Ode to Nigella 15 – prawn and mango red curry

So my friend Bec dropped in the other day and brought with her a UK Good Housekeeping magazine with Nigella on the cover (Oct07). She doesn’t know I blog or that I was in the midst of my ode to Nigella. Cool, huh. Many of you are aware of my absolute refusal to do the whole fruit with savoury deal. Don’t do it. Like you don’t cook avocado. So this was really pushing the envelope and I probably would never ever have cooked it were it not for my month long Nod to Nige. Verdict? It was bloody delicious. And EASY. And QUICK. She says in the intro to it that its one of the easiest suppers and one that never ceases to amaze her how comforting this dish is. Indeed. I doubled the recipe below for me, Chef and three boys. It was way too much. I think if I’d made the recipe as is we would have just have had enough.

Red Prawn and Mango Curry

  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 11/2tbsp red Thai curry paste (or according to taste)
  • 1/2x400ml can coconut milk
  • 250ml chicken stock made from concentrate
  • 2tsp fish sauce
  • 350g sweet potato, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 200g frozen king prawns
  • 1tsp lime juice
  • 150g fresh mange, diced (1 small)
  • 3-4tbsp fresh coriander
  1. Heat the oil and fry the spring onion for 1 minute, then add the curry paste
  2. Mix in the coconut milk, stock and fish sauce and bring to the boil
  3. Add the sweet potato and cook until tender, about 15 minutes
  4. Drain the prawns under running water to remove excess ice and add to the pan (Nigella tumbles them into the pan) and let the sauce come back to the boil
  5. Add the lime juice and mango and cook until prawns are cooked through
  6. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with boiled rice or wide rice noodles.

Caremlised lime snapper

Now Chef is working in Pyrmont he can go here on the way home from work. So last week I asked him to pick up some white fish fillets on the way home. He selected a whole snapper and they gutted and filleted it for him. I was already in heaven. This is inspired by a Donna Hay recipe from her book the instant cook. One of those books someone bought for me that I thought, gee this is good and then fell out of my head as I returned to the staple dinner selections we are all want to do. It gives you a main recipe and then three versions of it underneath. Nifty I say.

Caramelised lime snapper

  • 1.8-2kg white fish fillets
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 6 tbls brown sugar
  • 4 tbls lime juice
  • 2 tbls soy sauce
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1-2 tsp chilli flakes (optional – I didn’t use as Oscar can’t do heat of any nature at all)
  • steamed rice, fresh coriander (cilantro) and shallots (green onions or scallions depending on where you live) sliced – to serve
  1. Heat the oil in a large frypan
  2. sear the fish for one minute on each side
  3. pour over combined other ingredients and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and the sauce has reduced and is nice and sticky.
  4. Serve with steamed rice, coriander leaves and sliced shallots

Served two (and a half – mum tried some) adults and three kids with a little bit left over.
Imagine using the sauce w/ prawns.

Mushy pea fishcakes

It’s absolutely Baltic in Sydney tonight.
I should know, I’ve just spent a little over an hour standing on a footy field in a bracing wind.
It hasn’t done anything to dislodge the sprogget.
I had acupuncture today and got a good run a early labour pains for about an hour, but it’s died down.
Take-away tonight as the after school run included a keyboard concert and Auskick training.


Minty mushy pea fishcakes

Silvana Franco from the UK TV Series, the BEST

So these are the fishcakes made by Silvana on the original (and best) version of the TV cooking show, The Best. When I made them the other day they were a bit wet, but I put that down to my own tardiness. I think next time I’ll add a bit more mint jelly, some fresh mint, use a thicker fillet of fish and not mash the potatoes to much – I just felt that their texture was a bit same same.

  • 700g potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 400g haddock fillet (in Australia the equivalent is blue eye, but I reckon a thick filleted fish, like Ling would work really well)
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 tblsp mint jelly (I’d double this)
  • 300g can of mushy peas
  • 2 tblsp plain flour, seasoned
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 8-10 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C.
  2. cook the potatoes for 12-15 minutes or until tender.
  3. put the fish in a saute pan and pour over the milk. Cover and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside for five minutes or until cooked through.
  4. drain the potatoes and return to the saucepan. Add the mint jelly, some salt and pepper and mash roughly.
  5. drain the fish from the milk well, discard the milk and flake the fish into the potatoes.
  6. add the mushy peas and stir it all together (don’t over mix. I think that was what I did so it all became a bit baby food consistency).
  7. shape the mixture into firm even-sized cakes. (Silvana did four fish cakes, which makes VERY big fishcakes. I did smaller ones and made 8-9.)
  8. dust in the flour, dip in the egg, dredge in the breadcrumbs
  9. heat a little oil in a frying pan and gently cook the fishcakes for 2 minutes on each side until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper

Serve with chips or a green salad and some mayonnaise that has a squeeze of lemon juice through it. (I served it with the most amazing roast potatoes to die for.)

But meanwhile, I’m absolutely gagging for some vanilla biscuits, but the idea of having to roll out a dough and cut out shapes and ice is just too hard tonight.
Maybe tomorrow.

Chocolate Sludge (a chocolate self-saucing pudding) and prawn and fennel risotto

This week’s obsession is clearly going to be this.
This weekend was absolutely sensational. Highlights include:
– torrential rain for most of the weekend
– brekkie at the Fox yesterday with the boys and – because of the rain – not many others.
– an impromptu trip to Manly Aquarium with the Doodles. Then dinner at the Harbour Diggers, too much spontaneous, unplanned fun.
– three children who still whinge, fight, cry, wake me during the night, but for some reason, at the moment, my chest feels like it’s going to explode with my love for them.
– brekkie today at the Fox (again) with my natural father, his wife, their kids, and a few hangers-on for their son (my half brother!) because he’d had a sleep over for his 13th birthday.
– making a sensational dinner tonight – fennel and prawn risotto and a delicious dessert – chocolate sludge.

Prawn and fennel risotto

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, smooshed
  • 1 good-sized bulb of fennel, finely chopped
  • handful flat leafed parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 (big) glass white wine
  • 5-6 cups stock
  • 500g (or so) raw prawns
  • salt and pepper
  1. heat the olive oil and butter
  2. saute off the onion and garlic
  3. add the fennel, cook for a little while
  4. add the rice, cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or so
  5. add the wine, stir until all absorbed
  6. add the stock about a cup at a time, stirring occassionally as it absorbed
  7. stir through the parsley about half through the stock additions
  8. at the end, stir through the prawns – they’ll cook quickly purely from the heat of the rice
  9. season.

I know that normally you add parmesan to risotto, but I didn’t have any, and it was delicious regardless.

Chocolate Sludge
This comes from a very dear friend of mine who I don’t see nearly often enough, Sook. It’s quick, it’s easy, but most importantly, it’s probably the best self saucing pudding you’ll ever taste.

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tblsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 160C, grease a smallish baking dish
  2. mix together the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and cocoa
  3. stir through the butter and milk
  4. the batter is very thick, scrape into the baking dish
  5. scatter the brown sugar and cocoa over the top, pour over the boiling water
  6. bake for 40-45 minutes.
  7. serve with vanilla ice cream.


Hello Aurorix, the drug that makes your bits go zing…

Can I just say, it is really quite bizarre to go from zero sex drive – I mean z.e.r.o., zilch, not-a-nadda – to having your bits start to randomly tingle. Seriously, I’m like “so this is what it must feel like for every pubescent boy that walks the earth, without the physical humiliation”.

Anyway, lets just say we’re back on the bike and Chef has quite a kick in his step and twinkle in his eye.


I’m so addicted to Rockstar I’m feeling jittery and edgy in anticipation for this week. I’m betting the entire internet a dollar that Toby will get the gig.


My Mum goes on her swanky cruise this week. We spent much of last night and tonight sitting online looking at the ship (it gave her a virtual tour of her room – she’s so excited she has a full-size bath!) that we’re all so excited for her. I’ll give you updates – obviously – over the next three weeks, but she’s going to Libya, Malta, Turkey and Egypt and looking at lots of old stuff.


unconcious mutterings

    1. True love :: Chef
    2. Age :: is no boundary
    3. Stern :: voice
    4. Elastic :: is my friend
    5. Rustic :: is how I cook
    6. Enhance :: my looks
    7. Jackson :: my half brother
    8. Inherit :: the earth
    9. Devious :: mind
    10. Scapegoat :: coward


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