Spicy Crab Linguini

As our home looks like a warehouse, with all the boxes about the place ready for the big move, I decided I would make something quick for supper so that it didn’t create too much more mess and washing up! And as it was my girlfriends birthday over the weekend, I made sure she chose what she wanted me to cook up. By the time I got home from work, she had chosen this recipe from one of James Martin’s books, as she loves seafood dishes.

As James says in his in book, if you want a quick but impressive-looking pasta dish, this is it. Once the ingredients are prepared and the pasta has been cooked, it takes just 5 minutes to make the crab sauce, but looks and tastes as if you spent hours laboring over a hot stove.

Within a couple of minutes I was already being asked if we can have this again as it tasted so good – perhaps once we have moved?

I think this is my first pasta dish that I have done on my blog and hopefully it will be the first of many.

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 2-4

7oz/200g Linguini
1oz/25g Butter
2 Shallots, peeled and chopped
1 Garlic Glove, peeled and chopped
2 Green Chillies, finely chopped
½ tbsp Thai Green Curry Paste
4fl oz/110ml White Wine
7fl oz/200ml Chicken Stock
Good Pinch of Saffron
7fl oz/200ml Double Cream
14oz/400g Mixed Crab Meat, white and dark
½oz/10g Flat-Leaf Parsley
½oz/10g Coriander Leaves, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 Lime
Salt and Black Pepper

1 Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the linguini and cook for 10-12 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2 Melt the butter in a large saucepan set over a medium heat and add the shallots and garlic. Fry for about 1 minute, without browning, then add the chillies and curry paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.

3 Pour in the wine, bring to the boil and reduce the liquid by half, then add the stock and saffron and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the cream, bring back up to the boil and remove from the heat.

4 Add the crab meat to the sauce and heat gently for 2-3 minutes, then add the cooked linguini and warm through, stirring the sauce and pasta together. Remove from the heat, then stir in the parsley, coriander and lime juice, and season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.



Peshawar-style Lamb Curry

The Lamb Pasanda Curry I blogged about at the start of the year, has become a firm family favourite and we have had it a few times since then, loving it every time.

Having been given another shoulder of lamb, I decided I would try a new lamb curry from my curry bible. I chose the Peshawar-style Lamb Curry as I had all the rest of the ingredients in the cupboard and fridge.

Peshawar in the North West Frontier Province, was created during the British Raj to safeguard India from foreign invaders. The cuisine of this area is famous for its robust flavours and colours. This Lamb Curry is in a class of its own.

The recipe that I have listed below is the recipe and instructions from the book – however I made a small change to the recipe and roasted the lamb in the oven first of all for 3 hours at 160C, so that the meat would be so tender and fall off the bones. This meant that I could reduce the cooking/simmering time from 45-50 minutes to 10-15 minutes. The meat tasted amazing and so succulent. I will give the book version a go on another occasion but have to say this tasted great doing it this way!

Source: Curry Bible – Mridula Baljekar

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 4

1lb 5oz/600g Boneless Shoulder or Leg of Lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 tbsp Sunflower Oil
1 Cinnamon stick
5 Green Cardamom pods, bruised
5 Cloves
2 Bay Leaves
1 Large Onion, finely chopped
2 tsp Ginger Purée
2 tsp Garlic Purée
1 tbsp Tomato Purée
1 tsp Ground Turmeric
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Ground Cumin
125g/4oz Thick Set Natural Yogurt
2 tsp Corn Flour
1 tsp Chilli Powder
150ml/5fl oz Warm Water
1 tbsp Chopped Fresh Mint Leaves
2 tbsp Chopped Fresh Coriander Leaves

1 In a saucepan, heat the oil over a low heat and add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves. Let them sizzle for 25-30 seconds.

2 Add the meat, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the meat begins to brown.

3 Add the onion, ginger and garlic purées, cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring regularly, then add the tomato purée, turmeric, ground coriander and cumin. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes.

4 Mix together the yogurt, flour and chilli powder and add to the meat.

5 Reduce to a low heat, add the warm water, cover and simmer, stirring to ensure the sauce does not stick to the base of the pan for 45-50 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Simmer uncovered, if necessary, to thicken the sauce to a desired consistency.

6 Stir in the fresh mint and coriander and remove from the heat.

Serve with Indian bread.


Six months in…

…and over 20,000 visitors later and the enjoyment of writing my food blog has not diminished! Over the last three months I have discovered a lot of things about blogging and about myself, I have made more online friends, read many more blogs, commented on plenty as well, cooked recipes I never would have tried and enjoyed blogging about the experiences of cooking them all. I have also learnt many more family recipes, now passed down to my generation, so that I can continue passing them on with this blog.

My posts have become easier to write and put together, with the photos from a small ordinary digital camera – no digital SLR or lighting rig as of yet! I have tried to make my blog more user-friendly too, adding Printable Recipe Links to every post, for readers to print off only what is needed each time.

Over the next six months, I will be moving home, setting up all my planters and tubs in my new garden with fruit and vegetables to last me through the summer and autumn, and trying new things like making my own wines. I’m looking forward to having a go at more recipes from the blogs of my fellow foodies, as well trying to create some more new recipes of my own to share, and getting involved in more blogging events.

I hope all the visitors of my blog enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I have learnt that a blog is more than just a collection of individual posts – it is a collection of posts and comments and pictures and replies on other blogs too, that are a part of my personality shared in this big social media world. As ever, I have to say a big thanks to my girlfriend, family and friends (online and offline) for all their continued support and for helping me out.

I’m already looking forward to the next six months and blogging about my new experiences on here for all to read!