overnight gravadlax

Gravadlax is really easy to make and much much cheaper than buying it ready made. This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Esquire Magazine that I found online.

It’s brilliant if you want the gravadlax that or the next day. Instead of putting the salmon into dry ingredients, you make a sweet brine first and place it in that and it does its job much faster, and more efficiently. I have included my favourite recipe for the dill sauce too if you fancy making that too, or it’s fine with a squeeze of lemon and it’s great on canapés with pink pickled onions, capers or on rye bread with sliced boiled eggs and any of my pickled vegetables on the blog.

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spaghetti with broccoli anchovies and pine nuts

This traditional Italian recipe for spaghetti with broccoli is deceptively delicious. It’s got a great combination of flavours with saffron, onions and wine. There is also a sweetness from the currants which makes it taste all the more delicious. Its got really typical Italian flavours and is normally made with Bucatini. I think it’s perfect for a dinner party or dinner date, (you can halve the ingredients) just serve it with a salad and a glass of wine. Job done.

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chilli prawns with a smashed cucumber salad

I have recently discovered Asian smashed cucumber salads and I’m hooked. It’s the combination of the cucumber with a creamy sesame dressing with coriander and ginger which is fantastic. I paired the salad with prawns fried in chilli and coconut oil and garnished it all with sesame seeds, fresh coriander and crispy onions… perfect for a summer dinner or date night, or in the winter when you miss the summer like me.

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Tunacado

I am a massive fan of the Swedish cafe Joe and The Juice and am slightly obsessed with their Tunacado sandwich. So I try and copy them and make them at home. I can’t get their delicious crisp rye bread here as they don’t sell it in the UK so I either use thinly sliced toasted rye bread or sourdough crackers from Peters Yard… but standard sourdough bread is fine. They are perfect with a freshly made juice for a saintly lunch or as canapés with drinks and Netflix.

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sri lankan prawn curry with coconut and lime

This creamy curry in a fragrant sauce is fresh and delicious, you can substitute the prawns for any fish, boiled eggs or roasted aubergines pieces. I added my own touch with nigella seeds and lime at the end as they are really good for you. It works well with black rice or basmati rice and it’s dairy and gluten free and makes a tasty dinner or a dinner party, just multiply the ingredients according to how many people are coming.

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forbidden black rice risotto with prawns and Vermouth

I was sent a big bag of black Venus rice from one of my favourite companies Belazu who stock the best Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ingredients, check them out online. So I thought I’d make a recipe that works well with the rice, in Italy they usually serve black rice with seafood so I added giant prawns and I must say its a great combination of flavours. And now I prefer it to normal risotto rice.

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Gothenburg sandwich

This is a big open sandwich which is a traditionally Swedish and famously supposed to be one of the most delicious sandwiches in the world. It really is a tasty prawn salad on a small slice of rye bread with mayonnaise but it’s got lots of fresh flavours from the dill, lemon and pickled onions and cucumber. If you are low carbing, you can omit the bread. It can also be topped with a spoon of lumpfish.

It’s delicious and just an assembly job after you have made the pickled onion and cucumber the day before.

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braised squid in red wine with olives

This recipe is Turkish in origin and from a cookbook by Ghillie Basan. It’s the perfect winter stew as it has lots of spicy flavours and the red wine turns the squid a lovely dark aubergine colour. I have replaced the sugar with maple syrup so it’s a bit healthier. You can cook it in advance and reheat it later, if you want to do hassle free entertaining. I serve mine with roasted sourdough bread or basmati rice and a salad and pretend I’m on holiday.

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chicory salad with anchovy sauce and breadcrumbs

OMG this salad is so delicious, the recipe is a traditional Italian salad from the Rome area of Italy and its usually served with bread on the side but I’ve made a crunchy sourdough crumb to go on top of it instead. Chicory is a tad bitter, which Italians love hence our love of the aperitif Campari, so you can add a teaspoon of maple syrup or sugar to the sauce if you prefer it a little sweeter. This salad is fantastic with fish or cheese or if you eat meat it would work really well with roast chicken or lamb.

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spanish orange glazed squid

I have a oldish Spanish cookbook with fantastic recipes in it that are great as tapas. I’m working my way through it pretending I’m in Barcelona. This recipe from that book has the sweetness of oranges which work really well with squid and the smokiness of the smoked paprika giving it a real Spanish vibe. I’ve tweaked it slightly and replaced the sugar with maple syrup so it’s low glycemic. You can eat it as tapas with other small plates or combine it with pasta as I did. I bought my black pasta from my Italian deli but it works equally well with plain old standard spaghetti or Linguine. It’s perfect for a dinner party or a date night. My friend Timna says it’s up there with my crab Linguine as one of the best things she’s ever tasted.

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