Quick & Easy and Super-Delicious Prawns Pil Pil

For an instant travel-fix transport yourself to the sunny Mediterranean with this Spanish-inspired dish

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 60g green peppers, finely diced
  • 60g red peppers, finely diced
  • 200g raw sustainable king prawns
  • 2tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • Salt, to season

Method

  • In a large skillet or frying pan, heat 2tbsp olive oil over a medium-high heat and sauté the onion for 3 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute, or until the onion and garlic is translucent and soft to the touch. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a small bowl. Reserve the skillet.
  • In the reserved skillet, add the remaining oil and sauté the peppers for 2 minutes stirring frequently. Push them to one side and, in the other, add the prawns. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly; when the prawns start to turn pink add the reserved onion and garlic, chilli flakes and paprika. Give everything a good stir and cook for a further minute, or until the prawns are cooked through.
  • Season with salt and serve straight away as the prawns must be sizzling hot!
  • Mop up the delicious sauce with my fluffy Keto flatbreads : )

Enjoy x

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Quick & Easy Fantastic and Fluffy Flatbreads, Keto-Style

The perfect healthy accompaniment to a Middle Eastern meze (or use them to mop up sauces!)

Prep time:  10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: makes 6 flatbreads

Ingredients

  • 240g mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
  • 60g almond flour (or substitute 1:1 with plain wheat flour, if Keto’s not your thing)
  • 1tbsp za’atar seasoning
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1tsp fine salt

For the topping, mix

  • 1tbsp za’atar, with
  • 1tbsp sumac
  • Olive oil

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 180C / 160C fan / gas mark 4 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment paper and set aside
  • Melt the cheese in a saucepan over medium-low heat stirring as required. When fully combined take off the heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes
  • Mix the flour, seasoning and eggs in a large bowl using a plastic spatula. When nicely combined add the cheese a little at time (around 1/4 of the cheese mix) stirring to combine between additions
  • Give the dough a quick knead in the bowl to fully combine; a minute or two is fine
  • Divide the dough into six pieces and flatten each one in the palm of your hand using the heel of your other hand to around 3mm in thickness
  • Sprinkle the za’atar and sumac mix over each piece then make a few cuts in the dough with a sharp knife and drizzle over with a little olive oil
  • Place the flatbreads on the baking trays and bake for around 15 minutes or until golden brown

Enjoy with hummus and olives or my delicious Greek Keto Meatballs x

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Quick & Easy Mouthwatering Mediterranean Meatballs Keto-style

These Greek inspired Keftedes — that’s meatballs, to you and I — will have you licking fingers and smacking lips!

Prep time: 10 minutes 

Cooking time: 20 minutes 

Serves: 4 (approx. 32 meatballs)

Ingredients 

  • 2tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 white onion, grated 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2tbsp unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 30g fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 30g almond flour, plus extra for dusting 
  • 1tbsp ground coriander 
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp ground cumin 
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4tsp ground nutmeg 
  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2lb ground lamb or pork
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Method 

Taste alert – follow the order in which the ingredients are mixed, to properly combine the wet and dry ingredients, for mouthwatering meatballs : )

  • In a large skillet heat 1tbsp olive oil on medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, or until they’re translucent and soft to the touch then transfer to a small bowl. Reserve the skillet for later
  • In to the bowl, add the milk and egg and whisk together. Add the fresh mint and lemon zest and give it a stir. Set aside for a couple of minutes
  • In a large bowl, stir the dry ingredients (flour, dried herbs & spices and seasoning) using a wooden spoon. Gently push the mixture to the sides of the bowl to create a well
  • Pour the milky mix into the well and use a rubber scraper to combine (pull the dry ingredients in to the wet ones by running the scraper around the edge and to the bottom of the bowl). Make sure the wet and dry ingredients are thoroughly combined
  • Add in the ground meat using your hands until just combined (TASTE WARNING – you’ll end up with tough meatballs if you overwork the mix!)
  • Form the mixture into meatballs the size of a rounded tablespoon then roll them lightly in the flour and place on a baking tray
  • Heat 1tbsp olive oil in the reserved skillet (medium-high to start with then turn down to medium) and add the meatballs, cooking in batches for 10 minutes at a time. Turn occasionally to ensure there’s a nice even crust on the meatballs. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to drain any excess oil

Serve on wooden sharing platters with grilled tomatoes and a lovely Tzatziki dip  x

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Fast, Flavourful & Filling Bulgur Wheat Tabbouleh

This Middle Eastern favourite is a yummy tummy filler come brunch or supper

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 100g bulgur wheat
  • 10 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 100g fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 30g fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • Salt and black pepper to season

Garnish

  • Reserve a few uncut parsley leaves to sprinkle over

Method

  • Place the bulgur wheat in a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 20 minutes or until soft to the touch 
  • Empty the bulgur wheat into a fine sieve to drain the water then rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain again then press out the excess water with a wooden spoon
  • Place the bulgur wheat in a clean bowl and fluff it with a fork. Add the tomatoes, herbs and onion and stir well to combine 
  • Quickly whisk the olive oil and lemon juice dressing to combine, then drizzle over the tabbouleh
  • Season with salt and black pepper to taste
  • To garnish, sprinkle over a few of the reserved uncut parsley leaves

Serve with a hunk of warm bread and simple green salad for a delicious and nutritious super-quick brunch or supper x

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The Best Smashed Avocado with a Runny Poached Egg

Get fired up right now with this zingy dish!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes 

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1/4tsp chilli flakes
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • White wine vinegar, a dash

To serve (optional): 

  • Balsamic vinegar, little splash of
  • Toasted sourdough, couple of slices

Method

  • Halve and pit the avocado 
  • Scoop out the flesh onto a chopping board and cut into little cubes
  • Place the avocado in a small bowl and smash it! Add the lemon juice, olive oil, chilli and seasoning. Stir well to combine 
  • Toast the sourdough and, while the egg cooks, spoon the avocado over it
  • Meanwhile boil a pan full of water and add a dash of white wine vinegar to help the egg white set faster. Add the eggs and cook for around 3 minutes or until the white is set and the yolk is still runny. Tip: if you’re cooking one egg, swirl the water before adding it as this helps wrap the egg white around the yolk and make it look more restaurant-worthy. With two eggs this becomes more problematic (egg bumper cars anyone?)
  • Lift the eggs out with a slotted spoon and – important point – dab off the water with kitchen roll to avoid soggy eggs 
  • Arrange the egg on top of the avocado and add a little splash of balsamic vinegar
  • Season and enjoy x

copyright (c) misterrands.com

The Super Quick Vegan Low-Carb Super Pea Soup

Omit the potato base for a waistline friendly soup

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 800g peas (petits pois for a sweeter flavour, or regular garden peas) – fresh or frozen
  • 480ml vegetable stock
  • lemon juice, splash of
  • pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

To garnish:

  • peas, reserved from cooking
  • pea shoots, handful of (if you’re feeling fancy)
  • coconut cream, swirl of

Method

  • Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the garlic, frying for a minute
  • Add both types of onions and sweat until cooked (translucent and soft to the touch)
  • Add the peas and the stock and increase the heat to a rapid boil, then turn down the temperature and  simmer for 10 minutes
  • Reserve a handful of peas for the garnish then puree using a hand blender
  • Add a splash of lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt and a crack of black pepper and stir
  • Serve garnished with some of the reserved peas, pea shoots (optional) and a swirl of coconut cream

Absolutely delicious hot or cold x

copyright (c) misterrands.com

Super-Quick and Delicious Pan-Seared Butternut Squash with Fried Sage Leaves and Feta

This time of year, when the weather is cold and the days are short, we yearn for something heart-warming to eat. May I introduce you to Pan-Seared Butternut Squash with Fried Sage Leaves and Feta?

It’s my go to recipe when short on time because it’s so quick, so delicious and so seasonal.

Sage is quite simply the taste of winter for me. It’s in all the hearty dishes this time of year – I like to melt it with butter and add to gutsy pasta dishes or pair with chicken and parsnip in a warming casserole.

But, I digress…

Pan-seared Butternut Squash with Fried Sage Leaves and Feta is one wintry dish you simply won’t forget in a hurry.

Enjoy x

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium butternut squash (around 900g), rough chopped in to palm-sized chunks
  • ½ tsp. course sea salt
  • 200g feta cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh sage, leaves picked
  • 1tbsp. olive oil

Olive oil, to drizzle

Sourdough bread, toasted, to serve

Method

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat then add the squash and toss to coat. Cook for 5 minutes, tossing once more
  • Lower the heat to medium and cook for a further 10 minutes, tossing a couple of times
  • Check they’re done by testing with a fork – each piece should be tender all the way through and the sides should have taken on some colour (light to dark brown)
  • In a small frying pan heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil then fry 6-8 sage leaves until crisp (2-3 seconds). Transfer to a kitchen roll, dab off the excess oil and sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt
  • Rough crumble the feta in to the skillet with the squash and cook for a minute
  • Arrange the squash and sage leaves atop the feta, drizzle with olive oil and season with a generous crack of pepper and small pinch of course sea salt

Serve while still warm with a hunk of toasted sourdough, a simple and super-delicious supper x

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Super-Fast and Scrumptious Salmon & Leek Tart

This tart is ready in no time thanks to shop-bought shortcrust pastry!

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 250g shortcrust pastry
  • 100g salmon fillet
  • 30g butter
  • 1 leek (white part only), finely sliced
  • 1tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml double cream (or for a healthier filling, replace half the cream with half-fat crème fraiche)
  • 100g Gruyere cheese, grated
  • ½ tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
  • Salt and ground white pepper
  • Plain flour, to dust

Green salad, to serve

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 190C / 170C fan / gas mark 5
  • While the butter melts in a saucepan, slice the leek lengthways then into half-rings and add to the pan. Put a lid on it and allow the leeks to soften over a gentle heat for around 20 minutes (they should be soft to the touch and slightly translucent without having taken on any colour). Drain the leeks or take the lid off and let the liquid evaporate then set aside to cool
  • On a lightly floured work surface roll the pastry to 3mm in thickness (like a £1 coin)
  • Find a 20.5cm flan tin and line it with the pastry then prick the base lightly with a fork. Line the pastry with baking parchment paper and blind bake using baking beans for around 12 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and cook for around a further 5 minutes, or until the pastry looks dry and is sandy to the touch
  • Remove from the oven and turn down the oven to 150C / 130C fan / gas mark 2
  • Spread mustard over the base then add bite-sized chunks of salmon
  • Add the eggs and cream to a small bowl and mix together with a fork. Pass this mixture through a fine sieve into a clean medium bowl and add the cooled leek together with 85g of the grated Gruyere – mix well and season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the salmon then sprinkle over the remaining Gruyere and the chives and bake for around 25 minutes, or until the mixture has set – check for a pale yellow colour to the custard and a little softness in the centre

Serve with a simple green salad. My favourite is a leafy butterhead dressed with a splash of white wine vinegar and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. It’s simple and delicious!

Enjoy x

copyright (c) misterrands.com

The Super Quick & Easy Healthy and Humble Plum Crumble

Well, it feels like a crumble sort of a day

it’s cold,

it’s dreary,

and, it’s dank.

Fear not, a crumble will sort you out, if your heart has sank.

It’s cosy and warming to the core,

(that’s good to know as I’m chilled to the bone),

given today’s weather, a crumble certainly fits the tone.

A humble plum crumble with lashings of steaming hot custard.

The food equivalent of a roaring log fire; cosy and warming to the core,

here’s a super quick recipe, for when you walk through the door x

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serves: 6

Recipe —

For the plum compote

Ingredients

  • 800g plums (2x 400g punnet)
  • 300ml boiling water
  • 1 dessert spoon mixed spice
  • 2 whole star anise
  • Optional – 30g light brown sugar, or to taste

Method

  • Remove the stones from the plums and rough chop
  • Pour the boiling water into a saucepan
  • Add any sugar and bring to the boil for 30 seconds
  • Now add the plums, mixed spice and star anise and simmer for around 10 minutes
  • Towards the end, stir gently until the compote thickens. Remove the star anise then pour into an oven safe gratin dish

For the crumble topping

Ingredients

  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 50g rolled porridge oats
  • 30g light brown sugar
  • 75g vegan margarine (or regular butter if non-vegan, at room temperature, cut into pieces)

Custard, to serve (or see recipe below)

Method

  • Now make the crumble topping. Start by heating your oven to 190C/ 170C fan/ gas mark 5
  • Add the flour, oats and sugar in to a large bowl and stir well to combine
  • Add the margarine by rubbing into the flour mix using your fingertips and being careful not to overwork the crumble or it will become heavy. Aim for a light breadcrumb texture
  • Spread the breadcrumbs over the plum compote and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the crumble topping has taken on a little colour

For the custard

Ingredients

  • 450ml soya milk (or, full-fat milk if you’re not vegan)
  • 2tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsp organic cornflour
  • 2tbsp cold water

Method

  • While the crumble is in the oven prepare the custard
  • Add the milk, vanilla extract and sugar to a saucepan and simmer
  • In a small bowl dissolve the cornflour in the water and add this to the saucepan, continuing to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Whisk regularly to thicken the custard

When ready, pour into a custard jug then place in the centre of your table alongside the plum crumble and dig in! x

copyright (c) misterrands.com

Fougasse: the super quick and easy method

Sourdough was the breakout recipe back in spring but, the burning question is, are you bored of it yet?

For instance, have you considered the simple beauty of a Pain De Campagne? Savoured a homemade crusty and flavourful Baguette? Or, delighted in the Provençal charm of a Fougasse?

They may sound unusual and complex but fear not these babies are super easy to make

I’ll start with a fougasse because it’s so good with meze and tapas (the staples in our house because they’re so quick and easy to make!). Place it in the middle of your table and surround with cured hams, cheeses and dips and get ready to be in tear-and-share heaven!

Sure, sourdough would work as well but where’s the tear-and-share fun in that?               

So, let your teeth have a rest (it’ll be for the best) and give these softer doughs a test 🙂

Bread Recipe #2 Fougasse (Quick & Easy Method)

Previously, I walked through the proper artisan method of producing Fougasse, used by most quality bakeries and restaurants because it creates a better flavour and texture. However, as a lot of people are short on time, here’s my quick and easy method instead : )

Prep time: 2 hours (half an hour of real work with an hour and a half for the dough to rise & prove)

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes

Serves: makes two large loaves / four small ones

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 40g wholegrain rye flour
  • 8g fine sea salt, plus extra to finish
  • 7g dried/instant yeast
  • 380ml lukewarm (not hot) water
  • A little olive oil for brushing

Method

The fougasse uses a classic baguette recipe with a slightly different method

  • In a bowl stir the yeast in to the flours then add the salt and 280ml of the water
  • Combine the ingredients using an electric mixer with dough hook attachment set on low speed
  • When the dough starts to form, add the remaining water very slowly and mix for a further 10 minutes on medium. Check the dough is ready by stretching it – it should be very stretchy!
  • Form a ball with the dough by turning it over and over in your hand then place it back in the bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour to double in size
  • Preheat your oven to 250C/fan 230C/gas mark 9 or as hot as it’ll go!
  • Line a baking tray with baking parchment paper
  • Uncover the dough and, as gently as possible to keep it full of air, divide in two, and on a work surface very gently stretch each one in to a flat oval shape
  • Now — and here comes the fun part — make a traditional leaf pattern on the dough. Place your dough onto the baking tray and with a sharp knife (or pizza cutter) make a single cut down the centre of the dough, top to bottom, making sure you cut right through the dough but stop around an inch from each end. Make three cuts either side of the line to finish the leaf pattern
  • Gently stretch the dough to widen the cuts and brush with a little olive oil
  • Cover the baking tray with cling film and leave to prove somewhere warm for 30 minutes (if you’re really short on time, skip this step and put it straight in the oven)
  • Uncover the dough and if the cuts have started to join together gently pull them apart
  • Place your tray in the oven and lightly spray inside the oven with water spray
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes (or until the fougasse sounds hollow when tapped on the base)
  • Remove from the oven, brush with a little more olive oil and add a sprinkle of sea salt
  • Serve while still hot (perhaps with a selection of hams, cheeses and dips) and enjoy!

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