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Cover: Quick cuisine

Recipes with quick

07Apr 12

Shrimp soup with coconut milk and red curry paste

Shrimp soup with coconut milkA few years ago, I visited Bangkok while backpacking around Asia, and several times I bought shrimp soup with coconut milk and red curry paste from one of the small food stalls. I remember how delicious and cheap the soup was, and how happy it made my taste buds.

After having been in Asia, I feel a sense of “something missing” when I arrive home from school and only find rather bland food in my pantry. I recall my holiday’s exotic flavours and dishes made with a blend of spices that I wouldn´t dream of trying myself because it seems so overwhelming. I remember dishes that had that hard-to-describe tang that made my taste buds somersault with pleasure. And I sigh and think that those types of food are for holidays or restaurant visits only.

Although nowadays we are flooded with recipes of Thai dishes, often we think we don´t have time to “go exotic”, and that they just seem too difficult to make at home. Nothing could be further from the truth.

After doing some research, I found a recipe for a Thai soup that is easy to make, and which has both the delicious mildness of the coconut milk and the spicy tang of the red curry. Add to that the meaty taste of the shrimp, and your taste buds will be back in Bangkok! (If you are a chicken lover, don’t worry. This chicken in coconut milk broth will do the trick as well!)

What we need:

  • 1 squash
  • 1 small leek
  • 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil
  • 1 pressed clove of garlic
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of lobster stock
  • 4 decilitres of coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of red curry paste
  • 5 decilitres of chicken broth
  • 400g of shrimp
  • 1/2 decilitre of fresh thyme and some fresh coriander (as decoration)

How to make it:
1. Rinse and cut the squash and leek into strips.
2. Sizzle them in the oil in a saucepan together with the pressed garlic.
3. Cut the red onion in slices and add in the saucepan.
4. Add all the other ingredients except the shrimp.
5. Let it all simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Add the shrimp.
7. Pour the soup into large bowls and place the fresh coriander on top. Serve with fresh wholemeal bread and butter.

Serves: 4
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: easy

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28Mar 12

Courgette canapés with crayfish and avocado

Red boiled crayfishWhen I have friends over for drinks before going out on the weekend, I always try to serve them some nibbles of something nice like an appetizer or canapés. There are a wide variety of options, but adding a little bread for carbohydrates gives you energy and helps prepare your system for a fun time out with friends!

 

Here is a recipe for courgette canapés with crayfish and avocado which is quick and easy, and helps avoid the laborious effort of making a full dinner. Needless to say, as a student, I can’t really afford to treat my friends to dinner every time we meet, but these snacks fill us up surprisingly fast and help me look like a fantastic hostess in front of my guests.

However, small “tapas-style” finger foods are great because they don’t cost me a fortune. They are good in social environments since we have to pass the plates around and eat with our fingers while chatting, drinking, and on the really rowdy nights, singing.

Put these on the table together with some other hot and cold nibbles, and your friends will leave the house happy for sure!

What we need:

  • 1 large courgette
  • 340g of crayfish tails
  • 1 avocado
  • 200ml of grated cheddar cheese
  • 100ml of crème fraîche
  • 100ml of chopped dill
  • the juice and some finely grated peel of one lemon
  • 4 pinches of pepper

How we make it:

1. Wash and chop the courgette into slices around 1/2 centimetre thick, about 24.
2. Pour the crème fraîche in a bowl and add the crayfish tails (peel and wash if needed).
3. Peel and chop the avocado into small pieces. Add to the crème fraîche.
4. Grate the cheese and add to the mixture.
5. Grate some of the lemon peel and add to the mixture and the juice from the lemon.
6. Chop the dill and add to the mixture.
7. Add the pepper.
8. Mix everything carefully.
9. Place a tablespoon of the mixture on top of the corgette canapés and place them on a place.

Enjoy!

Serves: 4-6 (24 canapés)
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: easy

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26Mar 12

Grilled toast with feta cheese and cherry tomatoes

Greek Grilled Toasts

In honour of the versatility and history of Feta cheese, here is a recipe for Greek grilled toast with Feta cheese and cherry tomatoes.

Feta cheese is delicious on just about everything. It makes salads more interesting, such as in this healthy and original superfoods salad. I love the name “superfood” because to me, it means a food that is well-rounded and gives me all the nutrients and vitamins I need to get through the day. I think these toasts are superfood as well because it has elements from all the food groups.

Did you know that this Greek curd cheese is believed to have been made for thousands of years? Due to its proud heritage, the title “Feta cheese” has been copyrighted since 2002 so that only cheese made exclusively in Greece with sheep or goat’s milk has the right to bear the name within the European Union.

Try forming them into different shapes to give them an extra twist! How about cutting these toasts into small pizza slices? Or perhaps a Mickey Mouse head? Why not try them in the shape of a heart for your sweetheart? All you need for the shapes are cookie-cutters or a large glass, and some imagination. Serve and surprise your friends or partner with your ingenious toast shapes! They’ll love it!

What we need:

  • 8 slices of toast bread
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of butter on each
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 8 black olives, pitted
  • 150g of Feta cheese
  • a few leaves of fresh basil or coriander leaves

How we make it:
1. Cut the bread into the shapes you want them (I am partial to the heart-shaped ones, but I made the round ones that you see in the picture for simplicity’s sake. To do so, I used a large glass to cut around the bread).
2. Butter the bread that you are going to use.
3. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
4. Chop the olives into fine pieces.
5. Mix the tomatoes and olives and spread them on the toast.
6. Grate the Feta cheese and sprinkle over the toast.
7. Place some leaves of fresh basil on each.
8. Grill in the middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes.
9. Serve with an iceberg and tomato salad.

Serves: 2
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

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14Feb 12

Versatile Sauce for both meats and fish

Versatile SauceAre you one of those people who is a god or goddess in the kitchen when it comes to preparing the main dish, but you scratch your head when the time comes to prepare the sauce to go with it? Although a standard herb butter sauce is delicious, I prefer my versatile sauce recipe that I have used successfully with both chicken and salmon, and I’m sure it would go well with red meat as well, as it is just plain delicious!

The main ingredients are Tarragon and dry white wine; add to that a few minutes of slow simmering to bring out the flavours. This one is sure to be a hit, and it is so easy to make it’s almost ridiculous!

 

What we need:
• 1 pint of organic chicken stock
• 1 carton of double cream (around 1/2 a litre)
• 1 decilitre of fresh Tarragon (and plenty of it, but added to taste)
• 1 decilitre of parmesan cheese
• 1/2 a lemon
• a cup of dry white wine such as Chardonnay

How to make it:
1. Put the chicken stock in a saucepan with a glass of dry white wine and boil uncovered until there is only 1/3 of the liquid left.
2. Add the double cream and simmer on a low heat until the consistency is sauce-like.
3. Chop the fresh Tarragon and add depending on taste. But remember, the Tarragon and white wine should be the dominant flavours.
4. Squeeze a little bit of lemon juice and a small piece of grated parmesan.
5. Let it simmer for a few minutes to get all the flavours swirling around.
6. Now that the sauce is ready, I would suggest you serve it with salmon steak or chicken breast, and it goes fantastically well with Hasselback potatoes. On the side, a salad of wild rocket, tomatoes and avocado with just a touch of Modena balsamic vinegar, adds that extra oomph.
Time needed: approximately 20 minutes

Serves: 2-3

Level: easy

Note: If you want to make your stock from scratch, here is how you go about it.
Put a pack of bony organic chicken joints in three pints of water with a chopped carrot, onion, leek, a pinch of salt, and pepper. Bring to the boil and cook for 2-3 hours with the lid slightly to one side until there is about a pint of liquid left. Sieve the solids, and you have a basis for many homemade cubes of stock.

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14Feb 12

Pasta with egg yolks and walnuts

Pasta with egg yolk and walnutsAs the temperatures plummet to negative numbers, and we are all tucked up at home, shivering and dreaming of warm beaches and barbeques, it is often a good idea to eat food that provides us with plenty of energy, such as pasta with egg yolks and walnuts.

Since we might not have the time to cook hearty stews for hours on end, pasta is one particularly high-energy and easy-to-prepare food which is perfect for wintertime. This will keep us warm when -or if- we dare to venture out, since you can actually eat yourself warm.

In this recipe, we have added egg yolk and walnuts for an even more energy-packed dish, and as though that wasn’t enough, topped it off with cream and bacon. This dish is probably not for the calorie-counting people out there, but bear in mind that in these freezing temperatures, your body needs more of them than usual. Calories can be counted when spring arrives in a month or so! In the meantime, while winter is still here, you can use the leftover walnuts to make an apple and walnut crumble for dessert.

So, put your favourite film in the DVD, take 15 minutes to make this easy dish, and cozy up on the sofa knowing that this is a yummy way to give your body that extra boost that it needs and deserves!

What we need:
• 300 grams of spaghetti or Tagliatelle pasta
• 300 grams of bacon
• 1 clove of chopped garlic
• 1 tablespoon of olive oil
• 1 deciliter of grated parmesan cheese
• 1 deciliter of cream or full-fat milk
• 2 pinches of ground pepper
• 4 egg yolks
• Parsley
• Top it off with chopped walnuts

How to make it:
1. Boil the pasta in lightly-salted water according to instructions on the packet and drain.
2. Mix the egg yolks, parmesan cheese, olive oil and garlic in a bowl.
3. Fry the chopped-up bacon in a frying pan and take off excess fat with a tissue.
4. Pour the bacon and the mix of egg yolk, cheese, olive oil and chopped garlic into the pasta and stir it together carefully.
5. Sprinkle the chopped up parsley and ground pepper over the pasta and serve immediately.
6. Add more parmesan cheese according to taste, and add chopped walnuts as desired.
7. Crawl under a warm blanket with a bowl of this amazing pasta, and enjoy with a good film – just until the weather improves.

Time needed: 15 minutes
Serves: 4
Level: easy

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