Vivek Singh’s king prawns in coconut curry sauce
Chingri malai curry is among the all-time favorite Bengali dishes, reserved for very particular company, massive celebratory dinners, weddings and so forth. I bear in mind this dish as soon as served inside a inexperienced tender coconut. As a toddler, I used to be instructed the time period malai refers back to the creamy flesh contained in the inexperienced coconut that may be loved whereas tucking into the coconut. It made sense then and it is smart now as that is how most individuals relate to the dish. While travelling and dealing as a chef, it shocked me no finish to see the similarity between this dish and a Malaysian laksa, and I ponder if the Bengali title originated from Malaya, as it’s identified in India. The interval between Dussehra (Durga Puja in Bengal) and Diwali (Kali Puja in Bengal) is a interval described as Bijoya or victory. During Bijoya, individuals go to household, associates and their whole social circle, taking sweets, exchanging presents and consuming collectively. Forgetting to go to somebody over Bijoya is the Bengali equal of dropping somebody out of your Christmas card listing! One of my earliest meals recollections is consuming this scrumptious prawn curry at a Bijoya dinner.
freshwater prawns 400g (the biggest dimension you could find), peeled and deveined (peeled weight)
floor turmeric 1 tsp
salt 1 tsp
vegetable oil 3 tbsp
bay leaves 2
purple onions 3 (round 275g), blended to a positive paste
floor cumin 1 tbsp
ginger and garlic paste 2 tbsp
inexperienced chillies 2, slit lengthways
shellfish inventory 250ml
coconut milk 75ml
sugar ½ tsp (non-obligatory)
inexperienced cardamom pods 4-5, floor
coriander 1 tbsp, chopped
lime juice of ½
Marinate the prawns with half of the turmeric and half of the salt for five minutes.
Heat half of the oil in a pan and add the bay leaves and onion paste and sauté over a medium warmth for 10-12 minutes till very gentle brown.
Meanwhile, warmth the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan and sear the prawns briefly for 1-2 minutes, turning them to sear on either side, then put aside.
Mix the remaining turmeric, the bottom cumin and ginger-garlic paste in 75ml water.
Add to the sautéed onions, scale back the warmth and cook dinner for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add the remaining salt, inexperienced chillies and prawns and stir for 1 minute. Add the inventory, then combine within the coconut milk and simmer for 2-3 minutes or simply till the prawns are cooked, including a bit extra inventory if essential. Correct the seasoning with salt and sugar and sprinkle on the bottom cardamom and chopped coriander. Squeeze over the lime juice and serve with rice.
This is greatest eaten with recent boiled basmati rice, enriched with a tablespoon of ghee or chilly salted butter, a pinch of smoked sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Add the butter, salt and pepper to sizzling steaming rice, combine and serve instantly.
From Spice at Home by Vivek Singh (Absolute Press, £25)
Jane Grigson’s brandade de morue
Brandade has had its devotees ever since Grimod de la Reynière “discovered” it in Languedoc and wrote down the recipe on the finish of the 18th century. He hid the title of the place the place he first ate this cream of salt cod, which has led to a lot pleasurable however fruitless hypothesis. (Like Lobster à l’américaine – or armoricaine.) Was the place Béziers, the traditional cathedral city between Sète and Narbonne? Or was it Nîmes, the place 1 cooked meals store no less than sends brandade to clients throughout France? To add to the thriller, an virtually equivalent dish, baccalà mantecato, is a superb speciality of Venice and the Veneto.
Brandade is an enchanting dish to make. Poor-looking greyish-white boards of dried cod are remodeled into richness by the mild attentions of olive oil and cream. Less mild are the attentions of the cook dinner, who should sustain a gentle crushing of the substances, mixed with a shaking of the pot (the title is claimed – by Grimrod de la Reynière – to return from brandir, an previous verb that means to stir, shake and crush with power, for a very long time: 1 might surprise on what different event it might need been employed). Such a gradual transformation of gear might sound tiresome in a busy life, however it has its personal relaxed pleasure, and a scrumptious consequence. A comfort – fruit is the one potential follow-up. The trendy recipe has modified little. I exploit cream, you could desire to make use of wealthy milk and a few butter as a substitute.
dried salt cod ¾-1kg
olive oil 500-600ml
garlic 1 giant clove, crushed, finely chopped (non-obligatory)
single cream or milk and cream 300ml
salt, pepper, nutmeg, lemon juice
bread fried in olive oil 18 small triangles
parsley 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Soak the cod and cook dinner it within the regular manner. Remove and discard all bony elements, however hold the pores and skin. This is commonly discarded, however as Ali-Bab remarks in his Gastronomie Pratique, it helps the flavour and the consistency of the brandade, being gelatinous.
Put the items of cod, and pores and skin if used, right into a stoneware or enamelled iron casserole, over a low, regular warmth (with a heat-diffuser mat beneath, if fuel is used). Have the oil, and garlic if used, collectively in a small pan, holding heat. The similar goes for the cream or milk and cream. Pour a bit oil on to the cod, and crush the 2 along with a wood spoon, shifting the pan about. Then add some cream, or milk and cream. Continue on this manner till oil and cream are completed. You ought to now have a coherent creamy mass, very white in case you have omitted the pores and skin, white flecked with gray for those who haven’t. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon juice.
The factor to keep away from is overheating, which might trigger the brandade to separate. Should this occur, take the unorthodox step of placing the combination right into a bowl and beating it vigorously and, if potential, electrically. Or use the processor.
Serve both within the cooking dish (although this may in all probability be too giant), or on a plainly colored earthenware dish. Dip 1 nook of every triangle of fried bread first within the brandade, after which into the parsley, earlier than tucking the croûton into the sting of the brandade as a garnish.
From Jane Grigson’s Fish Book by Jane Grigson (Penguin, £16.99)
Mitch Tonks’s scallops Seahorse-style
At my restaurant the Seahorse, we do serve some native meat, however in the principle it’s identified for its seafood, which is cooked over charcoal or simply ready merely in keeping with the seasons and served unadorned, so our company can recognize the fabulous seafood that’s caught simply outdoors our door. This scallop dish is a favorite with our diners.
Buy scallops which can be nonetheless within the shell and ask your fishmonger to scrub them for you, reserving the minimize half of of the shell. Leave the rose on, as these are scrumptious. Do not purchase scallops that look milky or are sitting in a puddle of water, as these will undoubtedly have been soaked and their flavour and texture might be poor.
recent scallops 6
recent tarragon 1 tsp, finely chopped
white wine 6 tbsp
olive oil 6 tbsp
positive breadcrumbs 6 tbsp
For the garlic butter
garlic 2 cloves
recent parsley leaves a handful
salted anchovies 2 fillets
Tabasco a splash
Preheat the oven to 240C/fuel mark 9.
First, make the garlic butter. Place the garlic, parsley, anchovy fillets and butter in a meals processor with a splash of Tabasco and blitz till easy.
Place a scallop in every shell, holding the rose on. Sprinkle each with a bit tarragon, then add 1 tablespoon of wine to every scallop and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Season with a bit salt, then place a teaspoon of garlic butter on the highest of every scallop. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over each.
Place the scallops in a roasting dish and cook dinner within the oven for five minutes.
The breadcrumbs ought to be properly browned, the scallops firmed up and the olive oil, garlic butter and wine all effervescent collectively.
Serve 3 scallops to a plate or 1 plate of 6 to share and get caught in.
From Fish by Mitch Tonks (Pavilion, £25)
Mitch Tonks’s roast squid full of mussels, lemon and spinach
recent spinach 450g
garlic 2 cloves, finely chopped
dry white wine 5 tbsp
dried chilli 1
recent white breadcrumbs a handful
lemon juice of 1
sea salt and freshly floor black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg a pinch
recent flat-leaf parsley 2 tbsp, chopped
squid 8 medium, with tentacles minimize off and reserved, cleaned and skinned
garlic, lemon and parsley dressing to serve (see beneath)
inexperienced salad to serve
Preheat the oven to 240C/fuel mark 9. Scrub the mussels and take away the wispy beards. Discard any shells which can be damaged or which can be open and don’t shut when tapped sharply.
Put the mussels in a big pan with a bit water, cowl and steam for 3-4 minutes, till they open. Remove them from the shells. Discard any that stay closed. Strain the liquid to take away any grit, and reserve.
Wash the spinach and cook dinner it over a low-medium warmth within the water nonetheless clinging to it for 2-3 minutes. Drain and finely chop.
Fry the garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil over a medium warmth for 2-3 minutes, or till it begins to brown. Add the spinach and wine and boil for two minutes to cook dinner off the alcohol. Take off the warmth.
Crumble within the chilli, then add the breadcrumbs and mussels, and moisten with the reserved mussel liquid and the lemon juice to make a workable stuffing. Season and add the nutmeg and parsley, then stuff the squid with the combination, securing the tip with a cocktail stick if you want.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan over a excessive warmth, then sear the stuffed squid and tentacles on all sides till golden – roughly 3-4 minutes in whole.
Transfer to the oven and roast for 6-7 minutes, or till cooked. Drizzle with the garlic, lemon and parsley dressing and serve with a inexperienced salad.
Garlic, lemon and parsley dressing
Season 6 tbsp good olive oil with sea salt and freshly floor black pepper. Stir in 1 crushed garlic clove and 1 tbsp finely chopped recent flat-leaf parsley. Mix in lemon juice to style.
From Fish Easy by Mitch Tonks (Pavilion, £19.99)
Nigel Slater’s heat crab and tarragon tart
I hardly ever make pastry, however for a quivering, rust-coloured tart of such delicate flavour I’ll fortunately make a fragile crust and fill it with a creamy custard and items of recent shellfish.
For the pastry
butter 175g, chilly and in small chunks
plain flour 200g
egg yolk 1
ice-cold water 2 tbsp
For the filling
double cream 300ml
French mustard 2 tsp
tarragon leaves 1 heaped tbsp (about 35-40 leaves)
crab meat 500g
parmesan 2 tbsp, grated
Make the pastry: rub the butter into the flour, both together with your fingertips or in a meals processor. Add the egg yolk and water and pinch of salt. Push right into a easy ball and roll it on the desk till it’s barely cylindrical – it would slice higher in that form. Put the pastry within the fridge to chill and relaxation for about half of an hour.
Set the oven at 200C/fuel mark 6. Slice the chilled pastry into skinny rounds and press them right into a 23-24cm tart tin. Press the pastry to cowl the bottom and up the perimeters, making sure there are not any holes. Prick the underside with a fork to cease it effervescent and chill for 15 minutes, earlier than baking for 15 minutes till it’s dry to the contact.
Separate the eggs. Mix the yolks with the cream, add salt and pepper and mustard, then chop and add the tarragon. Stir within the crab meat. Beat the egg whites till they may stand in peaks then fold them into the crab custard with a big steel spoon. Pour the custard into the pastry case and sprinkle with parmesan.
Turn the oven right down to 190C/fuel mark 5 and bake the tart for about 30-35 minutes till it’s puffed and golden however barely wobbly within the centre.
Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool a bit earlier than reducing. It ought to be set on the edges and smooth, virtually runny, within the centre.
Vivek Singh, Jane Grigson, Mitch Tonks, Nigel Slater from theguardian.com