Seafood Santa





  • 6 La Banderita flour street tacos
  • 6 Morton Bay bugs, raw meat removed from shells
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime, plus extra to serve
  • 1/4 of an iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 2 sprigs of coriander, finely chopped


  • 4 small red chillies, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 x 3cm pieces of ginger chopped
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbs caster sugar
  • 1/2 tbs white vinegar
  • 80ml olive oil plus a little extra
  • Salt and pepper


To make the sauce, place all ingredients into a small pot over a low heat and gently cook for 15-20 minutes, ensuring it does not boil. Cool to room temperature then pour into a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth. This can be made up to week in advance and stored in an airtight container.

Drizzle a little oil over bug meat and with salt and pepper. Grill on each side for 1-2 minutes until just cooked through. Remove from the sprinkle over the zest of the lime.

Warm the street tacos in a dry pan over a medium heat for one minute on each side until soft. Keep warm in a clean tea towel.

To serve, portion lettuce between each taco then place bug meat on top. Squeeze over lime juice and then drizzle over chilli sauce. Garnish with coriander.

(in partnership with La Banderita tortillas)



Prawn Cocktail Salad



  • 2 baby cos lettuces, leaves separated and torn
  • 1 large handful of watercress sprigs
  • 1 small fennel bulb, finely sliced, fronds reserved
  • 1 celery stalk, finely sliced
  • 1 avocado, halved
  • salt flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of ¼ lemon
  • 1 kg cooked large prawns, shelled and deveined, tails intact

Marie Rose Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons whole egg mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 4 drops of tabasco sauce (or a little more for an extra kick)
  • 1 teaspoon brandy
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • salt flakes and freshly ground

For the Marie Rose sauce, combine the mayonnaise, crème fraîche, tomato sauce, worcestershire and tabasco sauces, brandy and lemon zest in a bowl. Season to taste.

Place the lettuce, watercress, sliced fennel bulb and celery in a large bowl. Scoops chunks of avocado straight from the skin into the bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and lightly dress with 1 tablespoon of Marie rose sauce and the lemon juice. Gently toss with your hands and arrange on a platter. Arrange the prawns on top of the dressed salad, scatter over the reserved fennel fronds and drizzle over the remaining marie rose sauce. Serve immediately.

(From the Weeknight Cookbook, Plum Books, Pan Macmillan)



Smoked Salmon and Pickled Cucumber

My MasterChef friend Lucas Parsons cooked a version of this at one of his dinner parties, and it was an absolute hit. His was a little more elaborate than my recipe, but it still has some of the main components. Oily smoked salmon with refreshing cucumber and dill is always a winning combination, but what makes this extra enticing is the fusion of pungent hot English mustard and tangy crème fraîche.



  • 2 continental cucumbers,
  • cut into 5cm rounds
  • Salt flakes
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tspn hot English mustard
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 large handful of
  • watercress sprigs 1 small handful of dill sprigs
  • 8 slices of smoked salmon
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Place the cucumber in a colander along with 2 teaspoons of salt and toss. Let stand for 20 minutes. Under a cold running tap, wash the salt off thoroughly, then pat the cucumber dry with a clean tea towel. Combine the vinegar, sugar and mustard in a bowl and mix until the sugar dissolves. Add the cucumber and toss to coat completely.

Place in the fridge for 1 hour to marinate.

Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and, once boiling, cook for 3 minutes for soft boiled. Remove the eggs and chill under a running tap, before peeling.

Combine the crème fraîche with 1 teaspoon of the cucumber pickling liquid and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Place a small handful of watercress and a few sprigs of dill on each serving plate, add some cucumber, then two slices of salmon and a halved egg. Drizzle on the crème fraîche dressing and finish with a grind of black pepper.

(From the Weeknight Cookbook, Plum Books, Pan Macmillan)


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