It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!!!
I managed to get all the kids in one place this week for the annual Santa photo - yes of course there was lots of protests - but we finally got it done! That makes 22 years of Santa photos now - it's so lovely to see how they have all grown over the years. There are many protests that this tradition should stop - but I hope that it won't for a little while yet.
In the lead up to Christmas, Madame T and I decided that it was time to get together for a girls night in and a drink or two to celebrate "The Silly Season". I fed "The Darlings" earlier and we settled in for a nice meal and a glass or two of white together.
We started off the night with.....
Thai Chicken Meatballs with Chilli Lime Dipping Sauce
Adapted from a recipe in Super Food Ideas December Issue
2 x 375g packets chicken sausages with lime and spices *
1 cup sesame seeds
3tbs finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 double kaffir lime leaf, finely shredded
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce
Squeeze the meat from the sausages into a bowl. Add 2 tbs of chopped coriander and the kaffir lime leaf. Mix well.
Place the sesame seeds onto a plate.
Using 2 teaspoons make little meatballs out of the chicken mixture. Drop into the sesame seeds. Roll to coat well. Repeat until all meat is used up. Place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
To make the dipping sauce combine the lime juice, remaining tablespoon of coriander and sweet chilli sauce in a small bowl.
To cook the meatballs you can either shallow fry them in a little oil, or you can do what I did and bake them in the oven. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Cover a baking tray with baking paper - spray the paper with garlic infused olive oil spray. Place the meatballs on the tray and spray them liberally with the garlic spray. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
Serve with the Chilli Lime Dipping Sauce.
Very yummy, and incredibly easy - so if you are asked to take a "plate" somewhere this is a really easy one.
* These sausage are prepacked with Lime and spices, (Peppercorn Ridge brand) but if you are unable to find them simply use plain chicken sausages and to the meat add some chilli, a little more chopped coriander and zest the rind of the lime into the mix and you will have a pretty fair approximation.
After the meatballs had gone down it was time for my salad. I made this recipe last year and remembered it to be really good - but do you think I could find the recipe. I searched high and low, even googled prawn caser salad - but still could not find it!! Eventually it turned up - and the reason I couldn't find it was that it was called Caesar Salad with a Twist - well the "twist" today was going to be my own personal modifications to the recipe.
Caesar Salad with Dukkah Prawns
Adapted from a recipe in Woolworths' Fresh Magazine August 2009
100g slivered almonds
70g sesame seeds
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Toast the almonds in a frypan over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until golden. Remove from pan and allow to cool. Add the sesame seeds and toast for 3-5 minutes, or until golden. Add the cumin and coriander and stir for approximately 1 minute, or until fragrant. Remove from the pan.
Place the almonds in a food processor and "pulse" chop until they are cut up into small pieces - do not go too far - you don't want them as small as "meal". Add the sesame seed mixture, salt and pepper, then "pulse" to combine.
Place in a shallow plate.
Now for the Salad...
800g green banana prawns, peeled and deveined, tails intact
1 cup greek style yoghurt
100g sliced prosciutto
2 x baby cos hearts, washed and torn
1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
1 cup whole egg mayonnaise
1-2 anchovy fillets, finely diced
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbs lemon juice
1 clove crushed garlic
1 1/2 tsp very finely grated parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the above ingredients in a small bowl, refrigerate until needed.
Place the prosciutto onto a paper lined plate and cook in the microwave, in 1-2 minute intervals, until the prosciutto is crisp. Allow to cool, then tear into small pieces.
Place the torn up cos leaves in a large salad bowl.
Dip each prawn into the yoghurt, then press into the dukkah mix. Place the prawns on a plate until all are coated in dukkah. You can prepare these in advance and leave in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
Heat a large frypan and approximately 1cm of canola oil in a large frypan over medium high heat. Cook the prawns several at a time in the oil for 2-3 minutes, or until the prawns are golden and cooked through. The secret here is to have sufficient oil that they are going to cook quickly - if you don't have enough the coating will start to fall off. Drain the prawns on a paper towel and continue until all prawns are cooked.
Place the cooled torn up pieces of prosciutto into the bowl with the lettuce, add enough dressing to coat the lettuce and toss to combine, add the prawns, toss lightly again, and then sprinkle the salad with the shaved parmesan cheese.
Now I can hear you asking how did we finish off this meal - with a little Mango Ice cream of course!!! I still had some of the Mango and Toffee Macadamia Ice cream in the fridge so we treated ourselves to small helping of this just to round off our pleasant evening together. (You will find the Mango Ice Cream recipe in the desserts section).
It was so pleasant to just sit and chat and enjoy a girls night in together, away from all the hustle and bustle that it out there at the moment in the lead up to Christmas.
So Dear Readers do you love to be out there in the thick of all the celebrations - or do you like to have a quite little get together at home where you can relax and let your hair down?