Monthly Mystery Munchies #11: Prawn Soup

prawn-545233_960_720

I have been incredibly slack lately, but for good reason. In my quest to become healthier, I have been playing around with recipes – adjusting, adding, removing, contemplating their worthiness of making it onto my blog. This month I found myself challenged and excited about my and Ann’s Monthly Mystery Munchies theme – shellfish. Easy, you might say, but as it turned out, not so much.

Ann killed it again this month, being the creative culinary aficionado that she is. I swear, we’re like long distance psychic twins, as we both did a prawn dish! She made oven grilled Gambas al Aljillo, and for the love of all things food, it looks freakin’ delectable! Initially, however, I had my heart set on doing a crab dish. Ironically, crabs freak the crap out of me! I mean, do not show me a crab. I’ll do an embarrassing girl-run into the next zip code. Yes, it really is that bad. I thought finding crab meat, actual meat, not ‘crab-flavoured’ fish sticks, would be easy. After all, I live in Cape Town, and we have a huge selection of fresh seafood. I phoned around and found two places who swore to me that I would be purchasing meat, not crabs. Off I went, happy that I would not have to put my running shoes on, and, at both places, I was handed freaking crabs, people! Eeeeeeeeeeeek! The Husband laughed as I waved my hands in the air, shouting “I can’t! I really can’t!” whilst trying not to hyperventilate. Yeah, the dudes behind the counter laughed too. That was it, crab was nixed, a hard “no” from me. However, they did have prawns, but the eyes freak me out. I mean, just gross. Aah, but they had prawn tails, challenge accepted. Plan B, I love it!

Prawns purchased, heart rate returning to normal, we headed home and discussed our options. The Husband is also getting into my and Ann’s monthly challenge, and he fancies giving me ideas. I settled on prawn soup because, recently, I made a spicy vegetable soup which we demolished, so why not use that same recipe and add prawns? Excellent. We’re back on track, plan in hand, let’s do this. Of course my hob decided to break at that exact moment. Crap, it’s Monday already, and I need to have this done by Friday! Two long days later, the hob was fixed. Much hallelujah. Finally, after a few setbacks and a mini breakdown, I was able to complete my recipe, all the while wondering what Ann’s going to come up with – please check out her recipe for this month’s shellfish theme. I’m obsessed with spicy, tasty food, so this dish is rocking a Thai-ish theme. It has a beautiful flavour without being hot, and the coconut milk adds a creaminess to it, without having to add actual cream. Without further blabbing and complaining, here we go!

Spicy Prawn Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: not a schlep
  • Print

Supplies:

Prawn soup 1400g prawn tails, deshelled
2 grean chillies, sliced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 onion, thinly sliced
250g portabellini mushrooms
4 sliced carrots
400g thinly sliced zucchini/courgettes
1 grated red cabbage
150g snap peas
1 x 400g tin lite coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Juice of 2 limes
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Fresh coriander for serving – optional

Making it happen:

Prawn soup 21. Deshell the prawns. In a large pot, fry the chillies, ginger, onion, and mushrooms in olive oil on medium heat for 5 minutes.

 

 

 

Prawn soup 4 22. Pour in the coconut milk and vegetable stock, and add the remaining vegetables. Stir in the fish sauce and lime juice, then cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the veggies are soft.

 

Prawn soup 73. Add the prawns and simmer until pink, about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with coriander if desired.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Ratatouille

Ratatouille 5This traditional French vegetarian dish is not only bursting with flavour, but healthy and easy too. Traditionally, all the vegetables were cooked separately, but nowadays they’re all done in one pan. Ratatouille can be served as a side dish with rice and meat, making it a firm favourite in this home. I use baby tomatoes for their sweetness, but you can use regular tomatoes too. The vegetables are sautéed together, bringing all of the wonderful different flavours to one dish, and the herbs emphasizing its freshness. The olive oil is not only used as a lubricant, but for its flavour. Everything in this dish is fresh, wholesome and delicious!

As a side note: I planned this post before the attacks in Paris. My heart goes out to everyone affected by these atrocities.

Ratatouille

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Supplies:

Ratatouille 101 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 aubergines (egg plants), cut into half-inch slices
6 zucchinis (courgettes/baby marrows), sliced lengthways and then crossways
2 assorted bell peppers (I used red & yellow), sliced
500g baby tomatoes, halved
1 x tin whole peeled tomatoes
Fresh basil
Fresh lemon thyme (you can use regular thyme too)
Flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Making it happen:

Ratatouille 61. In a large pan on medium heat, pour in half the olive oil and fry the garlic, onions and peppers for 2 minutes, then turn down the heat to low and sauté until the veggies have softened and the onions are lightly browned, about 5 additional minutes.

 

Ratatouille 72. Add the aubergines (egg plants) and zucchinis (courgettes/baby marrows), drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the veggies and saute with the lid on for 5 minutes.

 

 

Ratatouille 83. Add the baby tomatoes and tinned tomatoes, 5 basil leaves, a handful of Italian parsley and fresh thyme, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes until the veggies are sticky and sweet. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

 

Ratatouille 9

 

Roast Brussels Sprouts and Artichokes

Artichokes Brussels 2 1Brussels Sprouts and artichokes are both a polarizing food. This is especially true in my in-laws’ home. Mum loves them, Pops cringes are the very mention of them. Fortunately, The Husband and I don’t have that problem. Interestingly, I’ve found that the way these veggies are cooked largely determines their enjoyment factor. I have a love affair with lemon. What goes perfectly with lemon, you ask? Well, butter and pepper. Artichokes are such a treat as they’re ludicrously expensive, but you can make the Brussels without the artichokes, and vice versa. I paired them together because I wanted to give Mum a treat (and they were so good, Pops even enjoyed them!).

Roast Brussels Sprouts and Artichokes

  • Servings: 4 as a side dish
  • Difficulty: super duper easy
  • Print

Supplies:

Artichokes Brussels 6 2300g Brussels sprouts
1 x tin artichoke hearts, drained
50g melted butter
Juice of half a lemon (you can also use bottled lemon juice, 4 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Salt to season

Making it happen:

Artichokes Brussels 7 11. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Put the artichokes and Brussels sprouts in a baking dish. Melt the butter in the
microwave, add lemon juice, olive oil and black pepper. Stir to mix well and pour over the veggies.

 

Artichokes Brussels 12 Bake on the middle shelf for 30 – 40 minutes, until the Brussels are soft. (You might need to cover the dish with tin
foil for the last half.) Serve hot and scoop up the juices from the baking dish, and pour over the veggies once you’ve transferred them to plates.