Thai Red Curry Mussels

Thai red curry mussels

Thai red curry mussels

2 kg mussels
2 can coconut milk (800 ml)
olive oil
Thai red curry paste

Clean and debeard  the mussels. Discard any mussels that aren’t tightly closed.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the Thai red curry paste, reduce to medium heat and cook stirring frequently for another minute. Add muscles, stir well and cover the pan. Cook  on medium high heat five minutes, until the mussels are open. Add coconut milk, stir well and bring to the boil.

Finish with a squeeze of lime, and sprinkle with coriander leaves and some chili.

Curing & Smoking Octopus

Smoked Octopus

The minimum weight for smoking & curing is 2 kg. The octopus should be very fresh.

Remove and discard the head contents and the tooth.  Leave the skin on. No need to wash the octopus or to add more salt. Apply thin layer of olive oil on the octopus.

Let it dry for 2- 3 days on a smoke (spread the tentacles). For next few days let it hang in a cold, dry, windy place & no direct sunlight.

Baked Pesto and Parmesan Oysters

Baked Pesto Parmesan Oysters

1. Make the Basil pesto.
2. Preheat the oven (400F/200C).
3. Wash, clean and open the oysters.
4. Place the oysters onto a baking tray. Put 1/2 – 1 tsp. of pesto onto each oyster and gently spread it over, then sprinkle about 1/2-1 tsp. of grated parmesan over each oyster.
5. Put the baking tray in the oven, bake 3-5 minutes, until the cheese has melted and is bubbling.
6. Serve!

Bavette with Squid in Tomatoes sauce

Bavette with Squid in Tomatoes sauce

2 cans pelati (400 g)
2 medium onions (julienned)
4 cloves garlic (julienned)
100 g pancetta (sliced finely)
2 bay leafs
pinch of dry oregano
small pinch of ground nutmeg
1 tsp. sugar
250 g squid tentacles and squid cut in small pices.
½ tsp garlic powder
Olive oil
300 g bavette pasta

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion, pancetta, fresh and dry garlic and cook for a few minutes, stirring every once in a while, until fragrant and golden. If the mixture is too dry, add 2 – 3 tbsp. of water. Add sugar, stir in the pelati and remaining spices and bring to a simmer. Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from fire, mix well with immersion blender, return to the heat and add squid, cook for 10 more minutes (more or less, until the excess liquid evaporates).

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the bavette until almost done, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta.

Add the pasta to the sauce.

Cod eggplant red curry

Cod eggplant curry
Thai red curry paste 
500 g fresh cod
1 small eggplant
1 small onion
1 small kohlrabi (or chayote)
1 can coconut milk

Make the curry paste. Slice the eggplant into quarters and sprinkle the salt all over it. Salt will draw out the vegetable’s moisture and bitterness (It’s a process known as “degorging“). Leave it in a colander for a half an hour.

Cut the onion, kohlrabi and cod in bite size pieces.

Heat the small amount of sunflower oil in a sauce pan and fry the onion on it for few minutes, until golden. Add the thai red curry paste and fry the spice mixture for about a minute. Add coconut milk, bring the mixture to boil, add the vegetables and cook for 10 minutes, add the cod and cook for 5 minutes more.

Serve on top of basmati rice.

Gambas al Ajillo

200 g fresh prawns tails
1 tbsp. lemon juice
splash of olive oil
6 cloves garlic (minced)
1 small piece finger pepper (sliced)
salt and pepper

Season prawns with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Sauté garlic and finger pepper in olive oil. Add shrimps and cook until pale orange.

This recipe is the best with fresh prawns.

Remaining heads and shells are great for prawns stock, just cook them 30 minutes with onion, celery, garlic and carrots.

Tuna steak with Zucchini Spaghetti in a Thai red curry and sweet carrots

Great lunch. Truly worthily of the efforts, and the dishes. Spectacular!

This is our new version of Zucchini Spaghetti in a Thai red curry. We found new improved recipe for the Thai red curry paste and because of the excitement forget to put all the ingredients which usually goes to this recipe. Nevertheless it was great. Different and more complex version you can read here: Zucchini Spaghetti with Scallops in a Thai red curry!

First prepare sweet carrots and then zucchini spaghetti and at the end fry tuna steak.

Sweet carrots preparation
250 g sweet red carrots
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. muscovado sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup water

Slice the carrots into halts or quarters. Blanche them in boiling salty water for 3 minutes. Put them in a sauté pan with the butter, salt, sugar, and water. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the carrots are tender and the liquid has reduced to a glaze.

Zucchini Spaghetti preparation

500 g zucchini (cut with a mandolin in a spaghetti strips)
splash olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a wok over moderate heat, add zucchini strips to the wok and sauté, tossing gently for about 1 minutes. Season with salt & pepper and immediately remove from heat, but keep them warm.

Thai red curry preparation
1/2 can coconut cream
2 tbsp. Thai red curry paste

Add 1/2 cup coconut creme into a wok over high heat, bring to boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce to medium heat and add Thai red curry paste and cook stirring frequently for another 2 minutes.
Cover Zuchini Spaghetti  with a Thai red curry mixture just before serving.

Tuna steak preparation
350 g tuna steak
salt and pepper
olive oil

Heat the large frying, heavy bottom pan, when hot, add olive oil and fry tuna stakes, 7 minutes on each side. So that they stay nice and moist and little red inside.

Assembly and enjoy!

Número uno Chorizo Paella

Straight from our yearly health check up we went to buy chorizo sausage. Booth of us were in a mood for spicy, strong, heavy flavors because the results had shown that our cholesterol levels are high. My especially high. WTF?! How’s that possible. We are eating healthy. Lots of vegetables, everything is fresh and cooked from scratch, fruits every day. Almost no meat and we eat fish at least once a week. Ok, we drink more than moderately sometimes, and I smoke, but 236 cholesterol level. WTF?! How did that happened? Gym or swimming pool 3 – 4 times a week, and the last cup of Coca Cola (or any similar drink) we drunk 5 years ago. Nuts, fibers, good fat, bla, bla, bla.
I feel healthy and full of energy. And when I look around us to the people who are extremely obese, and here in Manila the numbers of fat people are huge, I ask my self, shit how high is their cholesterol? Every time when we are in supermarket standing at the cashier and look into other peoples carts and see all that processed and canned food I ask my self the same question. I decided to do the test again within a month, in the meantime cut the booze and smoking and see what the results will be.

Until then paella! First attempt to cook this fantastic meal.

1 + 1/2 chorizo sausage (cut into bit size pieces)
2 strips of panceta (cut into bit size pieces)
4 medium size squid (cut into big chunks)
6 large prawns

1 red onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 ripe tomatoes (grated)
flat leaf parsley (chopped)

1 cup arborio rice

4 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 pinch of saffron
1/3 cup white wine
splash of olive oil
1 tbsp. pimenton paprika

Clean the squid and prawns.
For the prawns stock cook prawns shells and heads in 4 cups of water with 1 bay leaf for about 15 minutes. Add saffron and white wine, bring to a simmer and remove from the heat. Let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before straining so to allow all the aromas to combine.
Heat heavy bottom pan on medium high heat and fry the bacon on olive oil. Remove bacon from the pan and throw away excess fat. Put the pan back on the heat, add chorizo and fry until crispy. Put bacon back into the pan and add onion and cook until soft. Add garlic and mix well. Season with pimenton paprika and fry for another minute. Add tomatoes and mix well. Add rice to the pan, let it fry until translucent (1 – 2 minutes) then add stock, bring it to the boil and then add squid. Season with pepper. Cook on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Probably no salt is needed. Lay the prawns on the top of paella and cook them on each side for about 3 – 4 minutes.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Next time, no bacon, add more squid.

Salmon with capers and dill sauce

Dill sauce:
80 g yoghurt
1 tbsp. mustard
2 tbsp. dill
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Mix all ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

2 salmon steaks
freshly grated pepper
olive oil
1/4 cup capers

Season salmon steak with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan heat splash of olive oil over medium heat. Pan sear salmon skin side down for 5 minutes, flip over and continue searing 5 more minutes. Sprinkle with capers, dill sauce and few drops of olive oil. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Easy and delicious Thai fish cakes

450 g white-fleshed fish fillets
6 fresh kaffir lime leaves (cut into thin strips)
3 tbsp. coconut milk
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. shrimp paste
1/2 tbsp. chili flakes
1/3 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
3 green onions (sliced)
1 thumb-size piece ginger (grated)
3 cloves garlic
1/4 red chili (sliced)
sunflower oil for frying

Thoroughly dry the fish and cut it into chunks, put in food processor. In a cup, combine the coconut milk, fish sauce, shrimp paste, chili flakes, cumin, ground coriander, and brown sugar. Stir with a fork to combine, then pour into the processor over the fish. Add remaining ingredients: kaffir lime leaf strips, green onion, ginger, garlic, and chili. Pulse to create a thick fish paste.
Picking up a small amount in your hand (about the size of a golf ball) pat the paste into a small cake and set on a clean plate. Set the cakes in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up.
Heat oil. When hot enough gently place cakes in oil. Fry until golden-brown and drain on paper towel.

Serve with Thai cucumber salad. Simply delicious!