Easy Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Bake

This recipe is inspired by the flavours of an amazing seafood boil I had when I visited Seattle. It was such a fun eating experience (you know it’s going to be fun when you’re offered a plastic bib before the food has come out). The table was covered in paper (to soak up the mess) and an array of deliciously spiced seafood was placed in the middle. Knives and forks and other table etiquette were out the window for this meal as we dug into the shelled crab, lobster and shrimps with our hands.

Seafood boil consists of an array of shelled fish (typically lobster, crab and prawns), andouille sausage, corn and potatoes boiled in a seasoned broth and further flavoured with butter. This is a simple three step recipe that produces the authentic flavour of a seafood boil using prawns.

Easy Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Recipe

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 g raw king prawns shelled and deveined
  • 250 g smoked pork sausage
  • 500 g peeled potatoes cut into chunks
  • 2 cobs of corn (each one cut into eighths)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 0.5 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 0.5 tsp black pepper
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 0.5 tsp mustard powder
  • 0.25 tsp oregano
  • 0.25 tsp crushed pepper flakes
  • a pinch ground allspice (pimento)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tbsp butter melted

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C fan (220 °C conventional).
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a roasting tin and mix well.
  3. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes until the corn and potatoes are tender and the prawns are pink.

NOTES

  • For the sausage I used Matessons Original Smoked Pork sausage as I was unable to find andouille here in the UK.
  • To prepare the corn cut each cob into quarters and then cut each quarter in half along the cob.
  • Serve with salad and freshly baked baguette.

Crispy Garlic Prawns

This is a super simple recipe for Chinese style prawns in a sweet and tangy garlic sauce. It can be made in minutes – the prawns are first fried up in a light batter before being coated the garlic sauce. I normally make this with the intention of being main dish for dinner, but the prawns are so delicious that we keep dipping in for a taste and before we know it there’s not enough for a meal. So this may be better categorised as a starter.

Crispy Garlic Prawns Recipe

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 g raw peeled king prawns
  • 3 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp room temperature water
  • 2 tsp reduced salt soy sauce
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

for the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 5 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 0.5 tsp finely ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Prepare the prawns by scoring along the outside of each prawn. This will cause the prawns to splay out when cooked and adds to the crispness.
  2. Mix the batter ingredients (cornflour, water, soy sauce, egg yolk and sesame oil) together and stir in the prawns.
  3. Shallow fry the prawns in vegetable oil on a high heat in a deep frying pan until they are pink. Do this in three to four batches. It should take the prawns around 4 minutes on each side to cook.
  4. Drain the prawns on a plate lined with two sheets of kitchen roll. Remove excess oil from the frying pan and wipe down.
  5. Mix the sauce ingredients (honey, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, black pepper) together and add to the frying pan on a medium heat for around 2 minutes. Pour in the prawns and stir them through the sauce for a further 2 minutes.

NOTES

  • Serve with steamed basmati or jasmine rice, or over noodles.
  • If you’re a spice lover try adding a teaspoon of crushed dried chilli flakes to the sauce.
  • Toasted sesame seeds also make a perfect garnish for this dish.

Saltfish Fritters

Saltfish fritters are a popular snack across the Caribbean, but growing up in the UK I’ve been more accustomed to having them at West Indian parties. They consist of dried salted white fish (usually cod) mixed up in a batter with onion and spices. They are normally shallow fried until brown and crispy on the outside and slightly soft in the centre. The salted fish gives it a unique flavour and texture. Although they are common to many of the Caribbean islands they go by different names. In Jamaica they are known colloquially as “stamp and go”, and in Barbados they take the moniker “Bajan bakes“, whereas in Dominica they are called “accra”. It is thought that they originate as an adaptation of the Ghanaian black eyed peas fritters known as akara or accara. Whatever you call them I’m sure you’ll agree on how deliciously more-ish they are.

Salfish Fritters Recipe

Makes: Around 20 fritters

Preparation Time: 12 hours

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 360 g dried saltfish
  • 130 g plain flour
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp scotch bonnet pepper sauce
  • 0.5 tsp all purpose seasoning
  • 0.5 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion stalk finely chopped
  • 120 ml water
  • 60 ml vegetable oil for shallow frying

METHOD

  1. Rinse the dried saltfish under the cold water tap and place in a large bowl. Fill the bowl to the top with cold water. Cover with clingfilm and leave to soak overnight.
  2. Drain water then place the fish in a pan, fill with cold water. On a high heat bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the water and when cool break the fish into small chunks.
  4. In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients apart from the oil (saltfish, flour, thyme, pepper sauce, all purpose seasoning, onion, spring onion and water) to form a thick batter.
  5. Put the oil in a deep frying pan and heat over a medium heat.
  6. Use one tablespoon to scoop the batter from the bowl and another tablespoon to push the batter gently into the hot oil. Fry the fish fritters for around 5 minutes each side until golden brown.
  7. Drain well on kitchen roll before serving.

NOTES

  • Serve with a sweet chilli dipping sauce.

Oven Baked Crispy Chicken Wings

This is my slightly healthier version of fried chicken wings, ideal for when you fancy fried chicken but don’t want to go through the faff and mess that comes with frying (using and then having to find a way of discarding lots of oil, and oil splatters on your hob and splash back etc). These seasoned chicken wings are tender and juicy on the inside, but nice and crisp on the outside.


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Oven Baked Crispy Chicken Wings Recipe

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 5 mins
Baking Time: 50 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg chicken wings cut at joints
  • 40 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp butter

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 °C fan (or 220 °C conventional).
  2. Use kitchen roll to pat the chicken wings dry and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour and all the dry seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne powder, paprika, mustard powder, salt and pepper).
  4. Add the chicken wings to the seasoning and mix well.
  5. Add the butter to a roasting tin and put into the oven until the butter has melted (approximately 2-3 minutes).
  6. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and use tongs to carefully add the wings to the hot butter. Turn each wing in the butter to ensure it is coated well.
  7. Ensure the wings are evenly spread on the baking tray and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 mins.
  8. Turn the wings and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

NOTES

  • These wings are great as a starter and perfect as a finger food for parties.
  • Serve with barbecue sauce, buffalo sauce or sweet chilli dip.