Prawn Cocktail - Prawn again

Prawn Cocktail

Well hello you. It's been a while! Update on life: Boyfriend and Maria are still very much alive and have missed you dearly!

Just yesterday in fact, a friend asked me what was up with my blog - it's been a year since I've posted. I know, shameful right? I also received a kind comment online recently from someone asking me when I was going to post again. I think I've therefore come to the conclusion that two comments in one week constitutes a good kick up the backside!

So here I am! And i intend to stay! I'm also starting off with an easy dish, prawn cocktail.

To my English friends this is something that is all very familiar. Prawn cocktail is a classic light dish typically served as an Hors-d'oeuvre/starter and consists of prawns in a Marie Rose/Thousand Island dressing type sauce. Interestingly enough, my boyfriend knows nothing of this dish, so either he's been living under a rock or maybe it didn't quite cross the pond?! Either way, if you like seafood, prawn cocktail is a great starter to impress your friends or a delicious light salad on a hot summers day.

If you are super lazy you could buy pre-made prawn cocktail sauce (Thousand Island dressing for my American friends). 

Prawn Cocktail

Prawn Cocktail (Serves 4)

  • 400g cooked shell-on north atlantic prawns 

  • 1 iceberg lettuce or equivalent amount of gem lettuce, washed and trimmed

  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced

  • A pinch of paprika for dusting

For the sauce: 

  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 5 tbsp tomato ketchup

  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tsp lemon juice

  • A few drops of tabasco to taste (I use 4-5 drops)

  1. For the sauce, mix together the tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, splash of tabasco and lemon juice in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

  2. The prawns should be pre-cooked and cold. If you managed to buy raw prawns, then cook them in a dry frying pan until pink all over and leave to cool.  Peel the majority of the prawns, leaving a couple with their shells per serving for garnishing purposes. 

  3. To assemble the cocktails, place the lettuce on the bottom of four glasses or small bowls followed by the diced avocado on top. Add the peeled prawns and a generous helping of sauce on top.

  4. Arrange the unpeeled prawns on the top and give the whole thing a light dusting of paprika.

Prawn Cocktail
Prawn Cocktail

Blueberry Crumble cakes

Blueberry Crumble Crisp

I know that It has been a while since I've posted. Work and life has just been so busy I've had very little time to do much of anything. But don't worry, my boyfriend isn't starving to death I promise you!

And what better way to apologize for my lack of posting than a sweet dessert that is the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea. It's bursting with fresh blueberries and topped with my of my most favourite things in the whole wide world: crumble!

I had originally intended to make this for a family party but made the mistake of making it the day before in a house where two little siblings lived. The result? It was absolutely demolished within 2 hours.

Blueberry Crumble Crisp

Blueberry crumble cakes

  • 75g (2/3 stick) butter
  • 150g (2/3 cup) caster sugar                    
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250g (2 Cups) all-purpose Flour  
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 175ml Milk 
  • 300g Fresh Blueberries

For the Crumble:

  • 85g (3/4 stick) butter
  • 100g (1/2 cup) Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 64g (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until well blended. Whisk in the egg.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Once mixed together, add this dry mixture to the first bowl and stir.
  4. Once it starts to mix together, gradually add in the milk stirring continuously. It will become a smooth cake batter consistency.  Once fully incorporated, pour the cake batter into a greased baking dish. 
  5. Sprinkle the blueberries on top of the cake batter. I used approximately 300g of blueberries but you may require slightly more or less depending on the exact size and shape of your baking dish.  
  6. Now for my favourite part, the crumble! In a bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the cinnamon, salt and flour and mix together. At this point you may have to rub the mixture between your fingers into a breadcrumb-like consistency. Sprinkle the crumble on top of the batter/blueberry combo making sure to create a variety of crumble sizes! 
  7. Place in the middle rack of the oven for approximately 40 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares. This is best served warm with a nice dollop of clotted cream! 
Blueberry Crumble Crisp
Blueberry Crumble Crisp

Sushi Burrito


Sorry, I haven't posted in a while! I am in England with family and have been very busy with a full time job! Not to mention the fact that having my mother around has given me less of an incentive to cook! It is no longer about feeding my boyfriend, it is about a mother feeding her daughter!

I thought I would introduce you to a fairly easy recipe and one that makes a delicious light meal (or a heavy meal depending on how many you have!). Sushi is a fairly healthy snack and one that I make myself when I really cannot be bothered to spend ages in the kitchen. You can vary the ingredients and put whatever you like inside!

I personally am a huge fan of salmon - I could literally eat this fish every single day of my life! Recently, my sister asked me the question, if I could only eat one food for the rest of my life and never eat anything else ever again, what would I eat? I picked sushi, i love it that much!

Depending on where you buy your fish you can in some cases eat the fish raw. I would only recommend this however if the fish is super fresh and/or it states that it is sushi grade fish on the package! I would recommend trying your local fish monger/fish market over a supermarket. Most fish in supermarkets is frozen and thawed at least once before it is put on the shelf and sold as fresh. 

I personally like to sear a fillet of fresh salmon with a bit of salt and serve it rare. I also don't add any oil to salmon when I cook it as the fish has a lot of natural oils in it. 

Bear in mind that you can be as creative as you want for your sushi. A few common sushi ingredients you may want to use:

  • cucumbers, lettuce, daikon radish, asparagus, pickled ginger, carrots, avocados, cream cheese, mayo, spicy mayo (4 parts mayo, 1 part chill paste), sweet rice wine,  tuna,  salmon, crabmeat, shrimp, lobster, eel, halibut, swordfish, mackerel, trout, sea bass etc.

There are also several ways to wrap your sushi. I often wrap mine like a hand roll but burrito style.  I find wrapping it burrito style instead of the traditional Temaki hand roll method means I can put a lot more ingredients inside...because I am greedy.

Here is a page that explains different wrapping methods!

Salmon Sushi (1 serving)

  • 1 sheet Yaki Nori (dried seaweed)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup (a handful) cooked Japanese style rice 
  • Fresh fish such as salmon
  • Vegetables - In this example I used 2-3 pieces of asparagus and lettuce
  • 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar (optional)
  • Serve with a dash of sauce such as mayo and soy sauce
  1. Cook the rice as per the package instructions and mix in a small amount of rice vinegar in it.
  2. Slice your fish into thinner longer pieces. If searing your fish, I would do this first. You will need to cut it much thinner if making it Makisushi (rolled sushi) style. 
  3. One of the benefits of making a hand roll is that you don't need a sushi mat and it is very easy to make at home. Ensure that the nori is shiny side down and spread a thin layer of rice along one side of the nori. Top with desired ingredients and roll into a cone shape. Yes, it is that easy. 

If you are like me and just want to put as much in there as possible you may want to make a sushi burrito! You can do so by piling the ingredients in the middle of the nori diagonally. Close one end by folding a corner over your ingredients and then bringing each side in towards the middle. If you need to make the nori stick, just wet it slightly with your fingers and that should do the trick!

If making a traditional Sushi roll, place the nori sheet on a bamboo sushi mat, spread a thin layer of rice on the sheet of nori. Arrange your ingredients in the centre of the rice. Roll the nori from one end to the other using the mat to guide you and pressing gently as you do so. Cut the roll using a slightly damp sharp knife. Using a dry knife will make cause too much friction and the roll will not cut as easily. A wet knife however will literally slice that sushi like butter!