March 22, 2008

good friday birthday dinner

Georgie cooked a fantastic dinner for the 6 of us last night for Jeff's birthday. First course was king prawns with chilli and oregano :

Main course was baked flathead with roast potatoes and oregano :

and for dessert, strawberry granita with double cream :

It was the usual restaurant-standard fare we are used to since G. came to stay. All the recipes were adapted from Karen Martini's new book Cooking at home.

King prawns with chilli and oregano

16 very large raw king prawns

sea salt and pepper

150ml extra virgin olive oil

1-2 small red chillies, chopped

1 clove garlic, sliced

1 bunch oregano, leaves only

1/2 bunch flat-leafed parsley, leaves only

2 t grated lemon zest

lemon wedges to serve

Preheat oven to 220C or the grill to high. Cut prawns in half lengthwise leaving heads and tails intact, and devein. Place on a baking tray, season with s. and p. and drizzle with a little olive oil. Combine chilli, garlic, oregano, parsley, lemon zest and remaining olive oil in a food processor, season well and process to a paste. Bake or grill prawns for 6-7 mins. or until just changed colour. Top with the herb paste and serve with lemon wedges.

Baked flathead with roast potatoes, lemon and oregano (serves 6)

18 kipfler potatoes, very thinly sliced

9 golden shallots, finely sliced

9 cloves garlic, finely sliced

salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper to taste

6 T olive oil

300ml white wine

juice of 2 lemons

6 flathead fillets

Oregano dressing :

finely grated zest of 3 lemons

bunch oregano, leaves picked

1/2 bunch flat-leafed parsley

6 small red chillies, finely chopped (or to taste)

100 ml olive oil

2 cloves garlic

pinch sea salt

lemon juice to taste

Preheat oven to 185C and line a large baking dish with baking paper. To make the oregano dressing, combine all the ingredients exept the lemon juice in a food processor until a smooth paste. Stir in lemon juice. Combine the potatoes, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper and 3 T olive oil and arrange in the baking dish. Pour over the wine and bake for 20 mins. Rub the lemon juice and remaining olive oil over the fish, then season with salt and pepper. Place fish on top of potatoes and bake for 20-30 mins or until fish is just cooked. Serve drzzled with oregano dressing.

Strawberry granita with double cream

130g caster sugar

1/2 vanilla bean, split

350 ml water

handful basil leaves

400g strawberries, hulled and sliced

1 lemon, juiced

125 ml double cream

6 large strawberries extra, hulled and sliced

Combine sugar, vanilla bean and water over heat in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then boil for 5 mins. Add the basil leaves, remove from heat and pour into a bowl to cool. Strain, discarding the solids. Puree the strawberries and lemon juice in a blender then strain through a fine seive. Add to the cooled syrup, mix well and pour into a shallow wide metal tray. Freeze for 2 hours, remove from freezer and drag the frozen ice crystals from the edges with a fork. Return to freezer for about 1 1/2 hours until set. Remove and scrape/smash the crystals again. Divide the cream among serving dishes, then spoon in granita. Top with a layer of sliced strawberries to serve.

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