I like those riddles where you have to try and think your way out of an impossible situation, in a ‘how do you escape a room with no windows and doors?’ kind of way. I like them because they twist your brain in knots, and because you can talk about them for hours. But I mostly like them because they’re not real. So, when I was asked ‘So how are you going to do a dinner party when you have no fridge or freezer?’ my brain started hyperventilating and scrabbling to escape through my ears.
Yes, my fridge and freezer have gone to the great big pearly kitchen in the sky, conveniently kicking the bucket the day before I’d promised my friend a slap-up meal. Small salvation was brought in the form of my housemate, who found a mini-fridge which was just about big enough to hold one can of beans. Still, it would do for holding one or two vital ingredients.
The only problem I had was I didn’t have time to buy the ingredients until twenty minutes before my guest arrived. And we were both really hungry after a hard day at work. So, not only did I need something that didn’t need a fridge, I needed some fast, easy enough to prepare with my guest watching, and yet still really tasty.
Here’s what I came up with:
Angel-hair chilli prawns
150-200g angel-hair pasta
One packet of king prawns (cooked with tails removed)
1 large chilli, finely chopped
Zest of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon
1 handful of chopped parsley
6 tbsp creme fraiche
Three large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 an avocado, roughly chopped
1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions, then drain the water.
2. Return to the pan, and add the rest of the ingredients except the tomatoes and avocado. Make sure they’re all warmed through, but be careful not to overdo the pasta or it becomes less angel-hair and more angel-snot.
3. Just before serving, stir through the tomatoes and avocado.
4. Serve, preferably with a glass of opulent pinot gris, or four.
Raspberry, elderflower and gin coulis (served on – yes, horribly un-impressive meringue nests.)
LOOK, FORGET ABOUT THE MERINGUE NEST BIT, OKAY? It’s actually embarrassing. But it’s all I could do whilst half-cut and without any way of storing good ingredients.
My original plan was to do elderflower pannacotta or something, which actually would have been worth blogging about, but the coulis I concocted out of thin air after a bottle of wine did seem too yummy not to share. Just stir together the following:
- A dozen or so raspberries, pressed through a sieve
- Juice of around 1/4 lemon
- A couple of tablespoons of elderflower cordial
- A healthy splash of your favourite gin
- Sugar to get the coulis to the required sweetness (I think I used about two tablespoons. Icing sugar might make it a little thicker too, depending on how gooey you want it.)
It’s truly delicious, and a nice cocktail ingredient too.
Next week… something that didn’t come out of a packet. Ooh.