Spicy shrimp pasta salad

14 06 2012

 In honour of last weekends double birthday and our recent engagement we decided to throw a bit of a party last Saturday.

Now even though the weather seems to have decided otherwise it is actually Summer here in Ireland and as such that means it is time for me to break out the BBQ.

If there is one thing that every good BBQ needs to really tip it over the edge it is pasta salad…

Yeah, yeah I know what you are thinking how old school and boring can you get but I love pasta salads.

As for being boring my spicy shrimp pasta salad is anything but!

 

Ingredients:

500g fusilli or farfalle pasta

200g shrimp (shells and heads removed)

2 red bell peppers

1 piri piri chilli (you can use a jalapeno if you like)

1 large dill pickle

Good quality full fat mayonnaise (I make my own but you don’t have to)

Heinz tomato ketchup

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp cognac/brandy

2tsp Smokey Paprika powder

1tsp Cayenne pepper

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

Cook the pasta, drain and set aside to cool

Cook your shrimp and leave to cool (if you are tight for time this is one of the only times I would advocate those bags of frozen shrimp)

Deseed and chop your bell peppers into 1/4 inch cubes

Finely chop the dill pickle

Combine together equal amounts of ketchup and mayonnaise with the cayenne pepper, paprika, lime juice, chopped chilli and brandy and mix until you have a light pink coloured sauce with a nice smooth consistency.

Add the pickle, bell pepper and shrimp to the pasta and mix together well, then pour over the sauce and make sure everything is well coated.

 

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BBQ pork ribs

12 04 2011


This is a really great recipe for quick and easy  pork ribs in a delicious sweet and smokey BBQ sauce that works great with pretty much anything.

It is really easy to tweak the sauce to suit your own personal tastes, a little more sugar or some honey if you want it sweeter, a little more chilli powder or some dried chili flakes if you want a bit more heat.

If for some bizarre reason you don’t like pork you can just as easily use beef ribs and they will still taste delicious.

Ingredients:

2-3lbs back or spare ribs

1 cup ketchup

1 cup water

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1 tsp mustard powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp smokey paprika

1 cup  onion

1 clove garlic

 

Method:

Mix together all of the ingredients for the bbq sauce in a large saucepan, and simmer 20 minutes.

Allow the sauce to cool and baste the ribs liberally before placing into a low oven, cook for approx 4/5 hours or until the meat is really tender and nearly falling off the bone.

Every hour or so re-baste with a little bit of the sauce to keep the ribs nice and juicy.

Serve with the remaining sauce.





Pitta-Gyros Recipe

1 10 2010

I recently posted my recipe for healthy, tasty, homemade flatbreads and mentioned at the time that I had been seriously craving some pitta-gyros like I used to have back home.

Well we have two options in life, light a candle or curse the darkness or in my case bitch and moan or get cooking…

So here is what to do if like me you fancy a delicious and surprisingly healthy taste of Greece:

Pitta-Gyros

Approx 1 kg of pork loin – you can use shoulder or most other cuts but loin is what I had to hand

Dried Oregano

Sweet Paprika

Coarse Sea Salt

Black Pepper

1tsp Dried Chili Flakes

Olive Oil

To Serve:

8-10 Flatbreads – Click here for the recipe

1 carrot peeled and shredded

2 or 3 tomatoes finely sliced

1 large red onion finely sliced

Tzatziki

Using a sharp knife cut thin slices from your piece of pork and then pound them flat (a cleaver works well)

place the pork into a large bowl and add in  plenty of the dried oregano (I use roughly 1  1/2 tablespoons but adjust to suit your tastes) a good 2 tsp of paprika, the dried chili flakes, a generous pinch of sea salt and the same of black pepper.

Mix everything together with your hands so that all of the meat is covered with the herbs and spices, pour in enough olive oil that all of the meat is coated. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least an hour, the longer the better.

When you are ready to cook and eat your Pitta Gyros take your meat out of the fridge and cut it into strips, fry in a dry pan until the edges just start to blacken and the pork is cooked through – please ensure that the pork is cooked for the sake of your health!

Pop the pork in an oven proof dish, cover with some tinfoil and place in  a low oven to keep warm.

At this point make your flatbreads and then serve with the shredded onion, carrot, tomatoes and tzatziki and a little extra paprika on top.

Delicious!








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