Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Seafood Laksa

This is one of those meals where if you have fresh seafood you should take advantage of it. This Thai meal allows the seafood to have front and center stage.

Allow 200grams of mixed seafood per person (Fresh fresh fresh is all I can say on this) - we used a mixture of mussles, calimari and fish in this paricular batch
Fresh chinese egg noodles or rice noodles if preferred
750 mls coconut milk
750 mls chicken stock
Laksa Paste (allow 1 tbsp per person)
fish sauce to season
1 tsp palm sugar
Laksa leaf (also called Vietnamese mint)
100 gms bean sprouts
crispy shallots
wedges of lime
fresh cilantro leaves
chopped tomatoes

Skim the thick cream off the top of the coconut milk.  Heat the cream in a large saucepan, add laksa paste, allowing one tablespoon per person. 
Fry gently until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add remaining coconut milk and chicken stock.  Bring to the boil.

Add palm sugar and fish sauce.  Add seafood, reduce heat and poach gently until cooked. (once it is simmering it is done!)

Blance noodles in boiling water and divide between the serving bowls.
Pour on laksa and garnish with sprouts, shallots, lime wedges, laksa leaf, cilantro and tomatoes. It sounds like alot to garnish but every little ingredients has their part to play in layering flavors and creating this beautiful soup.

Sausages and Lentils

Lentils are one of those ingredients that are hearty like rice or pasta yet extremely good for your body. In these cold winter months I have been trying new satisfying recipes that give me the warm fuzzy feelings without the calorie guilt. In my recent trip to Australia my mum made us this dinner that is extremely simple and wonderfully layered with flavor. Best thing about it is that it only took me 10 minutes to put together, and then it takes care of itself. Thats my kind of meal!


1 Large can of diced tomatoes (doesn't have to be diced can be crushed)
5-7 Sausages. (I love a big good quality aussie snag fresh from the butcher) I used Johnsonville IrishO'Garlic Sausages.
1 White Onion sliced and chopped
4 Garlic cloves
1 cup Lentils
Approx 4 cups beef stock
1/2 cup chopped Italian Parsley stems
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (coriander) stems
Cilantro Leaves to garnish

Heat up an extra large non stick fry pan to medium high heat. Begin cooking sausages, do not cook all the way through just brown on the outsides.
While snags are cooking micro-zest your garlic . This is one of my favorite utensils right now. Sometimes I do not have time to chop finely and this give me the chance for fresh garlic at high warp speed.
When sausages are crisping up and browned on the outside remove them from the pan.
To the juices in the pan add some olive oil and heat.
Add onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and saute gently until onion is see through.
Add tomatoes, beef stock, cilantro, parsley and lentils.
Mix together.
Place sausages back in the pan, place lid on pan and allow it to simmer slowly for approximately 1 1/2 hours.. or until lentils are soft and dahl like. If necessary add more beef stock.
When it has a dahl like texture serve immediately and sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander leaves.