Tag Archives: appetiser

Tiger Prawn and Citrus Salad

Salad of tiger prawns and citrus wedges, with lettuce and avocado cubes, lightly dressed with tangy citrus, sweet honey and walnut oil.

This salad is served at room temperature and is a perfect way to start a summer meal. It is light and the flavours will not clash with the rest of your meal or leave any lingering after-taste.

Use large prawns, cleaned with only the tail remaining intact. We used tiger prawns from The Gourmet Shop and had the tails intact because those wishing to eat the prawns with their fingers can easily grab onto the tail while enjoying the tender, marinated meat.

The walnut oil is available at some stores and is not entirely necessary. It can be substituted with olive oil, but the nutty flavour does give an added layer of richness to the dish. You can quickly make your own walnut oil by finely chopping some walnuts, steeping them in extra virgin olive oil (this olive oil has a more delicate inherent flavour that happily absorbs some of the walnut flavours) for an hour or two and bingo! You have a suitable walnut oil subsititute.

This recipe serves 6 and makes a wonderful starter or first course in a multiple course meal. With the correct preparation, this salad is prepared in mere minutes!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon clear honey

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons walnut oil

2 tablespoons fresh snipped chives (the easiest way to cut chives is to just snip them with scissors)

450 grams large cooked prawns, deveined and shelled

1 avocado peeled, stoned and cut into small cubes (run your knife through the avo while the skin is on, lengthways and crossways though the flesh to the skin – see video here on how)

1 pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented (this grapefruit is sweeter than the yellow and ties in better with the salad)

1 large orange, peeled and segmented (if you want to really show off, then segment it like in this video here)

2 tablespoons roasted pine nuts (this is not essential and primarily gives varied texture to the salad by adding some crunch)

Salt and pepper, to taste (this essentially means that you just add a pinch, taste the food and add more if you think it is required)

Pre-Preparation:

If cooked prawns are not available, then boil them in water until flesh is opaque (white and not see-through.) Prawns must never be mushy and should still be firm to bite and touch.

Prepare the dressing by mixing the lemon and lime juices, a pinch of salt and pepper, the honey in a small bowl.

Slowly add the olive oil while whisking and then add and whisk the walnut oil until the dressing becomes more creamy.

Add in the chives and mix.

Preparation (5 minutes):

Arrange the prawns, citrus segments and avocado on six small plates and drizzle with the dressing. Garnish with a sprinkle of pine nuts, if using.

Bon Appetit!

Mixed Wild Mushrooms with Sauteed Shallots on Bruschetta

Mixed Wild Mushrooms, sautéed with sweet onion, served on bruschetta with roasted baby tomatoes.

This dish can be served as a stand-alone course, or the mushrooms can be served as an accompaniment to most meat dishes (without the bruschetta and roasted baby tomatoes.)

It is served warm and the sweetness of the roasted baby tomatoes nicely contrasts the natural, earthiness of the mushrooms. This dish is also visually very appealing because the bright red adds colour to the many shapes of the brown mushrooms, while the crunchy bruschetta adds texture to each bite. Topped with some chopped parsley for colour to garnish and you will be sure to impress.

This recipe serves six and is very quick to prepare. This allows you to spend time with your guests and ensure that your guests’ drinks are topped up!

Ingredients:

600 grams mixed wild mushrooms (you can buy a mix like this from many fine stores and the mushrooms could include morels, porcini, chanterelles, button, oyster and shiitake)

2 tablespoons olive oil or extra-virgin olive oil if you prefer

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, chopped finely

3 smallish sweet onions (shallots) chopped finely

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mixed herbs or parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

One French Loaf

20 baby tomatoes

Pre-Preparation:

Wash and dry the mushrooms if they have dirt on them. Do not wash them too much if they look clean, because they will lose much of their flavour – you basically are just trying to remove any sand and dirt.

Trim the mushrooms of the end of their stems and then chop very roughly to about bite sized chunks. The different size and look of the mushrooms is part of the appeal of this course, so do not chop finely.

Preparation (10-15 minutes):

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Brush a baking tray with olive oil (you can use a small basting brush or just wipe it on with paper towel).

Cut slices of French Loaf and arrange on the baking tray. Lightly brush the bread with some olive oil. Place baby tomatoes on the same tray. Set timer for 5 minutes and check. Once bread is crunchy and golden, remove bread and tomatoes and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying-pan over a medium to high heat (about 6 or 7 if you have 9 or 10 heat settings) and add the butter. Mix in the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are just starting to brown.

Add garlic and onions and fry for another 4-5 minutes. The mushrooms should be tender and most of the liquid given off by them should have evaporated.

Place two pieces of crispy golden bread on each plate and then divide the mushroom evenly across six portions on top of the bread.

Artfully arrange 2 or 3 caramelised baby tomatoes on each plate around the bread and mushrooms and drizzle the whole affair with some chopped herbs or parsley.

Bon Appetit!

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