Category Archives for Drinks & Nibbles

A Winter’s Cocktail – Gin Gin!

Back in the summer, I was sent a rather lovely looking bottle of Foxdenton Rhubarb Gin and asked if I would like to come up with a recipe for it to post here on my blog.  I enthusiastically agreed (being a big gin lover AND a big rhubarb lover) but then life got in the way and SEVERAL polite reminder emails later, I found myself at Christmas and the bottle, still unopened.  Thankfully, my brother has stepped in and heroically taken up the gin drinking, cocktail making mantle.  I'll leave him to tell you the rest....

Meddling with the classics can be a risky business.

However, as the film director Baz Luhrmann showed in 1996 with his award-winning adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, and the car manufacturer Jaguar achieved in 2013 following the launch of the F-Type as a successor to a quintessential English sports car, its predecessor – the e-Type, experimentation is distinctly satisfying when the results are so warmly received.

Christmas in particular is a time when altering tradition can be viewed with disdain, however, then it was that upon receiving a bottle of Foxdenton Rhubarb Gin, I found myself challenged to create a delicious alternative to one of my all-time favourite drinks, a G&T.

I delved into some distant memories from working in a cocktail bar near Leeds while at university there (Suburban Style Bar in Horsforth if anyone knew it?!) – about ten years ago depressingly – and after giving the contents of my new bottle of mother’s rhubarb ruin a good sniff, decided to add two of my favourite cocktail ingredients…

rhubarb gin

After filling a (recently acquired) G&T glass (a collins glass would work equally well) with crushed ice, I poured in 70ml of the Foxdenton Rhubarb-y goodness, followed by half a 330ml can of ginger beer, a few dashes of Angostura bitters and garnished with a slice of orange.

The mixture needs a good stir, or better still, shaken over ice in a cocktail shaker before pouring over the crushed ice; and the result? A refreshingly punchy drink that works as comfortably post-Christmas dinner as it would on a summer’s evening, sat in the garden as the sun goes down.

All that’s left is to give it a name. The temptation is to be simple and go with ‘Rhubarb Gin and Ginger’ but for my money this lacks imagination. However, after drinking two or three of these, the mind’s not as sharp as it was, so I leave it to you, dear reader…send your suggestions on Twitter and mention @EatDrinkCookUK or add it to the EatDrinkCook Facebook page.

Peace!

As long as I live, rock will never die.

Nick ‘the guest writer’ Nixon

Summer Party Food – Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs

Doesn’t that title just lure you in? I really love a summer party.  It summons images of warm evenings, lively chatter, soft music, fruity Pimms and of course, wonderful food. Light and colourful, packed with flavour and to allow for mingling, in nibble form. 

Just the word ‘nibble’ fills me with a kind of girlish glee. I love the guilt free abandon of it all.  Nothing that can be described as a ‘nibble’ can possibly be bad for you for goodness sake! Plus, nibbles tend to come in groups and I’m all for variety in my food.  I love nuts for sure, but I also enjoy a good olive, perhaps some blini or even a crostini. Perhaps a Cheesy Prosciutto Puff?

Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs

So read on my little vol-au-vents and I shall share with you the secret (or now, not so secret) recipe for Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs (squeee!) They’re bite-sized pieces of puffy heaven that really pack a Mediterranean punch.  Flaky pastry; as light as air, a slight tang of pesto with beautiful Prosciutto adding depth and Grana Padano cheese, an extra richness that makes them really elegant and completely indulgent.

I’m confident that you’ll want to make some of these little babies for your next summer gathering…and that your guests will thank you for it!

Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs

Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs

Ingredients

1 x 320 g packet of ready-rolled puff pastry
4 tbs pesto
1 pack of prosciutto
75 g grated Grana Padano Cheese
1 egg, beaten

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 C Fan
  • Line a couple of baking trays with grease proof paper
  • Now, carefully lay out the pastry and roll it gently until it is more of a square shape (approx 35cm per side)
  • Spoon the pesto on to the pastry and spread it out so it covers it completely – right to the edges!
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 16 squares (so, start by cutting into quarters and then cut each quarter into quarters.)
  • Cut the prosciutto so you have 16 pieces and a bit on each square
  • Now sprinkle over the grated cheese and season well. Go steady with the salt as the Prosciutto and Grana Padano are both quite salty. Plenty of black pepper though!
  • Gently roll each square into a sausage shape and then brush the fold with the beaten egg to help seal it
  • Cover them all in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 10 mins
  • Remove from the fridge and using a sharp knife, slice each sausage into 8 small discs and place them on the baking trays, allowing enough space for them to puff up a little when cooked
  • Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes, until golden brown.

 Recipe Inspiration

Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs

I was recently sent some beautiful samples of Grana Padano cheese and Prosciutto di San Daniele. To be honest, they were both so good that very little would beat just eating them au naturel (no, I’m not being paid to say that – promise!) but that would have made for rather a dull post so I tried to come up with a recipe that would show off the beautiful flavours and allow them to compliment each other.  I hope that’s what I’ve done… 🙂

I also had help from Mary Berry and her fantastic book Mary Berry Absolute Favourites, where her Cheesy Cheese Spirals gave me the idea for the recipe above.

What are your favourite summer party nibbles? Let me know in the comments below!

Drink: Grapefruit Gin & Tonic Slushie

A sip or two of this citrus slushie will start your spring BBQ with a swing. A great twist on the classic gin & tonic, this drink is sharp and refreshing with more buzz than a bumblebee in a sunflower….

gin and tonic slushie

A friend of mine recently posted a picture on Facebook of their first BBQ of the year (yes, I’m looking at you Matt!) and I have to say, much as I love a good BBQ, I have found the weather a little too much on the chilly side to be tempted to the dust off the grill and fire-lighters just yet (and by that, of COURSE I mean, get hubby to dust off the grill and fire-lighters).  That being said, I definitely feel like the season of outside eating is just around the corner, and it’s definitely not too early to start planning that first spring or summer BBQ with friends…or to start taste testing this fabulous Grapefruit Gin and Tonic Slushie to make sure it’s up to scratch.  You’re such a good friend to care so much about getting it just right! 😉

gin and tonic slushie

Apart from the fact that it’s just more pleasant to eat a meal in the garden, the warmth of the sun on your skin, the sound of birds singing in the trees; it also makes entertaining so much easier and somehow less formal.  People can be ushered quickly through the house (before they notice you haven’t hoovered) and out into the garden, where you welcome them with a little drinky…

gin and tonic slushie

Slushie the Campfire Slayer

(I’m sorry.  I had to.  It was just too good).

…Which brings me to the purpose of this post.  Assuming you’re not as brave as my friend Matt and you haven’t yet had your first BBQ of the year then I urge you to include these as an aperitif when you do.. They’re a (ahem) ‘citrus’ twist on an old classic and they’re both refreshing and just alcoholic enough to kick your afternoon or evening off with a pleasant buzz.

Grapefruit Gin and Tonic Slushie

Grapefruit Gin and Tonic Slushie
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 100 ml gin
  2. 300 ml tonic water
  3. Juice of 1/2 a grapefruit
  4. 2 tsp sugar
Instructions
  1. Mix your ingredients in a jug and then pour into a shallow baking tray - I use the disposable foil ones
  2. Pop your tray in the freezer for 2 hours
  3. Now break up the forming ice with a fork and spoon into the glasses of your choice
  4. Grate a bit of grapefruit, lime or lemon zest over and serve with a straw
Notes
  1. For an extra twist, add a splash of elderflower cordial to the glass once you've spooned in the ice.
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/
 In a party mood?  Then try one of these great drinks too!

Chai Baileys

Sangria

sangria

Recipe: Spiced Apple Butter

Filling your entire home with the smell of apples and spice, every mouthful packs an autumnal punch. Enjoy the sheer alchemy as the apples, cider, cinnamon, cloves and brown sugar are transformed into a mass of molten, burnished heaven…

spiced apple butter

How many crumbles does it take to empty an apple tree?

If you’re lucky enough to have an apple tree in your garden – or to have access to someone else’s then this time of year is generally filled with crumbles, pies and apple cake. Not a bad way to console yourself at the end of summer but occasionally, dare I say it? One feels the need for a bit of a change… After all, there are only so many crumbles and pies you can eat in a day. Personally, I draw the line at one of each but then I’ve always been a bit of a stickler.  

spiced apple butter

The thing is, even a strict regime of a pie and crumble a day doesn’t even come close to diminishing the apple glut.  Don’t get me wrong, of the gluts you could suffer, apples are probably one of the best, but it’s a glut that still needs tackling, and tackle it I will!

A sticky solution to a sticky problem

This spiced apple butter is rather wonderful.  Firstly, there’s no need to peel the apples – a job I find quite therapeutic for the first apple or two but by number five or six, I must say it’s pretty tiresome. 

spiced apple butter

Secondly, it’s a multi-purpose apple butter.  It makes a wonderful accompaniment to cheese and biccies but can also be used in sweet treats such as apple tarts or turnovers.

Wait! Before you gasp in awe and reach for your preserving pan, there’s more! This sweet, sticky, spiced apple butter comes in jars and you all know the rule about food that comes in jars right?  

“If it comes in a jar then it can be given as a gift.”  

I’m sure that’s a Shakespeare quote … or perhaps it was Martha Stewart…

spiced apple butter

Anyhoo, I’ve heard a rumour that Christmas is just around the corner so it seems that this glut of apples, plus a recipe for them that can be put in jars and given as gifts might be rather handy?

Spiced Apple Cider Butter
Yields 3
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Ingredients
  1. 2.5 lbs cooking apples
  2. 1 stick of cinnamon
  3. 3 cloves
  4. 1 lemon
  5. 1 pt dry cider
  6. Demerara sugar (approx 500g)
Instructions
  1. Roughly chop the apples - no need to peel (hurrah!)
  2. Add them to a large saucepan or preserving pan along with the spices, chopped lemon (the whole thing) and cider
  3. Bring it all to the boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover and leave for an hour until the fruit has completely softened and collapsed
  4. Blend until smooth - the easiest way is with a hand blender but a food processor is fine too
  5. Now pass the mixture through a fine sieve
  6. Weigh what's left and then put it into a clean pan
  7. Measure out 80 g of demerara sugar for every 100 g of apple mixture that you have
  8. Now add the sugar to the pan over a low heat and stir constantly until it has all dissolved
  9. Bring it back to a simmer and let it bubble gently, stirring regularly, until it has approximately halved. This will normally take between 30-60 minutes.
  10. You will now have something gloopy and the consistency of thick custard.
  11. Using a funnel, pour into your warm, dry jars and leave to cool.
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/
 After more Gourmet Gifts?

I’ve got you covered buddy – check out the gourmet gift section of the blog 🙂

Recipe: Smoked Mackerel Pâté

This creamy smoked mackerel pâté is bursting with the contrasting flavours of earthy smoked fish, the fresh, clean taste of chopped parsley and lemon juice, and finished off with the tang of chopped gherkin…

This is one of those wonderful recipes that is pure simplicity to prepare (with just 6 ingredients, how could it be anything else?), but absolutely full of flavour.  It’s also a little bit different, which delights something in me which strives to be unpredictable.

smoked mackerel pâté

‘Yes, Colette. It’s different and I don’t know when I’d ever really eat it…’

Aha! I thought I sensed you were a little unsure… let me put your mind at rest. There are loads of great ways to eat this gorgeous little pâté.  You’ll soon wonder where it’s been all your life. 🙂

smoked mackerel pâté

Perfect for a picnic…

Once prepared, the smoked mackerel pâté can be popped into a jar and taken on a picnic to be served with crusty bread and a glass of crisp, cool white wine.

More for your picnic…. My Pesto, Chicken, Sweet Pepper & Mozarella Picnic Loaf

Nice as a nibble…

Why not use a pastry cutter to shape some little toast circles, then pop a teaspoonful of the pâté on top with a slice of cucumber or radish, for a delicious little nibble to serve with drinks?

Extra nibbles… Fig & Goats Cheese Crostini with a Honey, Orange & Basil Dressing

smoked mackerel pâté

Lovely light lunch…

The great thing is, that this is so easy to make, that you needn’t feel like you should only make it for a special occasion. Whip (pardon the pun) up a batch at the start of the week and keep it in the fridge.  This makes a gorgeous lunch on the run, just slathered on a couple of slices of toast!

Alternative light lunch… Quick Quesadillas

Delightful as a dip…

Always on the lookout for healthy ways to snack? Something to swap for the bars of chocolate and the packets of crisps?  Well, a little bit of smoked mackerel pâté with some chopped carrots and celery for dippin’ are just what you need!

smoked mackerel pâté

Smoked Mackerel Pâté
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Ingredients
  1. 240 g smoked mackerel fillets
  2. 125 g cream cheese
  3. Juice of 1/2 lemon
  4. 1/2 tbs dijon mustard
  5. 2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
  6. 1 finely chopped gherkin
Instructions
  1. Peel the skin off the mackerel fillets and flake them into a food processor
  2. Add in the cream cheese, parsley and dijon mustard
  3. Blitz for a few seconds so that you've got a slightly chunky but creamy consistency
  4. Now use a spatula to scrape it into a bowl and mix in the chopped gherkin
  5. Season to taste (careful with the salt!)
Notes
  1. I don't add any extra salt because the fish is already quite salty.
  2. This pâté can be stored in a sealed jar and popped in the fridge.
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/

 Enjoyed this recipe? Then be a chum and tweet it out! 🙂

 

Fig & Goat’s Cheese Crostini with a Honey, Orange & Basil Dressing

Crisp toasts, topped with creamy goats cheese, sweet, soft figs and a delicate honey, orange and basil dressing…

You know those meals that are are really special? The ones you spend hours preparing but it’s totally worth it because they’re such a treat?

Well this isn’t one of those.

fig and goats cheese crostini

Instead, do you know those dishes which can be whipped up in a flash but when presented to your eager diners, will be met with ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaaaahs’ and ‘how lovelys!’ The reason being that sometimes the food just speaks for itself.  Sometimes, beautiful, fresh and perhaps unusual ingredients can make a dish just as special (if not more so), without the need for endless toiling.

Happy days dear readers! This recipe, is one of those.

fig and goats cheese crostini

Fig & Goat’s Cheese Crostini with a Honey, Orange & Basil Dressing

Makes 18

You will need:

50 ml extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 orange

1 tbs runny honey

1 tbs chopped fresh basil

1 stale small baguette, thinly sliced along the diagonal (approx 1/2 cm thick)

1 x 120 g soft, round goats cheese

3 small figs, finely sliced lengthways (you should get about 6 slices per fig)

fig and goats cheese crostini

  •  Mix together the oil, orange juice, honey and chopped basil and then season.
  • Now heat up a griddle pan and then paint both sides of each of your bread slices with the dressing
  • Toast them on the griddle pan until golden on each side (a couple of mins per side)
  • Now remove to a plate and put a small bit of goats cheese on each, finally topping with a slice of fig
  • Lastly, drizzle over more of the dressing and season to taste
  • Easy-peasy! Think you’ve got time for a sneaky G&T before your guests arrive…

 

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

You know those really hot, oppressive summer days when the air feels heavy and no matter what you do, you just can’t get cool?

Doing anything feels like wading through water and that’s just emphasised by the dampness of your clothing and brow…

What you need is my Strawberry and Peach Iced Tea – sweet, refreshing summer in a glass…

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

Fruit teas, herbal teas and green teas are a bit like blue cheese, caviar and olives. I’m not comparing them taste-wise (although in the case of some green teas, I’m not sure that comparison would be far off the mark..) What I’m saying is, you feel like you really ought to like them because, well they’re super cool right?  Only, try as you might, you just don’t get it.

(Actually, truth be told, I TOTALLY dig olives – not literally – they’re picked from trees dontcha know? … but you get the idea.)

Strawberry Peach Cordial

Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about fruit teas, iced tea and all that malarky, which just isn’t British.  We have our tea steaming hot and in a mug (or teacup) thank you very much.  A teapot is preferred, a biscuit to dunk is a treat – and don’t get me started on when the milk should be added.… it’s a steaming hot topic and no mistake.

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

I briefly dabbled with mint tea just after the birth of my second son – but more because of its supposed ability to settle an upset tummy than because I thought it sounded particularly tasty. I must confess, I was pleasantly surprised.  It wasn’t awful.  That’s as far as I’d go. Put it this way, I had my son in February 2014 and I haven’t managed to finish that box of tea bags yet…

Seth

More recently, a friend enticed me to try more of a spiced tea – with cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.  It was pretty tasty.  I haven’t finished that box either.

For more of my musings on tea, check out these posts..

Food Hugs

My Chai

strawberry peach iced tea

This year, I thought I’d have a go at making my own version – Peach and Strawberry Iced Tea.  I mean, iced teas are a pretty big deal in a lot of places so there must be something to them right?

As it turns out – YES! 

The first step was to make a Peach & Strawberry Syrup, which by the way, makes your whole house smell amazing so if your home is on the market, then the time to  make this is just before you have people coming for a viewing. Guaranteed sale. 🙂

stawberry peach cordial

Peach & Strawberry Syrup

(Makes approx 700 ml)

2 peaches, chopped

200 g strawberries

200 g caster sugar (if you have vanilla sugar then use half this and half normal caster)

500 ml water

  • Bung everything in a saucepan on a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer and then turn off the heat
  • Using a fork, mush up all the fruit to get out as much of the juice
  • Leave to cool completely
  • Push through a fine sieve or muslin cloth (depending on just how pure you want it) and then funnel into a bottle.

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

strawberry peach iced tea

You will need

tea bags

water

Strawberry Peach Cordial

I haven’t put amounts here – it really depends on whether you want to just make a glass for you or a jug. The basic directions are:

  • Make tea – leaving to brew as long as your personal taste desires (I find, if left too long though, it makes the drink a touch bitter – you’ve been warned!)
  • Leave to cool completely
  • Pour 1/3 cordial and 2/3 tea and then add ice
  • Go outside in the sun and feel refreshed!

PS – I don’t own one (yet) but if I did, I would absolutely serve this Peach Tea in one of these amazing clear teapots!

Strawberry Peach Cordial

The fantastic thing about the Strawberry Peach Cordial that you’ve just made is that it will keep in the fridge for a week or so and can also be used for these gorgeous drinks..

Strawberry Peach Prosecco

Just a splash of cordial at the bottom of the glass before pouring your Prosecco and hey presto 🙂

Strawberry Peach Prosecco

Sparkling Strawberry Peach Cordial

A great one for the kids this one.  Just add sparkling water.

Sparkling Strawberry Peach Cordial

One last thing…

If you’ve enjoyed this post or this recipe then please do share it with your chums and let me know in the comments.  I’d love to hear from you!

Summer Cocktail: Rose Peach Punch

I’ve purposefully posted this on a Saturday because I just knew that as soon as you saw it, you’d want (no, need) to sample it immediately.  Obviously, I don’t want you getting into trouble at work so I thought the weekend was best (apologies for those of you who work at weekends – tough times ahead for you guys!)

Rose Peach Punch

Peaches are at their absolute best at this time of the year.  Full of sweetness and of chin-dribbling juice. So I’ve been taking full advantage of them while I can – I mean you could just turn one meal into a complete peach-fest! How about Chicken & Peach Tagine to start, Peach Tart for dessert and some of this Peach Punch to drink? Too much peach? I’m not sure that’s possible.

Rose Peach Punch

Before we dive into the recipe, I feel an explanation is in order for my glaring omission of the accent at the end of ‘Rose’ in the title.  This wasn’t an editing error, I purposefully left it out because, although the base of the punch is rosé wine, the taste that I wanted to highlight was the delicate floral note of rose water.  Too much and it becomes soapy, but just a smidge and it really adds something wonderful to the sweet peach and crisp wine.

Rose peach punch

Cloudy lemonade lightens the whole drink and makes it acceptable for daytime consumption without fear of falling asleep in a drunken heap by 5pm. Let’s not be this guy

Rose Peach Punch
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 3 ripe peaches
  2. 1/2 tsp rose water
  3. 1/2 tbs agave nectar
  4. 300 ml rosé wine
  5. 300 ml cloudy lemonade
  6. ice
Instructions
  1. Peel the peaches and roughly chop them
  2. Pop them in a food processor along with the agave nectar and rose water
  3. Blitz until smooth and juice-like
  4. Now (if you can be bothered!) pass the juice through a sieve - you should end up with around 300 ml
  5. Pour the peach juice into a jug
  6. Add the rosé and the lemonade
  7. Top up with ice and give a good stir
Notes
  1. Feel free to replace the agave nectar with sugar or even honey - also, if you like it super sweet then you can always add more
  2. I like to serve these in Champagne glasses to make them feel super-special 🙂
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/

 

 

My Perfect Sangria

Chilled, refreshing summer in a glass…each sip takes you closer to your favourite holidays to Spain and further from the humdrum of the working week!

Now, I’m conscious that this may be a controversial subject.   Many of you may already have a tried and tested recipe for Sangria and will be indignantly wondering who I think I am to be claiming the ‘perfect’ recipe.  Let me just clarify right here, right now – this recipe is my perfect recipe but I don’t make any claims on the title of the perfect recipe…(although I’m fairly confident it’s pretty close…)

Sangria holds a special place in my heart.  It takes me back to wonderful family holidays, staying with my Auntie and Uncle in Spain.  Big jugs of it were made up as part of the pre-lunch preparations. Various nibbles would be set out and plastic garden cups assigned to all.  Ah,  that first, cool, sweet sip.  Just pure bliss. Pure, summery, holiday bliss.

Sangria

This is the Sangria that I was taught to make on those very holidays – there are no spirits and no chopped fruit (apart from oranges).  It’s simple, refreshing and can be sipped gently all afternoon if one so desires, without too much danger of ill-affect!

By all means, feel free to add more chopped fruit or even spirits if you’re looking for more ‘buzz’ – but just know, none of that is necessary.

For this recipe, rather than using specific measurements, I’ve used proportional representation – that way, you can make it work for whatever size jug you’re using.

sangria

My Perfect Sangria

You will need:

1/3 red wine

2/3 cloudy lemonade

Oranges

Ice

  • Fill your jug about 1/3 full with red wine
  • Now cut your orange into quarters or eighths and squeeze the juice from each segment into the jug, before dumping them in too
  • Now add plenty of ice
  • Finally, top up with your lemonade and give the whole lot a good stir
  • MUST be drunk outside in the sunshine (the sangria that is – not you!)

Super simple, super refreshing and super tasty – cheers! 🙂

Sweet Chilli Prawns – Two ways!

Sweet, succulent King Prawns, a kick of chilli and crunchy sesame seeds. My Sweet Chilli Prawns are the perfect speedy snack to serve with drinks when guests turn up unexpectedly or, with some dressed sushi rice, you can turn the snack into a fully-fledged feast!

sesame sweet chilli prawns

Sesame Sweet Chilli Prawns: The Canapé…

Don’t you hate it when you’ve just snuggled down for the evening in your comfy clothes (or more often than not in may case, my pj’s) and the doorbell goes?  It’s not so much being caught in my scruffs that I object to, it’s that I haven’t had the chance to make sure we have anything to offer in terms of libations and snacks.

This little 5 minute wonder is an absolute lifesaver! Just THREE ingredients stand between you and a fabulous little canapé to offer your grateful chums.  By the time they’ve had the chance to shed their coats, nip to the loo and make themselves comfortable you will be standing triumphant with G&T’s in hand and a plate of delicious Sweet Chilli Prawns just begging to be skewered and scoffed.

3 ingredients canva

I always keep a bag of frozen prawns in the freezer.  They can be defrosted so quickly, by running under warm water, that they’re absolutely perfect for those times when you find yourself caught short with nothing left in the fridge.  If you happen to have fresh prawns, then even better!

Sweet chilli sauce is another staple ingredient that I always try to keep in the cupboard.  It serves as a great dip and also adds pep to those meals which turn out a little bland.

I keep a jar of sesame seeds in my spice cupboard – although I must confess, I don’t use them that often.  They just add a little contrast in texture to this dish which is very pleasing – not to mention the toasty, nutty taste which compliments the prawns so well (let’s face it, we all love a bit of sesame prawn toast don’t we?)

The nigella seeds are an optional extra (which is why I didn’t formally include them as a fourth ingredient!).  I love the peppery earthiness which they add, as well as the contrast in colour.

sesame sweet chilli prawns

You will need:

(Serves 6 as a snack with drinks)

1 tbs sesame seeds

1/2 tbs nigella seeds

(if you don’t have these just use sesame)

100 ml sweet chilli dipping sauce

250 g king prawns (shelled)

  • Put your seeds into a hot, dry frying pan and toast until they become aromatic and the sesame seeds start to turn golden. Don’t leave unattended or they will burn!
  • Put the toasted seeds into a bowl and set them aside
  • Add the sweet chilli sauce to the hot frying pan and once it is sizzling, mix in the prawns (if you’re using frozen, then make sure they are completely defrosted.
  • Stir around for about a minute and then turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes.
  • Now place your prawns in a bowl (or on a lettuce leaf as above, which I thought was rather pretty) and sprinkle over the seeds
  • Serve with cocktail sticks – or at the very least, kitchen roll for sticky fingers!

sesame sweet chilli prawns

Sesame Sweet Chilli Prawns & Sushi Rice

(Serves 2 hungry people)

To turn the above canapé into a satisfying meal for 2 people (and more like 4 if you’re looking for a light lunch), just serve it with some sticky, dressed sushi rice.  Cook the rice according to the packet instructions, and once it has cooled, fold in a mix of:

3 tbs rice wine vinegar

2 tbs light brown sugar

1 tbs maldon salt