Tandoori King Prawns

raw king prawns

Serves 6 as a starter or 3 as part of a main course dish

This recipe is delicious, easy and quick to prepare. The prawns can be eaten hot or cold, with some salad as a starter or as part of a main course – Tandoori King Prawns Masala.

For the Tandoori marinade
1 green chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
4cm cube fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
200g low fat natural yogurt
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp nigella seeds, roughly ground in a pestle & mortar (or use ¼ tsp cumin and ¼ tsp black pepper instead)
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp turmeric
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

24 raw king prawns, shelled & deveined

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/390F/Gas Mark 5.

First make the marinade. Blend the chilli, ginger, garlic and yogurt in a blender until smooth. Tip into a bowl, add all of the other marinade ingredients and mix well.

Add the prawns to the marinade mixture and stir well to coat evenly. Marinade the prawns for 15 minutes (but no longer).

Place the prawns on a rack over a roasting tin and bake in a hot oven for 7 minutes.

Yellow Pepper Sauce

Yellow Peppers lr

This sauce is great with any grilled or barbecued foods; a real crowd pleaser for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. It is easy to prepare and can be made well ahead and stored in the fridge until needed. It is also a bit out of the ordinary and a welcome change from the usual shop bought table sauces.

3 large yellow peppers
3 – 4 tablespoons natural yogurt
1 – 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
Cayenne pepper to taste
Lime juice to taste

Halve, deseed and grill the peppers skin side up until black. Place them in a plastic bag for 10 minutes then remove their skins and chop the flesh into rough chunks. Blitz the peppers in a food processor with the yogurt until smooth. For a very smooth finish, pass through a sieve, although this will give the sauce a runnier consistency.

Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in the soy sauce. Season with cayenne and lime juice to taste.

Piri piri chicken

raw-chicken

Serves 4

This recipe follows up last week’s recipe for piri piri sauce. Once you have that made, this dish is so simple to prepare, it is hardly a recipe at all! For virtually no work you will be rewarded with delicious, moist, subtly spiced chicken.

If you want to make your life even easier you can use a bottle of ready-made piri piri sauce and you’ll find plenty to choose from in your local supermarket. I’m generally not a fan of them though, with the notable exception of Quinta d’Avo Piri-Piri Hot Sauce which is worth buying if you can get hold of it.

If you are buying your chicken from a supermarket, it will probably be trussed. If so, cut and remove the string and open up the legs before marinating it. It will cook more evenly if the heat can circulate freely.

1 medium (1.2kg) chicken (detrussed!)
5 tablespoons home-made piri piri sauce (see recipe) OR 1 bottle (90g) of Quinta d’Avo Piri-Piri Hot Sauce
50g melted butter

Place the chicken in an oven-proof glass or ceramic roasting dish and pour over the piri piri sauce making sure all of the bird is covered. Cover in cling film and marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.

Remove the cling film from the chicken. Melt the butter (in a bowl in a microwave) and pour it over the chicken. Cover tightly with foil, making sure the foil is not actually touching the chicken (otherwise it may scorch) and place it in the centre of the oven. Cook for 1 ½ hours, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes. Baste the chicken a couple of times during this last 15 minutes of cooking. Once the cooking time is up, remove the dish from the oven, cover it in foil and leave it to stand for 10 minutes.

When the 10 minutes is up, transfer the chicken to a large chopping board, being careful not to lose any precious juices. Pull all of the meat from the chicken and cut it into bite sized pieces. Place the chicken on a pre-heated platter and pour over all of the juices from the roasting dish.

This chicken is excellent served with all manner of things, such as baked potatoes, sweet corn, salad, pasta, rice or any crisp vegetables.

Piri piri sauce

piri piri chillies

This recipe will make about 120ml (8 tablespoons). The exact amount will depend upon the sizes of the chillies and pepper you use and how much the mixture reduces as it is cooked.

Piri piri sauce is a Portuguese chilli sauce. There are many piri piri sauces on the market and they can vary considerably in taste and heat – and quality. The best I have found is Quinta d’Avo Piri-Piri Hot Sauce but it’s not always easy to track down.

So why not make your own? It’s easy to prepare, will keep for ages in the fridge, you know it’s 100% natural, and it doesn’t have any nasty E numbers in it.

In my recipe I remove the seeds from the chillies but if you’re a chilli heat freak, just leave them in!

You can use piri piri sauce as a condiment or, my favourite, as a marinade.

4 to 5 long red chillies, deseeded and cut into bite sized pieces
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into bite sized pieces
2 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
45ml cider vinegar
90ml water
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
¾ tsp smoked paprika

Roast the chillies, pepper and garlic for 20 to 25 minutes, turning them half way through. At the end of the roasting time they should be softened and starting to char at the edges. Tip them into a small saucepan and add the other ingredients. Simmer covered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of boiling water from time-to-time if it starts to dry out.

Cool the mixture then blitz it to a puree in a small blender. Pour it into a small non-reactive bowl, cover with cling film and store in the fridge until needed.