Chicken and prawn xinxim

Yet another Diana Henry recipe today from A Bird in the Hand, and it’s a spicy one!

I’d never heard of xinxim before but it sounded like an interesting recipe and I’m absolutely delighted that I tried it. The whole dish was a spicy delight – I’m not sure why, but it seems that added ground nuts to curry type dishes really works well (I’m thinking of the peanut stew which we made a while back).

30 Minute Paella

After the messy, complicated and ultimately disappointing tofu ramen the other night, I was regretting having chosen another recipe from Homemade By You, but they’ve redeemed themselves. We’ve always been huge fans of paella, so their promise of a 30 minute version was very appealing.

This recipe is super easy to make. Fry the chorizo, then put in a bowl. Fry the onion, then the pepper (keeping the lid on the pan so that they ‘sweat’) before adding paella rice, chicken stock and saffron. Simmer for a bit with the lid off, then a bit more with the lid on. Add the seafood and chorizo and cook a bit more, then add some frozen peas and cook for a bit longer. Squeeze over some lemon and you’re done.

OK, so it’s not a truly authentic version but it definitely has all the right flavours and made for a very satisfying dinner. The Homemade By You website is back in our good books.

Thai Noodles with Cinnamon and Prawns

The first episode of Simply Nigella was on TV. There were a few recipes in it, including the cake we made recently. It also featured this recipe, which conveniently I’d already bought the ingredients for before the show aired.

I had to make a few substitutions (black pepper for white pepper) but nothing too major. Nigella describes this meal as “reassuringly unfamiliar” and that’s a strangely appropriate description. There’s nothing too unusual in this, but the combination of flavours really is something else.

Sparky wasn’t a fan though – he thought that the flavour of cinnamon was too much. Not me though… I lapped up every last drop of the delicious liquor.

Chowder with Asian Flavours

Dinner tonight comes from Nigella Lawson’s Express and is a pretty quick one. Cook potatoes and leeks in chicken stock with bay leaves and mace. Then add some smoked cod, coconut milk and lime juice and let the fish cook before adding some prawns and tinned sweetcorn.

Personally, I wasn’t a fan of this one. The lime juice ruined it for me and made the sauce much too bitter. I managed to save it a bit by adding some caster sugar to counteract it, but the flavours didn’t really do anything for me. Mark on the other hand thoroughly enjoyed it.

A shame really. I’d always though this recipe looked good in the book, so it’s a bit disappointing that I didn’t enjoy it in the end. We didn’t go hungry though… check out the next blog post…