Prawn and Chorizo Spaghetti that is so damn simple even Niels can make it

prawn and chorizo pasta
I did a fair bit of tossing up as to whether I would be telling you about some of my new friends in the world of food or a crackingly simple prawn and chorizo pasta that is one of my all time faves, a flavour combination I have used in many different applications… except the bedroom… well, there was that one time but I was hella trash-bagged. So it was a toss up. There was a small tussel, some eye gouging and a cheeky finger up the bot bot, but at the end of the day it was the prawn pasta that won… the bond of old friends would not waver under the pressure of any brazen young upstart. Or something like that. Or even possibly nothing at all like that. Listen, I just decided that I’m going to tell you about the pasta today Ok? I’ll tell you about something cool and hip and contemporary next time… or maybe the time after that. I don’t know. FUCK!

I really need to cut down on my coffee intake.

So this is a damn tasty pasta that is so effing easy even Niels can make it. That’s right, even Niels can make it. You know Niels right? No? Well I shall take a moment to introduce you folks; Niels is an old friend. His name is definitely Niels and not Neil. Niels has an acupuncture clinic and spends his days healing people through the flick of a needle. Niels is not a chef, or a cook. Well, he wasn’t until we opened this restaurant and he kindly put his hand up to do whatever it was (well, anything as long as it was within the international humanitarian guidelines) we needed of him to get this restaurant thing up and running, and in exchange for his services we would cross his palm with silver so that he may appease this guy called Bill who seems to require a lot of Niels’ money… and he seems to get a fair bit from just about everyone else I know too… hmmm. Anyway, Niels showed some skills, a keen-ness that is scarce in this industry at the moment, and the capacity to follow instructions and retain information so before he knew it he was chained to the stove, flipping the pan like his name was Peter… did that work? No, I didn’t think so. I really need to work out how I can stop being so damn lame… maybe they offer a course in that these days? Community college possibly? No, you know what? If I was going to do a course it should definitely be a course in how to stick to the fucking point!!

The bottom line is this; three months ago Niels couldn’t even flip a pan, but he could still cook a damn fine pasta. I am out.

Just simple tasty food
Just simple tasty food

...that even Niels can make.
…that even Niels can make

I have nothing for this except my face hole and a fork.
I have nothing for this except my face hole and a fork

PRAWN AND CHORIZO SPAGHETTI (serves 4)

16-20 large prawns that come from the ocean near where you live (unless the closest ocean is a grey water treatment plant, in which case you use whatever you can find and go with my blessing), peeled and deveined
2 chorizo sausage, sliced
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
1-2 long red chilli depending on how hot you like it, chopped nice and small
15 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
A good splash of something white and wine-like
250g spaghetti, fettuccine or whatever the hell pasta you like to eat, cooked per packet instructions
Olive oil
A large handful of parsley, chopped
An even larger handful of mint, picked
Seasoning
Pangrattata and lemon wedges to serve
You’re going to need a large pan for this one, or two medium pans will also do the trick

• Heat a splash of oil in the pan over a high flame. Add prawns, chorizo and a good pinch of salt and pepper
• Toss for one minute (the pan that is… filthy person) until prawns are almost done and then get the garlic, chilli and tomatoes in there
• Give them another minute and then deglaze with the white wine. Add pasta and a tablespoon of water from the pot
• Toss, toss, toss
• Check seasoning and adjust if necessary
• Add parsley, roughly tear in mint, toss, add a little more olive oil if it looks like it need a little more sheen, and the get that bad boy into some bowls, top with pangrattato, put a little lemon on the side and serve
• Bam. There is a high chance you will thank me for this one

Eat it
Eat it

King Prawns and Chorizo with Broad Beans and Apple Cider for the Anniversary

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For many of us gentlemen of the world the time will come that you have been with the lady of your dreams for that year marker, or possibly two, or even ten years, etc (or possibly just stuck in a shitty relationship that you have no hope of relinquishing any time soon). Whatever you may or may not think your lot in life denotes that the female of the relationship will know this date as “the anniversary” and as the male you will be required by law to acknowledge this. You will say some nice things, possibly buy her a nice gift and you need to cook her something a little special. This scenario is also perfectly relevant for the man who possibly hasn’t got “a bit” for a while… or a long while and you are gagging for it more than an inmate on a conjugal visit. Maybe you want to make something a little more appealing than your usual steak and chips or pasta carbonara or vegemite on toast or whatever it is you usually cook for dinner… or maybe you should just try changing the sheets on your bed. It is a good sign that your sheets need a wash when they follow you to the bathroom.

Just a little disclaimer before I go on; I don’t have any problems in the horizontal mambo department. My tackle is more sorted than a commercial fisherman and I am baited up and ready to go. I’m just trying to hook a brother up (pun intended). Not hook up with a brother though… that’s just not my styles.

Prawns and chorizo with broad beans (you gotta get some green things in there. Girls love their green things) is a pretty easy way to go about getting yourself some good points – yes, I would say even for you if you are still reading this blog. Team that with a few cracking but simple sides and you brother, are on a sure ticket to I-got-me-some-ville.

I feel I have made it very clear I am not in need of prescription help for my libido, but it was recently our wedding anniversary. I styled through the whole affair with this dish and Jennee followed up with a kick-ass black forest cake thing.

All in all, a great time was had by all, and we are definitely still well and truly in love. Awwwww.

What an effing good start
What an effing good start

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Now get in my belly
Now get in my belly
And I shall wash it all down with this!
And I shall wash it all down with this!

PRAWNS & CHORIZO WITH BROAD BEANS & APPLE CIDER (for 2. If you are feeding more than one lover you need to be able to do the math)

8 large king prawns, peeled and deveined (leave the head on for sex appeal, maximum flavour and just so you can suck on it like a mongrel dog to really impress her)
200g chorizo sausage, sliced
1 cup broad beans, outer skins removed (frozen will work fine), blanched if fresh
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tomato, diced
¼ preserved lemon, skin only, super finely chopped
1 bottle decent apple cider that you would drink… mostly because we only need a splash so you will get to drink the remainder
A good handful of mint and parsley, picked and chopped
Olive oil

• Sauté chorizo in a splash of oil
• Once starting to release it’s flavoursome juices, add onion and garlic, sauté for another two minutes
• Add prawns and cook out for another minute
• Add broad beans, tomato, preserved lemon and a good splash of apple cider. Simmer for another minute or until prawns are cooked
• Season, garnish with chopped herbs and serve
• Don’t wear pants to the table as you will not be needing them tonight, my friend

ROMESCO SAUCE

Use this recipe

AIOLI

Take my mayonnaise recipe and add 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic to the recipe before you add the oil

GARLIC ROASTED POTATOES

Those potatoes were good
Those potatoes were good

Season your potatoes and roast in a good splash of olive oil. Just before they get crispy add a few cloves of smashed garlic. Smashed like a teenage kid at the post ball party. Finish roasting and there you have it; garlic-y potatoes

POLENTA CRUMBED ARTICHOKES AND BABY BROCCOLI

All crumbed up and ready to go. As you can probably see, the crumbing does not need to be perfect
All crumbed up and ready to go. As you can probably see, the crumbing does not need to be perfect

Toss artichoke hearts and blanched baby broccoli through an egg mix and then into polenta. Pan fry in 1cm oil until golden and crisp. Season, douse with lemon juice and serve

Wooli part 6… the Wooli Oyster Po’ Bo’

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Today I set about redeeming myself before the Oyster Gods for my lack of successful consumption of the exotic bivalve mollusc they had so generously laid before me yesterday… and this time I have come with a plan and a secret weapon.

We have decided we will be having oyster po’ bo’s… or as the boys like to call them; oysters burgers. That’s fine with me, as long as a receptacle of glutinous origins shall be transporting some fried oysters to my face, possibly aiding in the cause will be some coleslaw. But it is the oysters I am concerned about for now.

Enter the smoked chilli powder.

I shall be liberally dusting this smoked chilli powder, which I have made quite simply by chucking some long red chillis into the smoker for about 20 minutes and then grinding them into a powder, over my fried oysters as soon as they emerge from their exfoliating and rejuvenating 180C burning hot oil bath. Cunning, yes. Cunninglingus, no. Sometimes, as a parent, you need to pull a few little tricks out to ensure to get your share… or a share… or just some table scraps like a jester in the kings court. I’m just scared of the day they pass Chilli Appreciation 101…

Crumby photo. Bahaha
Crumby photo. Bahaha
The exfoliating and rejuvenating oil bath
The exfoliating and rejuvenating oil bath
Soooo good
Soooo good
I would do this again
I would do this again

WOOLI OYSTER PO’ BO’

Per sandwich
1 bun
6 oysters
Bread crumbs*, egg and flour for crumbing
1-2 slices prosciutto or speck
Fennel coleslaw (coleslaw just how you normally make it but with some slice fennel in there too)
Smoked chilli powder
Oil to shallow fry
Chips to serve
Flairy holiday shack plates to serve on

• Crumb oysters by first dredging in flour, then through beaten egg mix and then through the bread crumbs
• Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Once oil is hot, fry oysters for 1 minute or so each side, until golden. Remove from pan and drain on kitchen paper or your mum’s best shirt
• While oysters are draining discard most of the oil from the pan and then fry prosciutto until crisp
• Put some coleslaw in your bun, followed by oysters, prosciutto and smoked chilli powder or hot sauce
• Serve with oven chips

OVEN CHIPS (sides for 4 or a full white trash meal for 1)

6 medium potatoes skin on, washed if they need a bath, cut into 1cm chips
Seasoning
Oil
• Blanch potatoes in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. This makes them better, trust me. Strain and allow to cool
• Put on an oven tray, splash with however much oil your fancy diet will allow and season generously
• Bake at 200C for 25 minutes, tossing regularly
• Serve with your po’ bo’

*if you want to make your own bread crumbs, which I generally do, and you don’t have a food processer handy, which I did not bring to the holiday shack, use a stale loaf (or frozen works well) and grate it to fulfill your dreams

Wooli part 5… Mongrel Oysters Kilpatrick

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Mongrel Oysters Kilpatrick

Wooli may not be home to hipster cafes or trendy restaurants. In fact it’s sole café is only open, and I quote the guy out the front with the sea farers moustache, “Thursdy through Sundy” (I’m pretty sure that guy does the opening hours for the café and restaurant and oyster farm because no one seems to stick to a time table around here), and it’s only restaurant is at the lawn bowls club, operates out of a 2×4 rabbit hutch of a designated service window in a darkened corner of said club, and is named, like all good Aussie-Chinese restaurants should be, Harry’s Chinese Restaurant. There may not be a reputable purveyor of fresh fruit and vegetables to be seen unless what you are seeking is an apple or possibly a carrot. And if you need to re-stock your alcohol supplies while here you will need to have a shit load of pocket change (60 bucks for a carton of domestic beer should see you right), but if you don’t have that sort of change there is an old fisherman named Jacob who frequents the bar. He will happily buy you a beer. You will just need to meet him in the car park for a few minutes first and no, he’s not running an illegal boxing ring. You will be required to pay with pleasures of the flesh. Your fleshy chequebook, if I may.

Wooli Oyster Farm
Wooli Oyster Farm

But Wooli is home to two things that I love very much;
1. Serenity – if only to walk around quoting “The Castle” saying “how’s the serenity”
2. Scenery – I like looking at pretty things (that’s why I married Jennee. She owns heaps of pretty things. No, she IS a pretty thing. Girl. Woman. Whatever)
3. It’s own oyster farm. That’s right, fresh oysters not more than 400 meters down the street from where I’m staying

I don’t count so good.

Ready to hit the grill kids
Ready to hit the grill kids

So we picked up some oysters today on our daily excursion to the local skatepark. I cooked some of them in the style of a mongrel Kilpatrick and the rest would just have to find their way into our bellies with the aid of a little lemon juice.

Quick, get some before Seba eats them all
Quick, get some before Seba eats them all

I loved them, but I knew I would. A fresh oyster is truly close to my heart. The only problem is my sons are developing quite an inclination for the humble oyster too. When Seba sees oysters he turns into some kind of Jurassic Oysterosausras who seemingly will not live another minute if he does not consume at least half of the oysters on the table. Needless to say, I got a few, not heaps but a few before the kids had gone and I was left checking shells for a stow away. Alas my search was fruitless. I think there may be another trip to the oyster shop tomorrow.

Fruitless searching revealed no extras for me
Fruitless searching revealed no extras for me

MONGREL OYSTERS KILPATRICK

All I had on hand was some pork belly prosciutto from the fine folks at Salumi Australia (gimme a break, I’m trying to get some paid advertising here) and some home made HP-ish sauce from my mate Phil (you can learn more about Phil here). It was not oysters Kilpatrick but it was something that was damn tasty… and who eats oysters Kilpatrick these days anyway?

12 fresh oysters
3 thin slices prosciutto, each cut into 4 pieces
HP sauce
• Top oysters with a piece of prosciutto and then a couple of drops of HP(ish) sauce
• Cook under hot grill for 1 minute, no more
• Eat
• Get some more tomorrow because you didn’t get to many that go