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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italian mussels steamed in beer with gremolada and breadcrumbs

This recipe is inspired by my father’s range of beers called Paolozzi made by The Edinburgh Beer Factory.

It is really Italian in all its flavours and I’m sure he would have loved it. Beer and mussels go really well together and so does crusty bread so I combined them all together. Mussels are cheap and sustainable, plus they cook in minutes. This recipe is perfect as a starter or light supper. And of course it’s perfect with beer.

If you fancy it with chips there are a couple of recipes on my blog for for easy fries too: healthy matchstick fries and the perfect roasted fries.

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spaghetti alle vongole

This is the food of the gods and needs no explaining as to how good it is. It’s perfect for  a stress-free Valentine’s dinner or a date night as it only take as long as the pasta takes to cook.

When I’ve been to Venice I practically live on it as it really is my favourite thing and I can’t get enough of it. It can be made in under 20 minutes and the ingredients can be bought days in advance. This recipe is an original Venetian recipe which I always love to cook, as it is like a lot of Italian recipes, very simple. There are two sorts of Vongole, in bianco, which is made like this recipe, or in rosso which is made with tomatoes. When I make it everyone goes mad for it… so try it, it’s not expensive and it is quick and easy.

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lobster risotto

A perfect romantic Valentine’s dinner for two or more if it’s a dinner party, just double or triple the quantities for the amount of people you are feeding. This easy risotto tastes delicious and before you think it’s too expensive to cook, I got a frozen lobster for £5.00 from Lidl. It’s a bit of work getting the meat out, but after that it’s easy. For the stock, I can’t praise Knorr fish stock pots highly enough. You would be hard pushed to make a better stock and they are a store cupboard essential round in my kitchen.

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moqueca

Moqueca is a super easy traditional Brazilian fish stew which is creamy and tangy all at once because it has the brilliant combo of lime juice, coconut milk and chilli. It will warm your cockles even on an autumn evening and take you to somewhere a little bit more exotic if you are not there already. You can also use fresh squid, sea bream, haddock, clams, mussels, scallops,  crab or whatever is available or whatever you fancy in it. It’s up to you. Its really delicious with basmati rice or crusty bread if you are not low carbing it. Perfect for a dinner party or just a dinner for two.

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spanish style clams

I have taken the flavours of a classic Spanish clam stew and rejigged it so it tastes great even though there is no meat in it. Normally it would have Chorizo in it, so I used smoked paprika which is the flavor of Chorizo instead and it tastes just as good. It’s a really easy recipe and great for a date night. Also, the frozen Clams were a bargain £3.59 for 500g in the freezer section of Waitrose. I always buy a few boxes and keep them in the freezer just in case.

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crab tartines with avocado and lime

This recipe is a great way of making a fairly expensive ingredient go a long way, and anyway, what could be nicer than crab with chilli and lime on crunchy bread with avocado and pickled cucumber? The perfect combo of flavours and textures. The lime is the perfect match for crab and is slightly more subtle than if I used a lemon, which you can do if you prefer. It’s a great starter to any dinner, just multiply it by the number of guests.

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shrimp laksa bowl

Laksa is a creamy coconutty broth which is spicy, delicious and is  a very traditional Thai dish. It’s always served in a big bowl with noodles and with lots of garnishes, so it looks scrumptious. You can also make this recipe with whatever takes your fancy, so you can add different seafood to it like squid and scallops or shell fish. It’s up to you and if you omit the noodles you have a very tasty, creamy low carb meal. It’s perfect for date night dinner with your darling, when you fancy something hot and spicy.

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crab linguine

This is my 100th recipe on the blog. I’m really proud and grateful, thank you for subscribing, and as Julia Child used to say Bon Appétit!

I have had the crab linguine lots of times at Polpo restaurant in Nottinghill Gate with my friend Emily, we always order it and we are obsessed with it as it’s so good. I really wanted the recipe, however it isn’t in their cookbooks or online, so I have had to guess what it is. It took me six attempts before I got it right, that’s a lot of linguine and I’m now booking in to a health farm so I can do my jeans up again, however it was worth it. I really think Polpo have nailed it, and I hope you think I have too. The beauty of it is it only takes about twelve minutes to make and you can keep the ingredients in the store cupboard. Perfect for a stress free dinner party or just dinner for two. Ralph has just cooked and tasted it and he thinks that it is so easy and beyond amazing and you should definitely try it and everyone that has cooked this recipe has said it’s the best crab linguine they have ever had. Give it a try…

Recipe

Serves 2 (double or triple the quantities for more people).

Ingredients:
200g of linguine or spaghetti
170g tin of crab meat (drained which becomes 100g) or 100g of fresh white and/or brown crab meat
½ teaspoon of finely chopped red chilli or a pinch of dried chilli flakes
8 cherry tomatoes halved
A sprig of parsley finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh grated Parmesan
1 small clove of garlic minced
2-3 tablespoons of butter
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

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paella

Hola…this is one of my favourite dishes ever…I can close my eyes and imagine I am having dinner in a square in Barcelona under a palm tree on a warm summer night. But I’m in London, and the.seafood is from my excellent local Primrose Hill fishmonger, La Petite Poissonnerie. This recipe is created with all the amazing moorish flavours that are so special and it is really simple to make and only needs one pan. If you are feeding more people just double or triple the quantities, as needed. Just make sure you use a big enough pan.

Serves 2-3.

Ingredients:

2 cloves of minced garlic
3 cups of hot fish stock (I use a half of a Knorr fish Stock Pot, they are brilliant)
A tiny sprig of fresh chopped oregano (or 1/2 a teaspoon of dried)
1 tablespoon of sweet Spanish Sherry
1 small finely chopped white onion
½ finely chopped red pepper
1 cup of paella rice (or risotto rice)
¼ to ½ a teaspoon of hot smoked paprika (depending on how hot you like it)
½ a cup of tinned chopped tomatoes
½ teaspoon of saffron threads
600g approx of mixed raw seafood, I used squid, prawns, clams and mussels
½ cup of frozen petit pois
A sprig of finely chopped parsley
Lemon zest from 1-2 lemons
Salt and pepper to taste (can be done at the end of cooking)

 

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