Spanish prawns and chorizo

Spanish tapas of prawns and chorizo with garlic and white wine
Following on from the sangria recipe in my last blog post, I have another Spanish-themed recipe for you. This would actually be a perfect dish to serve with a big jug of chilled sangria, either by itself as a main course or alongside a feast of other tapas dishes like tortilla, calamari or patatas bravas.

This is a simple recipe, with ingredients that work together like a dream. The chorizo is salty and spicy, but doesn’t overpower the sweet prawns. The lemon and white wine (or, even better, sherry) add the acidity that the prawns need, and the parsley brings everything together. This dish is best made with raw, unpeeled prawns, but I couldn’t get my hands on any raw ones this time. Using cooked prawns is fine, but reduce the cooking time accordingly – add the prawns and alcohol at the same time, rather than waiting for the prawns to colour first. If you’re not on board with peeling your own prawns then feel free to use ready-peeled ones, but the shells add extra seafood flavour and there’s nothing better than an interactive dinner. Who doesn’t like to play with their food?
Ingredients for Spanish prawns and chorizo with white wine and garlic
Ingredients (serves 1 as a generous main, or 2-3 as a starter or tapas dish)
150g chorizo
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
150g prawns with the shell on
1 small glass (about 150ml) of white wine or sherry
1 lemon
1 small bunch parsley, roughly chopped

Method
1. Slice the chorizo into small bite-sized chunks.
Chopped Spanish chorizo
2. Heat a non-stick frying pan and add the chorizo – you won’t need any extra oil as the chorizo will release a lot of its own as it fries. Fry for a few minutes until just starting to brown.
Frying the Spanish chorizo
3. Add the garlic and mix well in the chorizo oil. Fry for 30 seconds.
Adding the garlic to the Spanish chorizo
4. Toss the prawns in the chorizo and garlic. If you are using raw prawns then let them cook like this for 2 minutes until opaque, but if you’re using cooked prawns then add the white wine straight away. Allow to bubble for a few minutes until the alcohol has cooked off and the liquid has thickened slightly.
Adding the prawns and white wine to the Spanish chorizo and garlic
5. Turn the heat off, squeeze over half the lemon and sprinkle with parsley.
Prawns and chorizo served with bread and white wine
Make sure to serve this with lots of nice bread to soak up all the juices, and an extra-chilled wine is essential. You can pile this up on an attractive serving platter and top with more chopped parsley and lemon wedges. Or, if you’re home alone as I was, eat it straight from the pan in your pyjamas. Heaven.
Spanish tapas of prawns and chorizo

Friday Night Fish : Creamy Seafood Tagliatelle

In our house, Friday night is fish night, and it has been for as long as I can remember. Friday mornings involve a trip to Eddie’s Seafood Market, an amazing fishmonger in Edinburgh which offers up a huge range of fresh seafood from crabs to monkfish to sole to scallops to cod roe to mussels to mackerel, and much, much more. Rick Stein named it as one of his Food Heroes, so take it from him if you won’t from me! Friday evenings start with the lights being dimmed and mum lighting the Shabbat candles. The melodious tones of Alanis Morissette or Joni Mitchell often float through the house. Sometimes things are a bit more upbeat and we’re going 70s style with Billy Joel, Elton John or David Bowie. There’s wine chilling in the fridge, fresh bread on the table with real butter to slather over it and a general feeling of contentment that the weekend is beginning.

So I guess this recipe is the first of my odes to glorious Friday nights. (We actually ate this dish on a Sunday. So sue me.) I made homemade tagliatelle, a recipe for which I will post soon, promise, but you could use bought fresh or dried pasta. I chose prawns and cute little baby scallops, but if you’re taking a trip to your local fishmonger, or even the supermarket, then don’t be restricted by that – go for whatever looks fresh. If you pick mussels or clams then I would clap a lid on top of the pan after the wine and cream goes in, until they have opened up. This feels like a truly indulgent pasta dish, but it’s actually not too rich. Crème fraiche is quite aciditic, plus the white wine and the lemon juice cuts through the creaminess of the sauce. The chilli adds a perfect hint of heat.
Ingredients laid out for creamy seafood tagliatelle - prawns, scallops, creme fraiche, white wine, lemon, chilli, garlic, shallot and parsley
Ingredients (serves 3)
1 shallot
Bunch of flat leaf parsley
3 cloves garlic
1 red chilli
1 lemon
1 small glass dry white wine, plus a large one for the chef
300g dried or fresh tagliatelle, or homemade pasta made with 300g flour and 3 eggs
1 tbsp olive oil
175g scallops
200g king prawns
2 heaped tbsp crème fraiche
Salt and pepper

Method
1. Finely chop the shallot and parsley and crush the garlic. Finely slice the chilli. I used about ¾ of the chilli, but you can test a small piece of yours to see how hot it is and make a judgement from there. Juice the lemon and measure out the wine.
Ingredients chopped on a board and ready for the pasta sauce
2. Put a pan of water on to boil and liberally season with salt – apparently pasta should be cooked in water as salty as the Mediterranean Sea. Cook the pasta according to the instructions. Dried pasta will probably take about 10-12 minutes so get it on now. Fresh pasta will take 4-5 minutes and homemade pasta only 2 minutes, so wait until the sauce is nearly ready before cooking.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the shallots for 2 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and red chilli and fry for a minute.
5. Increase the heat under the frying pan and add the seafood for 2-3 minutes until it starts to become opaque (fancy word for the seafood gaining colour and being less see-through) .
6. Add the wine and allow the alcohol to cook for 2 minutes.
7. Add the crème fraiche and bubble the sauce for 2-3 minutes. Note: this is the time to chuck your fresh pasta in the pot, if that’s what you’re using.
4 pictures showing the steps of making the pasta sauce - fry the shallots, add the garlic and chilli, add the seafood, add the wine and creme fraiche
8. Finish the sauce with the lemon juice, parsley and season with salt and pepper. Drain the pasta and mix through the sauce.

Serve with a green salad, crusty bread and another large glass of chilled white wine.
Large serving bowl of seafood tagliatelle sprinkled with parsley and served along side a glass of white wine
When I was little, I remember it being such an exciting feeling to be allowed to stay up a bit late, join mum and dad at the table and taste some unusual new seafood or have a sip of wine. Now I’m allowed to decide my own bedtime, but it’s still just as lovely to relax lazily with the perfect combination of company, music, food and wine.

I guess that it comes with the territory of being an insane food-lover that most of my fondest memories tend to involve food in one way or another, and I’m sure there will be more to come on the blog. Do you have any particularly happy food-related memories? I’d love to hear them if you do.

Anyway, enough of these sentimental, and probably tedious, ramblings. Whatever you’re doing tonight, I wish you the most lovely of Friday nights…