Thursday, March 09, 2006

Chinese Stir-fried Prawns with Broccoli and Cashews served with Warm Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Goats' Cheese

Last night I made Chinese Stir-fried Prawns with Broccoli and Cashews served with Warm Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Goats' Cheese.

Chinese Stir-fried Prawns with Broccoli and Cashews
[Serves 6]


400g prawns
500 g purple broccoli cut into 1 x 2.5cm florets
150 g unsalted cashews
3 level tablespoon cornflour
1 tsp cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 fat garlic cloves peeled and chopped
3 level dessertspoon grated fresh root ginger
150 g shiitake mushroom caps thickly sliced
12 tablespoons rice wine
6 spring onions, cut into 2.5 cm shreds


1. Place the cornflour and cayenne in a bowl. Mix well, then toss the prawns into the bowl and mix well until all the prawns are well coated. Now mix in the soy sauce and stir in until they've all been coated. Then cover the bowl and leave in a cool place for about 30 minutes.

2. Heat a tablespoon of the vegetable oil in the wok over a high heat. When it's really hot, add the cashews and stir-fry for 30 seconds or until golden, then remove them to a plate. Now add the prawns and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Then remove them to the plate, too, and keep warm.

3. Add the remaining oil to the pan, along with the garlic and ginger. Let it cook for 30 seconds, then add the broccoli, mushrooms and 1/2 level teaspoon of salt. Stir-fry these over a high heat, again tossing them all around, for about a minute.

4. Return the prawns and nuts to the pan, turn the heat down to medium, add the rice wine and 2 tablespoons of water and sprinkle in half of the spring onion shreds. Then put a lid on the pan and cook for a further minute. Serve with the rest of the spring onion sprinkled over.

Warm Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Goats' Cheese
[Serves 6]


400g Puy lentils
100 g walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 bay leaves
2 fat clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 heaped teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the dressing:

150 goats cheese
2 fat clove garlic
1 level teaspoon sea salt
1 heaped teaspoon powdered mustard
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons walnut oil
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
50 g rocket leaves
freshly milled black pepper


1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and when it's hot, lightly fry the chopped walnuts for about 1 minute. Then remove them with a draining spoon to a plate and keep them aside for later.

2. Add the onion and crushed garlic and let these cook and soften for about 5 minutes. After that, stir in the lentils, bay leaf and thyme and make sure they all get a good coating with oil. Next add 400ml of boiling water, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and let the lentils cook for 30-40 minutes or until they're tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.

3. Prepare the dressing. Use a pestle and mortar and crush the garlic with the salt until it's creamy, then add the mustard and work that into the garlic paste. After that, whisk in the balsamic vinegar, followed by the oils. Then season well with freshly milled black pepper.

4. As soon as the lentils are cooked, add salt to taste. Empty them into a warm serving bowl and while they're still hot, pour the dressing over. Give everything a good toss and stir, then crumble the goats' cheese all over and add the rocket leaves, torn in half. Give everything one more toss and stir, and serve straight away with the walnuts scattered over.

I also made a quick and easy Apricot Crumble which is made by using 2 cans of apricot halves, pouring off the liquid and serving it equally into 6 water glasses. Then crumble 15 oat biscuits with 500g greek yoghurt and 500g double cream combined with 3 tsp cinnamon and 2tsp of sugar. Pour over the apricots and sprinkle with chocolate powder. Simple but delicious.



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