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"To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day."

Somerset Maugham

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Entries in prawn (5)

Wednesday
Sep092015

Borough Market Blog, Sydney prawns and Dad's "benchmark" aioli

I’ve just started a series of guest posts for the Borough Market Blog. Check out the first post here. In the series I will be touching on some of the themes I have covered on my food anthropology page on food and identity. I’m interested in the special significance that people attach to the foods that they grew up with and the role this plays in defining who we are.

Over the coming months I will be speaking to seven traders from different ethnic backgrounds about the foods that are important to them and why. For the first post, I decided to ask myself the same questions I will be asking the traders. What are the foods that remind me of home? What foods make me feel nostalgic? What foods evoke special memories for me?

One thing I miss most about Sydney (my other home) is the seafood. In London, the best quality seafood is to be found at Billingsgate, which is very much geared towards the wholesale market. If you want to buy fish from there you have to get up at sparrows fart and trek out to Poplar (far for me). The Sydney Fish Market, on the other hand, is centrally located and aimed at both retail and wholesale customers. 

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Sunday
Mar242013

Dad’s Provençal Seafood Soup

 

Continuing the French theme, here is my Dad’s take on a Provençal fish soup or stew. It's similar to a bourride, using many of the same aromatics, but without the egg yolks. Also, a traditional bourride is usually just fish, but Dad uses a range of seafood.

I asked him to send me the recipe, which was characteristically vague – a pinch of this, a slug of that, “loadsa garlic”. Having eaten it many times when I was younger I was able to guesstimate, but I have tried to make it more user-friendly for you. However, there are some things that are hard to quantify and that are really up to you. For example, the amount of stock depends on the consistency you want; how much saffron depends on the quality of the saffron and how much you like the taste of it; what seafood you use is up to you, which means it is hard for me to give accurate cooking times.

I made this for my flatmates a few weeks ago and they both thought it was fab. I didn’t think it was quite as good as Dad’s, but then these things never are when you try to replicate them, are they?

“What do you think is missing?” asked Jen.

“I don’t know. A little bit of love?”

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Sunday
Jan082012

Pork and prawn wontons with coriander and water chestnuts

Happy New Year everyone! With New Year comes resolutions and one of mine is to start cooking again and writing about it.

I spoke to my Dad this morning and he was telling me about a rendang curry recipe he has been working on. I told him he ought to write it up for my blog,

“It’s been ages since you wrote me a post, Dad”

“It’s been ages since you wrote a recipe; when are you going to finish with South America? I’m bored.”

So am I.

“I’ve been busy, Dad. You know, finding a job, moving house and with Mum and Cha here. Plus I still had stuff I wanted to write about... I am going to start writing recipes again soon though.”

“When?”

“Today!”

So here I am.

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Monday
Oct252010

Prawn spaghetti, at long last

Several people have requested this recipe and it really is time that I provided it. Since my first post in July, which included a photo of the sauce, I have been making excuses. At first my excuse was the measurements (or lack of them), but given I have now had over three months to measure what is a staple dish in my household, that excuse doesn’t really hold much weight anymore. 

The real issue is that I make it differently every time. I have just been through the notepad that I now keep by the stove for recording measurements and in it I have found 3 recipes for prawn spaghetti, none of which are the same. This had been my most recent excuse until someone helpfully pointed out that I could provide the basic core recipe and then variations separately. Yes, thank you, I had thought of that, but I was feeling lazy!

I am embarrassed to admit that most of the time when I make this dish I use a bag of frozen raw prawns from the supermarket. In my defence, I remind you that even when you buy fresh prawns from the fishmonger, the chances are that they were frozen at some point. Fresh prawns would of course be better, but they are expensive in the UK and this is one of those quick and easy dishes that I like to make often. Also, as discussed previously, I am only able to get to the fishmonger on Saturday’s and given the amount of garlic in this I wouldn’t recommend eating it before a night out.

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Sunday
Sep262010

You say buzaru, I say buzara...

 

Buzaru, buzara, buzzara, bouzzara ... there seem to be 101 ways to spell this word, which as an English speaker makes it hard to decide which one to use. Buzara is the most common on English websites, but many of the Croatian pages use buzaru, which suggests that buzara is an English translation for the purposes of pronunciation (since it doesn’t actually mean anything in English, so there can’t really be any other reason for changing the word).

In my recent post, 101 ways to eat octopus salad I said that buzara seems to refer to seafood cooked in white wine with garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley and, in some cases, tomato. Thanks to the Google website translator, I can now say this with more confidence and add that it is most commonly made with skampi (scampi) or dagnje (mussels).

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