Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chengdu Prawns and Scallops

Every now and then we have to put up a spicy dish to please both of our tastebuds and this one was no exception as far as flavour and spice were concerned.

The Sichuan cuisine, also known as Szechuan-style and is one of the most popular regional styles of Chinese cooking. Known for it's spicy and pngent flavours this dish sure kicked a punch. Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan and the inclusion of citrus peel in this dish proves that it comes from this city.

I have to say the thought of using orange rind in a spicy sauce interested me as it is an ingredient that isn't often used.

Noel cooked this dish and I have to say that it was delicious.....

Chengdu Prawns and Scallops (Recipe adapted from Women's Weekly Stir Fry Chop Wok Toss)
Serves: 2
ProPoints per serve: 10

2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons chinese cooking wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
400 grams prawns, shells removed and deveined
300 grams scallops
2 teaspoon peanut oil
500 grams baby spinach
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cms piece fresh ginger, grated
4 spring onions, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated orange rind
2 tablespoons sambal oelek
1 teaspoon sichuan peppercorns, crushed

Combine half the sauce, half the wine and half the sesame oil in a large bowl, add prawns and scallops and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Heat 1 teapsoon peanut oil in wok and stir fry spinach until just wilted. Remove from wok and cover to keep warm.

Heat the remaining peanut oil in wok and stir fry the prawn and scallop mixture in batches until just cooked and remove from pan. To the same pan add the garlic, ginger and onion cooking until the onion just softens.

Return prawn mixture and remaining suacue, wine and sesame oil to the wok along with the vinegar, sugar, rind and sambal. Stir fry for 1 - 2 minutes until prawns are cooked through.

Serve spinach topped with prawns and scallops and sprinkled with the crushed sichuan peppercorns.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Coriander and Lemongrass Fish

This was such a wonderful dish mainly flavour wise but also due to the how easy it was to prepare.

It's a dish that I have always fancied cooking since first purchasing the Weight Watchers Simply The Best 2005 Cookbook but for some reason had never got around to actually doing so.

The fish was amazingly moist and tender. Although topped with strong exotic flavours of coriander and lemongrass I have to say that they weren't overpowering either.

I decided to serve the fish with some Vegetarian Noodles which made it a delicious Asian themed meal.

Coriander and Lemongrass Fish (recipe adapted from WW Simply The Best 2005)
Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 5

4 x 200 gram white fish fillets
1 tablespoon Garden Gourmet Coriander Herb Blend
1 tablespoon Garden Gourmet Lemongrass Herb Blend

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Combine coriander and lemograss, mix well. Spread 2 teaspoons of mixture over each fillet.

Cover with foil and bake in oven for 12 - 15 minutes of until cooked.

(Click here for a printable version of the recipe)

Vegetarian Noodles

After a long and unwanted break from sharing out culinary adventures, I want to assure you and myself that I have not forgotten or given up on my beloved blog. A break, which has seen me do very little cooking during this time due to work commitments having me live in a hotel room for 4 out of the 5 weeknights and I must also add this place wasn’t local to my home.

But last weekend we did manage to cook and I have to say that I enjoyed every minute. It is amazing how you miss do something that you find a chore to do day in day out especially when confined to a small hotel room that only has a kettle and a toaster – no real cooking facilities. Even a microwave would be good while I am away.

However hopefully over the next few weeks I will also be able to sneak in a few more cooking experiences here and there and keep A Dash Of Flavour progressing as I still have at least another two weeks away from home.

Enough waffling let's get down to some cooking. I must say noodles are one of my secret favourite dishes, a favourite that I often crave. So it is no surprise that I really enjoyed cooking and eating these especially teamed with Coriander and Lemongrass Fish.

Vegetarian Noodles

Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 5

440 grams hokkien noodles
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon kecap manis
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cm piece of ginger, grated
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, julienned
1 red capsicum julienned
200 grams button mushrooms, sliced
2 baby bok choy, roughly chopped
100 grams bean sprouts
1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped

Fill a large bowl with hot water and soak noodles as per packet directions. Drain and set aside.

In a small jug mix together sweet chilli sauce, kecap manis, soy sauce and water.

Heat oil in a large wok or frying pan over high heat. Add garlic, ginger, onion and carrots tossing until onion starts to soften - add a little water if vegetables start to burn. Add capsicum and mushrooms. Stir fry for 3 - 4 minutes.

Add combined sauce and stir through. Add noodles and bok choy tossing to combine.
Stir through bean sprouts and corinader. Serve immediately.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)