The Bistro delivers again

I have written before about our love for one of our all-time favourite restaurants, Bistro West and last night we had reason for a little personal celebration (which I won’t write about on here yet, but which I feel incredibly happy and relieved about) so it was the perfect excuse for our first visit in a while! Even better, the tram line extension to neighbouring Didsbury has just opened, which meant we could hop on for a quick two stop ride to get there! (Dangerously easy!)

For starters I plumped for the baked piri piri king prawns, red pepper and manchengo cheese. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with the description of baked prawns, but it was delicious! It came in a sort of mini lasagne dish with some handy bread to mop up the melty cheesy salty deliciousness. Happy.

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Rob meanwhile went for the lamb and cashew nut kofta with mini falafel. These mini falafels were actually the real stand out, so full of flavour, they were like mini taste explosions!

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For mains I knew as soon as reading the menu description I had to have the rosemary, lemon and garlic chicken kebabs. These came with a “warm Sicilian salad” of aubergine, tomatoes, olives, chorizo and baby new potatoes – five of my most favourite things! All on one plate! And  I was not disappointed, it was insanely tasty! Only problem was the massive portion, I couldn’t quite finish it!

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Rob couldn’t resist the fillet steak. This had a nice summery twist as it was served with battered courgette strips (deliciously crispy and creamy) and summer cabbage, peas and grean beans. The cream and Dijon sauce was to-die-for, and, even better, came with big chunks of mushrooms  in it which I was allowed to pick out (as my dining partner insanely claims they are ‘mould’ – missing out big time!!) Oh, and the chunky chips were damn good too – cooked to perfection (I had to eat one or two, just for check for the sake of the blog post you see).

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Dessert had to be one of the famous Bistro Trios. This time the theme was orange – orange creme brulee, orange and almond cake and, the pièce de résistance, a COINTREAU ICE CREAM. I won’t even try to convey the deliciousness of this in words but let you imagine for yourselves! Thanks to the Bistro for another stonkingly good meal on a very happy occasion 😀

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Happiness on a Friday, part 3

It’s Friday, it’s the start of a three-day weekend, the weather forecast is finally warm, with minimal rain and a generous amount of sun, I’m feeling pretty happy! I’m not gonna lie, I was fairly tempted to buy some Pimms on the way home from work, but refrained for fear of jinxing the weather!

Kicking off the weekend with a delicious Chilean sauvignon blanc and a prawn, pea, lemon and chilli risotto – delicious!! (The risotto has a good glug of wine in it too, of course)

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Tomatoey prawn curry with carrot and cumin seed salad

A fairly short and sweet post tonight as I’m feeling somewhat fragile not to mention sleepy after a little Christmas soiree we had at ours last night. (Impressive amount of gluwein, mulled cider and winter pimms empties this morning, not to mention icing sugar and mince pie crumbs EVERYWHERE). I may just follow up with a little festive post after this one in fact.

I’m a big fan of seafood in a curry, this is a really straightforward quick and tasty prawn curry.

To make this for two you will need;

  • 200g raw king prawns
  • White onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red chili (seeds left in)
  • Chunk of ginger
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp mustard  seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp malt vinegar
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped fresh coriander

For the salad

  • Peeled and grated carrots
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Good shake of cumin seeds
  • Salt & pepper
  • Pinch of sugar

Heat some oil in a pan and fry the onion. Once softened add the grated ginger and crushed garlic. Cook for a few minutes then stir in the sugar and spices for 1 minute. Splash in the vinegar and tomatoes, season with a little salt then leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Stir in the prawns , reduce heat and simmer for 7 or 8 minutes until the prawns are cooked. Sprinkle with fresh coriander to serve. Meanwhile make the salad by mixing the grated carrots with some olive oil and lemon juice, add the salt and pepper and sugar and a decent shake of cumin seeds. (In my usual style I have no actual measurements for the salad!) and Enjoy!

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Prawn, Mango and Sweet Potato Red Thai Curry

I first  found this recipe online somewhere a couple of years ago, I’m afraid I can’t remember where, and with a few wee tweaks here and there, it fast became one of my all time favourite meals. It’s spicy, but not too spicy, it’s sweet, but not too sweet, it’s tangy, but not too tangy and it’s slurpy. It’s completely moreish.

As with many of my favourite recipes, I have little habits that go with the cooking of it. For this one, I like to have the kitchen completely to myself (don’t get me wrong, the OH and I like cooking together, and, usually manage to agree on what we’re doing, but this has always been of my babies and I like to enjoy some alone time when cooking it! Also, I tend to make quite a mess when cooking this so like to spread out…) I always drink a glass of wine while making it, and I always have some feel good funky music on as I go.

This is what you’ll need;

For the paste.  (always handy to keep some in the fridge);

  • 2 shallots
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2-3 red chillis (I include the seeds as well)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Chunk of ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsps tomato puree
  • 2 tsps corriander seeds (crushed)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (crushed)
  • 1 heaped tsp paprika
  • zest and juice 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce

Whizz together in blender. Keep in a jar in the fridge.

For the curry;

  • 200g king prawns
  • 1 medium mango
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 or 4 spring onions depending on size
  • Small chunk of ginger
  • 1 and a half tbsps red thai curry paste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • sesame oil
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • 200 ml coconut milk (I use light and don’t think it impacts on the flavour at all. The bonus with using 200ml is that it leaves you with half a can of coconut milk, perfect excuse to whip up a little coconut ice cream! 🙂 )
  • 2 tsps fish sauce
  • fresh coriander to serve

Heat some sesame oil in a large wok and fry the crushed garlic and grated ginger, after a few mintues add the chopped spring onions. After another minute or two add the curry paste.

Whisk in the coconut milk, fish sauce and chicken stock and simmer for around 5 minutes. Meanwhile peel and cube the sweet potato then add to the sauce. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until tender.

Add the prawns to the pan then after a few minutes, once they’ve begun to cook through, add the peeled and chopped mango and the lime juice. Cook for another minute or two then serve with freshly chopped coriander. This always leaves quite a bit of sauce so I serve in a bowl, slurpy and yummy 🙂

You can probably tell that a) I’d had a couple of glasses of wine already and that b) I was so looking forward to eating this that I couldn’t really be bothered with nice presentation or faffing around with pictures!