Guest Post: Amy’s Creamy Prawn Enchiladas Recipe

Hello Vixxy’s Readers,

Im Amy, a northern girl from York and I have known Vix over 20yrs.

Whilst visiting Medina Road in September I decided to do a celebratory meal for Vix’s first day at her new job. It gave me something to do whilst Ryan and herself were out slaving in the hard working world of London and I had no particular plans beyond lounging about on the sofa. It is my jollies after all.

So I eventually decided on Mexican as it gave me a variety of flavours and the ability to use a variety of meats easily. Chilli Con Carne, Smokey Chicken Fajitas and Prawn Enchiladas were my dishes of choice and I was cooking for 4 adults so knew these would satisfy our mahoosive appetites.

Being a single mum I’ve had to teach myself to cook dishes from scratch so that I know exactly what is going into my child’s body. Dieting for a long period of time has also benefited this method of cooking as I can also swap out high calorie ingredients for healthier alternatives. In this case it was bollocks to the calories, I wanted a good taste. Y.O.L.O.

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The winner of the night was the Creamy Prawn Enchiladas so here I’ll explain exactly how I made them……….

300g King Prawns

250g Passata

150ml Double Cream

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tube of Tomato Puree

1/2 Courgette

1 Red Pepper

1 Green Pepper

1 Yellow Pepper

4 Large Tortilla Wraps

2 Garlic Cloves Crushed

1 Tbsp Lemon or Lime Juice

Fish Stock Cube

100g Mild Chedder Cheese

100g Feta Cheese

1.  Heat a frying pan and pour in the olive oil. Once the oil is hot add the prawns, courgette and all 3 peppers. Cook until prawns are cooked and vegetables are soft.

2.  Crumble the stock cube over the mixture and stir in until dissolved, you can then add the half the citrus juice, half the passata and half the double cream.

3.  Stir the sauce until it has thickened then pour mixture into a bowl and set to one side.

4. Heat the frying pan and add the rest of the citrus juice, passata and cream. Once this has thickened dip a tortilla wrap into the mixture and make sure one side is coated.

5.  Lay the tortilla on a chopping board plain side down and add the prawn mixture down the middle. Wrap one side over the other and place the tortilla in a baking tray (all 4 have to fit in together so make sure you place them well)

5.  Repeat this process for all 4 tortillas, if there is any mixture left over after dipping the wraps, pour this over them whilst they are placed in the baking tray.

6.  Grate/Crumble the cheese and spread this on top of the tortillas and sauce.

7.  Bake in the oven until the cheese is golden.

 

 

 

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Sylvia’s Super quick Stir Fry recipe

One of those dishes that your mum does that you can never get quite right. I have had this recipe in my possession for more than a few years now, and after countless tries I still can’t get it as good as I remember my mum’s being when we were younger!

It’s not an authentically accurate dish, but it is a wonderfully tasty one.

Sylvia's stirfry

Nevertheless this is still such ridiculously simple recipe, so easy for a weekday dinner and so tasty (it is also great the next day as something you can take to work for lunch!). This recipe will serve 6 people.

You can use any kind of meat or fish for this dish- cooked shredded chicken/strips of cooked steak/slices of grilled pork or cooked prawns/cooked flaked salmon.

Ingredients

450g Long grain rice

1ltr water

Meat/Fish (I used leftover Roast Chicken shredded)

1 Medium Onion (peeled and chopped)

2 Carrots (peeled and thinly sliced into Juilenne style slices)

0.5 Small Broccoli (chopped up into small sprigs and chunks)

5 White Mushrooms (chopped up)

1 Red Chilli (chopped up finely)

1 bottle of dark soy sauce

1 tbsp oil (I used vegetable)

Handful of raw cashew nuts

Method

1. Cook the rice as per your preferred method, I use my trusty steamer from Lakeland

2. Put rice aside

3. In a frying pan or wok add the oil and gently fry the onions till soft

4. If you are using raw meat or fish add this to the wok/pan now and use a little bit more oil to help coat the meat or fish

5. Once the meat has cooked through add the carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and chilli and stirfry until everything is tender (if you are using already cooked meat or fish, add this with the vegetables)

6. Add the cooked rice to the stirfry and start adding soy sauce

7. Mix the stir fry with the soy sauce tasting as you go. Some people prefer a little bit of soy sauce, others prefer a lot. Add some, mix it through the stirfry and then taste it, keep adding bit by bit till you are happy with the taste. It should be just salty enough from the soy but not too much you can’t taste the rest of the ingredients.

8. Enjoy!

Easy Gingerbread cake

Although the weather in London this week’s has become fairly mild, we are officially in the depths of Autumn. I know this as my craving for sweet deep and warming flavours like ginger, nutmeg and other spices has started creeping in to my mind.

This recipe I worked on with my fellow baker Sam and I have to say is now a firm favourite. This tray bake is a winner not only because of the taste but also it is  multi-purpose! Hot, cold, fresh or a few days old it still tastes wonderful. The rich flavours are so warmly wonderful you almost want it to be cold outdoors so you can snuggle up with a hot drink and a slice of this gingerbread cake.

Image of Gingerbread cake

Gingerbread cake I made for Halloween 2012

Last year I prepared these for my annual Halloween party and used ready made icing to cut out little ghosts to put on top which were very popular! This is definitely also something you could do for Christmas, and replace the little ghost with a little christmas tree or holly leaf. I love versatility in a bake!

Ingredients

425g Golden Syrup

115g Unsalted Butter

65g Dark Brown Muscavado Sugar

50g Orange Marmalade

2 Large Eggs

160ml Milk (I used semi skimmed)

115g Self Raising Flour

115g Wholewheat Flour

1.5 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

4 tsp Ground ginger (This is for quite spicy gingerbread cake, if you don’t want it quite as spicy use only 2 tsp)

0.5 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

A pinch of salt

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 160c

2. Line a traybake tin or any tin you have (I used a foil traybake tin from Lakeland) with greaseproof paper or parchment

3.  Put the butter, sugar, golden syrup and marmalade in a pan together and heat over a medium/low heat until well mixed. Put this aside to cool for 10mins.

4. Whisk in a bowl the eggs and milk and add* to the liquid mixture whisking these both together. *Make sure the liquid mixture is cool enough other wise the egg mix will scramble!

5. In a large bowl or alternatively in your food mixer mix together all the dry ingredients – all flours, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt

6. Add the liquid mix to the dry ingredients mix thoroughly till fully combined and smooth

7. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin

8. Bake for 50-60mins, check after 50mins just in case. You will know when it is ready as the cake will be springy and when prodded will come out clean

9. Keep the gingerbread cake in the tin to cool on a wire rack, it may shrink away from the sides of the tin, don’t worry that is ok!

10. Whilst this was cooling I rolled out some ready made icing, cut out the ghost shapes and then used black icing colour to dot on the icing to make the eyes.

11. Once the gingerbread cake had cooled I cut the cake into 15 pieces

12. I used orange marmalade to brush on the back of the cut out ghosts and then fixed one per square of cake

After a few days if you still have some of this cake left, I recommend taking off the icing shapes, placing in a dessert bowl, heating up in the microwave for 1 minute and serving with custard! YUM!

Vixxy’s Secret Valentine Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting

Secret Valentine Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting recipe

With the annual gushy-lovey day approaching and a spare rainy Sunday I decided to attempt a recipe I have been thinking about for a while, trying to work out how to get a secret little cake within a cake (inspired by The Great British Bake Off, and also that well known baker of cake Lauren Conrad!)
Have to admit, my man and I do enjoy an excuse to go out for a nice meal and some time together but we don’t really ever celebrate on the day itself. I’m a bit of a miser with money and hate the inflated for one day only prices and also gushing love really does put me off my meal when I am surrounded by couples declaring their undying forevers to each other whilst I’m tucking into something utterly delicious… bleurgh.

Anyways, on with the recipe and not my ranting!

So here they are in all their glory.

Image of Secret Valentine's Cupcakes with Champagne frosting recipe

Secret Valentine’s Cupcakes with Champagne frosting recipe

I was rather chuffed with the outcome and hope yours will turn out the same.

Secret Valentine Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting recipe

Secret Valentine Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting recipe

The recipe I used for the batter mix was from another post I made The best Vanilla sponge recipe ever!

Method

1. Prepare sponge batter mix as per the recipe in the link above till no. 8 in the method.

2. Divide the batter mix. I separated a third of the mixture in to a separate bowl, and the other two thirds I put to one side (even in the fridge if your kitchen is quite warm)

3. Then add red food colouring. The density of the colour is up to you, but I definitely think the more you dare, they more you are rewarded as the stark difference in colour of the sponges really adds to the secret heart in the cupcake!

4. Prepare and line a baketray (one that you would use for making flapjacks or brownies)

5. Pour the red batter mixture in to the baketray, smoothing the batter down. The aim is to have batter mixture of about half an inch or less.

6. Pop in the pre-heated oven at 180c for 15/20 mins, keep checking on it as it will cook a lot quicker than you think! (it will be slightly under cooked so will feel quite ‘wet’ but make sure it is cooked through by using a clean cocktail stick or a skewer in the middle of the tray

7. Bring the red sponge out the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely

8. Once this has cooled completely, you can either buy a mini heart shaped cutter or you can use a knife and cut out round a heart template you can cut out from paper/card

9. Cut out 12 hearts and place to one side

10. Get the plain sponge batter you have set aside

11. Set out your cases in a cupcake tray and spoon 1 spoonful of the plain mixture in each case

12. Place your red heart sponges in the middle of each cupcake case, standing up to attention rather than flat down with the pointy bit of the heart at the bottom. Press the sponge carefully down into the batter mixture. It should hopefully hold in the middle as the wet batter will hold it in place

13. Once you have placed all 12 of the hearts in the centre of the cupcake cases, divide the rest of the mixture around the all 12 of the hearts in the cases

14. Put the cupcakes back in the over and bake at the same 180 for another 20 mins. This was a little tricky as I left mine in for about 5/10 mins longer after I checked them, but use a skewer/cocktail stick to check after the initial 20mins first.

15. Once they are fully baked, place on a cooling tray. The top of the hearts may be peeping out the top of the cupcake but that is ok

16. Prepare a buttercream made up of icing sugar and unsalted butter, I don’t really have a recipe for this as I just whip room temperature/soft (not too soft!) butter and then add icing sugar till I like the taste!

17. I used flat room temperature champagne and added it very slowly so I wouldn’t ‘curdle’ the buttercream. I used about 3 ‘generous’ tablespoons! 😉

18. Once mixed together use a teaspoon to decorate the top of the cupcake, I used just enough on each one so they covered the little peeping hearts in the cupcakes.

19. Chill for half an hour so the buttercream sets, then enjoy these little surprises or give them as gifts to your Valentines ( there are 12 so I am not judging anyone on how many people they give one to!)

My Grandma’s incredibly moist Christmas Fruit cake

So slice up that fruitcake and get ready to argue over the bit with the biggest helping of icing!

Grandma's fruit cake recipe

Grandma’s fruit cake recipe

I love Christmas cake, the rich flavours and plump fruit nestled under a beautiful blanket of marzipan and icing. I’m part of a wonderfully large northern family and a great tradition that orginates from up nurrrf is Christmas cake and cheese! Yes! I kid you not. It has to be tried to be believed. Take a slice of a beautiful christmas cake and take a slice of a hard british cheese like a cheddar or a leicester and try it. I don’t have a scientific or logical explanation on why it works, but it does! Just put it down to a taste sensation!

Grandma's fruit cake recipe

Grandma’s fruit cake recipe

Ok… so onto this recipe. I don’t know where Grandma got this from, it could be from Be-ro, Delia, Mavis or anyone else! But all I know is it works, it is beautifully moist and it is so soft and tender. The fruit are still plump and juicy and the sponge is perfectly spiced. You can add a bit more variety by adding different nuts, cherries or slices of stem ginger, but on to the recipe!

This makes a 1x 21cm round cake.

Ingredients

850g Sultanas

225g Raisins

225g Currants

100g Stoned Prunes chopped

100g Mixed chopped peel

210ml Dry sherry

50ml Orange cordial

1 Large orange – rind and juice

1 Lemon – rind and juice

275g Softened unsalted butter

225g Dark soft brown sugar

275g Plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp grated nutmeg

5 Large eggs

2 tbsp Apricot jam

1 tbsp Black treacle

Method

1. Pre-heat over to 140C/275F Wash and dry dried fruit if needed

2. Put all the dried fruit in large pan with the prunes and peel

3. Add 110ml of the sherry, cordial, rind and juice of the orange and lemon

4. Stir the mixture over a medium heat till the fruit steams (about 5-10mins)

5. Turn into a bowl making sure no juices are wasted, cover immediately with cling film and leave overnight!

6. If you are going to add anything extra like ginger, nuts or cherries add them after leaving them overnight

7. In a large bowl cream softened butter with sugar till fluffy

8. Beat eggs together and put to one side and add 4 tablespoons of the beaten eggs to the butter and sugar, beat ensuring everything is fully mixed

9. Sieve all dry ingredients together then add 4 tablespoons of the dry ingerdients to the creamed mixture

10. Gradually add the rest of the egg mixture, beating after every addition. (Add a little flour from the dry ingredients if it starts to curdle)

11. Beat in the jam and the treacle

12. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients till well mixed

13. Using a wooden spoon or a spatula, mix in fruits until completely mixed through

14. Turn cake mixture into a greased or lined tin

15. Smooth top and bake for 4 hours. Test cake, by skewer in middle, if not cooked try 15 more minutes and test again

16. Remove cake from over, while still warm sprinkle over 100ml of sherry and leave to cool in the tin, leaving cake uncovered for 24hrs

17. After 24hrs wrap the cake in foil or parchment paper and store in an airtight box until you are ready to decorate. I would leave it at least 2 weeks in the box so it has time to settle and all the fruit can fully take in all the extra sherry.

18. Merry Christmas!