Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp Cocktail has to be one of the most classic starters I can think of. It’s one of those dishes that almost everyone loves, and is perfect for dinner parties since it’s light, fresh, delicious and elegant. Leaving you plenty of room for the main course.

You can make the sauce in advance, cook the shrimp in advance and assemble the Shrimp Cocktail just before serving, which is fairly easy.
The sauce is really delicious and that tiny bit of vanilla takes it to the next level.


Use just a small amount of Tarragon, you want a hint in the background without overpowering the Shrimp.

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Prep time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : 5 minutes
Serves 4
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INGREDIENTS:

• 110 ml. / 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
• 100 ml. / 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 50 ml. / 1/4 cup crème fraîche
• 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
• A splash of tabasco (optional)
• Salt and black pepper
• 1/4 vanilla bean, scraped
• 1 tsp fresh chopped Tarragon
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• 450 gr. / 1 lb. cooked shelled prawns
• 1 iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
• 1 avocado, peeled and diced
• Some lime wedges and pomegranate arils for decorating.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine the ketchup, mayonnaise, crème fraîche, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the vanilla and chopped Tarragon
If you’re cooking the shrimp yourself; this is how.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the shrimp all at once, bring back to the boil and lower the heat to a simmer, cook until the shrimp change color to a beautiful coral. Normally for medium sized shrimp this will take about 5 minutes at the most. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
Drain and cool. Then peel the shrimp and discard the shells.
Add the shrimp to the sauce and stir to coat, reserving some larger shrimp to decorate and place on top.
Place the shredded lettuce on the bottom of four glasses or glass bowls, followed by the avocado, then a generous spoonful of prawns and sauce.
Decorate with lime wedges and Pomegranate arils.
Serve straight away.

Enjoy!
Myra XO

Brown Sugar Cajun Butter Salmon

Winner winner, Salmon dinner.

In under 30 minutes!!!

Let’s have a chat about this baked salmon. I’ve said this before, I know, I know but this is my favorite way to eat Salmon. It is by far the juiciest way to cook a salmon and all the flavor stays right in there, where you want it.
If you’re looking for a no fail, fool-proof recipe that you can’t mess up. Congratulations, you’ve come to the right place.
Impress your hubby, your wife, date, girlfriend, boyfriend or family this week with a big Salmon feast. Let’s do this.
First you make the thick Brown sugar Cajun seasoned butter mix then spread it on top of the salmon fillet. This part is a bit tricky because the salmon is so slippery so you have to use a knife and fingers to spread it out as best as you can.
As this flavoured butter melts in the oven, it’s basting the Salmon and the sugar melts and forms a sticky crust full of spiced flavor, slowly penetrating the entire fillet.
The result is a melt in the mouth, moist and delicious Salmon feast.
I like to serve this with an exotic Pomegranate and Avocado Salsa.

Serves: 6 – 8
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time: ca. 15 minutes
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INGREDIENTS:

SALMON
• 1 ¼ pound salmon, skin removed (preferably wild )
• 3 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
• 2 teaspoons brown sugar (or coconut sugar )
• 2 tablespoons of my cajun seasoning without salt
• 1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
• ½ tsp salt

SALSA
• 2 avocados
• 1 pomegranate
• Juice of half a lime or more according to taste
• 3 tbsp. chopped cilantro/coriander
• Salt and pepper
• ¼ chopped red onion

DIRECTIONS:

Pre heat the oven to 220 C / 428 F
Prepare your baking tray by covering it with foil. Place the salmon fillet on top.
Prepare the Cajun flavoured butter by adding the grated garlic, Cajun seasoning, brown sugar and salt to the softened butter and stir to combine completely.
Spread the butter over the salmon as best as you can.
This part is a bit tricky because the salmon is so slippery so you have to use a knife and fingers to spread it out.
Place the salmon in the middle of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Switch on the broiler or oven grill and grill for 4 – 5 more minutes until really golden and sticky on top. Serve straight away.
I served this with zucchini ribbons, that I tossed in olive oil and a squeeze of lime, salt and pepper. Then I placed the ribbons at the sides of the salmon and baked them together.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Madras Salmon Burger with Devilled Mango Mayo

This is not your typical Burger, loaded with sauce, pickles, cheese, bacon , lettuce and all sorts of extra’s ….a.k.a. a bit too much.
No, this Madras Salmon Burger is a whole different story.
It is so good like you wouldn’t believe until you try it of course, which I hope you do because you will forever be grateful. I kept it simple to honour the flavour of the Salmon the best way possible. Just a little sauce for the bun and some crispy Iceberg Slaw for cool and crunch.
The trick to this burger is to chop it by hand, not in the food processor. I tried that once and the consistency wasn’t right, to pressed together. Chopping it by hand is easier than it sounds and done rather quickly. And so worth it because the texture is perfect, with a nice bite and a very juicy end result. The burgers will seem less firm than a regular burger but that’s ok, the corn starch act as a binding agent. They will firm up in the pan, have faith they will turn out perfectly.
We have been eating these a lot lately, like once or twice a week for the past few weeks and every time I mean to take a few pictures but I can’t resist and eat the Burger straight away in fear of letting it go to waste or maybe losing it’s slightly pink juicy middle.
But at last here is the recipe.

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 15 mins

madras salmon burger

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

• 1 lb./ 500 gr. Salmon fillet
• 1 tsp. Madras Curry powder
• 1 tsp. Corn Starch
• 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
• 2 Spring Onions, chopped
• a Dash of Tabasco
• Season generously with salt
• Pepper
Devilled Mango Mayo
• 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
• 1/3 cup Yoghurt
• 1/4 cup Mango Chutney
• 1 1/2 – 2 tbsp. Sambal Oelek
• Salt and pepper to taste
Ice Berg Slaw
• 1 cup finely shredded Ice Berg Lettuce
• 1 medium grated carrot
• a handful radishes, cut into match sticks
• 2 Spring onions, chopped

Instructions:

1. For the Ice Berg Slaw, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
For the Devilled Mango Mayo, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
For the Madras Salmon Burger, if using fresh salmon, place in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm it up bit. Then place the salmon on a cutting board and with a very sharp large knife slice it first into slices and then into small squares.
Finally start chopping it until you have very small bits left. Keep it textured though.
Place the salmon in a bowl and add the madras curry powder, corn starch, cilantro, spring onions, salt, pepper and tabasco.
Form into 4 patties.
Heat a frying pan to which you have added a little coconut oil or light olive oil. Fry on each side for two minutes on medium high heat.
Meanwhile split open the burger buns and toast until golden.
To serve, spread sauce on the bun halves, place the salmon burger on the bottom bun and the Ice Berg Slaw on top. Cover with the other half of the bun. Serve straight away.

Enjoy!
Myra XO

Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic butter Shrimp and bacon

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This is one of those dinner you can have on the table in under 20 minutes, from start to finish. Great for week nights and SO crazy delicious, you’re going to be licking your bowls!


Serves: 4

Ingredients;

  • 1 lb. fresh Angel Hair Pasta or any thin pasta
  • 1 lb. shelled and deveined shrimp, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 4 oz. chopped bacon
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked Sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. of Red Crushed Pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp. fresh basil, torn
  • black ground Pepper
  • generous seasoning of Himalayan Salt
  • a handful of freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 C. dry white wine
  • 1 egg yolk
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method;

In a large pan with boiling water cook the angel hair pasta according to package instructions. Fresh pasta only takes about 4 minutes, so if you get everything ready for the sauce. It should take about the same time.

In a large frying pan, heat the two tablespoons of olive oil and add the bacon. Cook for two minutes or so, then add the garlic and chili. Add in the shrimp and toss, cook on high for a minute or two until they begin to color. Add the paprika, chili, pepper, salt and white wine. Cook for another minute. Add the basil and the drained pasta. Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolk making sure to cover all the strands of pasta. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

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Cajun Jumbo Shrimp Tacos with Corn, a Peach and Koriander Salsa and Roasted Pepper Aïoli

     

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If there is something I go nuts about it’s Shrimp. Big plump juicy Shrimp. Very fresh, from the market.

Saturdays is usually the day we eat fish or seafood since it is market day. Fish from the supermarket just doesn’t appeal to me, all packaged up in plastic.

I fry the Shrimp on high heat so they stay nice and juicy. Don’t over cook your Shrimp because they will become tough and that would be a real shame.

You can prepare the salsa and Aïoli in advance or even the night before. Then you could have dinner on the table in a matter of minutes. And I am sure you will please the entire family with these delicious Tacos.

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Ingredients;

1 lb. Jumbo Shrimp, peeled and cleaned

4 Whole unpeeled very Large Shrimp, to serve alongside

8 or more Taco Shells

1 C. Corn Kernels, fresh or from a can

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

Salt

a small bunch of Koriander

2 tbsp. Cajun Seasoning (store bought or make your own, see below.)

Shredded Lettuce to serve

Shredded red Cabbage to serve

Lemon wedges to serve

Note: if you use store bought Cajun Seasoning don’t use extra salt.

Cajun Seasoning Blend:

2 tbsp. Onion powder

2 tbsp. Garlic powder

2 tbsp. Oregano

2 tbsp. dried Basil

1 tbsp. Dried Thyme

2 tbsp. Ground Black pepper

1-3 tsps Cayenne Pepper

5 tbsp. smoked Paprika

Peach Salsa;

2 Peaches, peeled and diced

2 tbsp. Koriander, chopped

1 red Chili, deseeded and chopped fine

1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced small

Juice of half a Lemon

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

1 small Onion, peeled and diced very small

Salt and Pepper

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Roasted Red Pepper Aïoli;

1 1/2 C. Mayonaisse

2 Garlic cloves peeled and grated

1 Roasted Pepper from a jar, patted dry on kitchen paper

Sat and Pepper

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Method;

Start by making the Aïoli so the flavor can develop. You can make this the night before too. Drain de Pepper well and pat dry. Put all the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blitz a few times until smooth. Put in a bowl and place in the ridge until ready to use.

The for the Peach Salsa, place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix gently until combined. Put in a bowl and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Pre heat the oven for the tacos according to package instructions.

For the Shrimp, Rinse the seafood under cold water and pat dry thoroughly on kitchen paper. In a bowl combine the peeled Shrimp with the Olive Oil and Cajun seasoning and season with salt if necesarry.  Mix well. Drain the Corn if it is canned.

Heat a griddle pan and spray lightly with some oil. Grill the large Shrimps for about three minutes on each side until cooked. Season with some salt.

Heat another large frying pan. When hot add the the Shrimp with all the oil. Fry on high for about 4  minutes. Do not overcook or they’ll become tough. After 4 minutes add the corn and fry for one or two more minutes just enough to heat up. Serve immediatly with…

Shredded Lettuce

Red shredded Cabbage

Tomato slices

Peach Salsa

Roast red Pepper Aïoli

Lemmon wedges

Chopped Koriander

Enjoy!

Myra Xo

Looking for more great recipes to try?  Be sure to check out this Thai Fish Parcels   

Spaghetti alle Vongole

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This is a really fast dish that you can have on the table in no time. It looks impressive and it taste pretty impressive too. You need to get very fresh Clams. Although this dish is very easy to make you do need to take care of your clams making sure they are properly cleaned, nobody wants to bite on sand.

Just soak them in cold water as soon as you get home and leave them in the fridge until you are ready to cook.

This dish can be easily multiplied or divided to suit the amount of eaters you’re feeding.

Some people use butter in their Spaghetti alle Vongole because it forms an emulsion, but I think it makes the dish too heavy and it takes the freshness away.

Serves 4.

Ingredients:IMG_7455
1 pound dried spaghetti
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
5 to 7 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 lbs. littleneck clams, scrubbed clean
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Noilly Prat or dry white wine
Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon cut into four to serve alongside the Pasta.

Soak the clams in water.

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Method:

Soak the clams in water as soon as you come home from buying them. Leave them in the fridge until you are ready to cook. This is to remove any sand.

In a large pot bring water to the boil and add salt. Add pasta, stirring constantly in the beginning to prevent it from sticking together. Cook al dente, for about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan, add shallots and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the clams and wine. Cover and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until  all clams have opened. Discard any clams that haven’t opened.Add 2 tablespoons chopped parsley.

Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rinse pasta with water!

Add the pasta into the clam saute pan and mix thoroughly. Check seasoning.
Pour pasta into large serving bowl.Garnish with remaining parsley and serve with lemon wedges. Eat straight away.

Enjoy

Myra Xo

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Fideuá

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You probably already know that Spain is very well know for its Paellas. The Paella is originally from Valencia but is know all over Spain and each region has its own variation of the dish.

But my favorite dish from Valencia is Fideuá, also a very popular dish made in a Paella Pan, (Paellera).

It’s made with noodles instead of rice and fish and seafood. All cooked in a very good fish stock. It is my absolute favorite and although it actually cooks quicker than Paella it takes a little prep time since you have to make the stock. The better the stock, the better the Fideuá.

Ingredients for the Stock:

6 large Tomatoes, cut in half and grated until you reach the skin. Discard skin.

3 Garlic cloves, skins left on, crushed

2 Onions, peeled and chopped

2 dried ñora peppers (available online or Spanish supermarket) pronounced njora

1 Monkfish,  head and bones (or other white fish bones)

1 bay leaf

6 – 8 C. water

salt to taste

For the fideuà

4 tbsp. olive oil

1 whole Monkfish tail, cut into large chunks

12 king Prawns

1 lb. cleaned Mussels (Optional)

2 Onions , peeled and chopped fine

2 Garlic cloves, peeled and grated

2 Squid. Cleaned, spines removed, flesh roughly chopped

2 dried ñora peppers, finely chopped

1 lb. noodles (called Fideos in Spain) Like a Vermicelli. In Spain we use about 1/2 C. per person.

2 tbsp. smoked Paprika

a pinch of Saffron

Salt and Pepper

A few Lemon wedges and Allioli  ( Valenciano meaning All=Garlic, i=and, oli=oil)