Prawn Gyoza 

​​​Gyoza are without a doubt my favourite guilty pleasure. I could gobble up so many of these little parcels of heaven! Folded similarly to a Cornish Pasty, they are pretty far away from the holy food of my motherland except for the way they hold an equally delicious filling.

I first tried these traditional Japanese dumplings in Borough Market in London and they were so good I rarely swayed from the stall regardless of the other amazing temptations on offer. I even made them my last lunch in the UK before flying to Sydney and had to queue 30 minutes for the pleasure…clearly word has got out!

They’re a little bit fiddly to fold but apart from that, Gyoza are easier than they look so make for an impressive starter for your next dinner party or for your own pleasure. They are gooey, they are sticky and they are oh so flavoursome. So here’s The Cornish Cook’s Prawn Gyoza Recipe.

To make 10 Prawn Gyoza you will need:

10 cooked and peeled King Prawns | 1 thumb of Ginger peeled and grated | 2 Spring Onions | 2 tbsps of Soy Sauce | 1 clove of Garlic crushed | a pinch of chopped Coriander stalks and leaves | 1 tbsp of Seasame Oil | 10 Wonton Wrappers | 1/2 Pint Chicken Stock | 1 tbsp Olive Oil | 1 tbsp Lime Juice | 1/2 a Red Chilli | a pinch of Seseame Seeds (or crushed peanuts)

Mix together your prawns, ginger, whites of your spring onions finely diced, 1 tbsp soy sauce, seseame oil, garlic and coriander in a small bowl.

If you have square wonton wrappers, cut the corners to make them more round. In Sydney these are readily available in supermarkets and Asian stores but if you can’t find them where you are, follow my wonton wrappers recipe. 

 1 egg beaten | 1/3 cup water | 2 cups plain flour | Pinch of salt

Mix together, knead on a lightly floured surface until elastic, cut into equal pieces and roll into small balls. Cover for at least 10 minutes then roll out into small circles.

Hold each circle flat in one had (one at a time) then wet (with water) around the outside edge of half the circle with your finger. Add a heaped teaspoon of the prawn mixture to the centre of your wonton wrapper. 

To fold, hold one end of the wonton with your index finger separating the sides and holding steady with your thumb and middle finger, the rest should be balanced on your remaining fingers. Gently fold a small indent in the undedampened side and pinch against the moistened side. Continue this process down the full side of the dumpling then pinch along the whole edge to reinforce and ensure the filling doesn’t escape when cooking.

Once you’ve folded all 10 dumplings, heat your stock with the olive oil in a large frying pan with a lid until simmering. Place your dumplings into the stock carefully (use tongs if you’re nervous about getting burnt). Close the lid and leave to steam for 5 minutes shaking the pan occasionally.

Then take the lid off and fry until all the liquid has evaporated and the bottoms of the Gyoza are crispy and golden.

Transfer the Gyoza from the pan to your plates. Mix the remaining soy sauce and lime juice together and drizzle over the top of your Gyoza with a teaspoon. Finish with your seseame seeds/crushed peanuts, shredded green tops of your spring onions and slices of fresh red chilli. As the chilli fiend I am, I also sprinkle with some dried chillies.

Enjoy!

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas were most likely the first dish I ever cooked as a child. I’ve perfected the recipe over the years and it’s one of the dishes that friends will actively request when they’re coming over for dinner! There was one time that I made my friends cry because they were so spicy so don’t be like me and go easy on the chilli!

Fajitas are seriously quick and easy to rustle up and are definitely one of my own personal favourite meals so I’m always happy to prepare them upon request. Fajitas are really fun for an informal dinner party just so long as you have plenty of napkins or paper towels to wipe up your inevitable messy face and hands (and everything else, let’s face it!) Serve up after a few tasty nachos to get you started and wash down with some freshly mixed Margaritas!

Get ready for an awesome Mexican themed night with The Cornish Cook’s Chicken Fajitas!

To serve 4 party guests you will need:

2 Peppers (mix up the colours) | 1 Red Onion | 2 Chicken Breasts | 8 Large Tortillas (or 12 small) | Fajita Spices (or a blend of paprika, cumin and dried chilli flakes) | Guacamole | Salsa (or 2 large salad tomatoes) | 200ml Tub of Sour Cream (or yogurt/creme fraiche if that’s what you have in your fridge) | Bunch of Coriander | Olive Oil | Tequila (optional)

Start by slicing the peppers into long thin strips and stir fry on a high heat in a large frying pan, griddle pan or wok. Peel the onion and slice in half then thinly slice against the rings so that the layers will fall apart when you fry them. Add your onion to the pan and turn your heat right down. Keep stirring occasionally in between preparing your other ingredients.

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Chop your chicken (or beef steak if you prefer) into equal sized pieces that are also long and thin. Cover your meat in the fajita spices (or blend of a tea spoon each of the individual spices) then when the onions are almost translucent, turn up the heat and add it to the pan. Stir fry until your chicken (or beef) is cooked. At this stage I like to slosh in some tequila and try my best to flambé it but if this is something you’re not comfortable doing, hold the tequila (or have an even better time eating Fajitas with the extra alcohol!) Turn the heat off then add some chopped coriander and the juice of a lime to finish. If you’re going down the fresh tomato route rather than homemade salsa (or shop bought, I’ll let you off this once), dice these and stir in to the fajita mix to warm through a little.

My family have always had sizzle pans which are awesome for keeping your food hot on the table and portioning off so your siblings don’t take more than their fair share! If you have these available, pre-heat them, oil them up and add the hot fajita mix to them and hear it sizzle as you risk your life taking them to the table! Since I flew away from the nest, I haven’t had such luxury, so I just keep the fajita mix in the pan on the table (make sure you put it on a heat proof mat, I’d hate to see you burn a hole in your table!)

Serve your fajitas with homemade Guacamole, salsa (if you skipped the fresh tomato stage) and sour cream. If you have plain natural yogurt or creme fraiche in the fridge, you can substitute this for the sour cream. I always try to use what I already have available so that I don’t need to buy so many ingredients at the supermarket. Warm your tortillas in the microwave for 30 secs (I like to fan them out around a plate so they don’t stick together) or in the oven wrapped in some foil for a few minutes until warm but still soft.

So that’s all the cooking out of the way, now it’s time for you and your friends to assemble to your liking at the table. If you have the big tortillas, the best way to fill them is to add the mixture to the middle in the top half. Fold the bottom up first, before folding in the sides. This helps catch all the tasty juices in the bottom of the tortilla rather than on your lap! As for the sauces, there are some different methods in my household. My Mum will always spread the sauces on first to cover the whole tortilla evenly, while I will dollop them on top before folding. You’ll have to let me know where your alliances go! With the small tortillas, eat the fajitas like a taco as shown below but be prepared to get seriously messy! Either way, remember the mantra “less is more” with the fajita mixture. All of us have got a bit carried away with the first fajita’s filling in all the excitement. You soon learn from this mistake when your tortilla rips and you have to hang your head in shame while you head for the cutlery drawer…


Enjoy!

Huevos Rancheros

It was only fitting that my first post be what I cooked up tonight for dinner. It’s a recipe that says a lot about my style of cooking and the food I love to create…and eat!

How this recipe came about says even more about me. I was sat on a train, doing my usual commute home from work, scrolling through Instagram (as I’m sure you all do too) when I came across an image of something very similar to this. My belly rumbled more on this image than any other before it, so that was it, that was what I was cooking for my dinner. I took a look at a few recipes of Huevos Rancheros whilst on the train, wrote down a quick list of ingredients I needed from the supermarket and started to taste it already.

Huevos Rancheros is a popular breakfast dish in Mexico. It literally means Ranchers eggs, so you’re likely to see it served up in Mexican farms, when they’re not eating Cornish Pasties I’ve heard! I’m living in Sydney at the moment, so the insta post was probably intended for someone just waking up in the UK. But hey, who says you can’t enjoy brunch food whenever it tickles your fancy!

So here it is, The Cornish Cook’s take on Huevos Rancheros. Very tasty if I do say so myself…

Per person you will need:

Soft Tortillas (2 small as shown or 1 large) | 1 egg | Can of Black Beans | Guacamole | Chilli Flakes | Cumin | Olive Oil | A quarter of a red onion | Bunch of corriander | Fresh red chilli to taste | Salsa | Feta cheese | Half a lime

Dice the red onion and fry gently in some olive oil until translucent. Add a pinch of the chilli flakes and cumin and fry for about a minute until you can really smell the spices. You could use a small amount of a fajita seasoning sachet if you prefer. Add the can of black beans and simmer for about 10 minutes until all the liquid is gone. If the black beans are the text mex kind in a tasty sauce then chuck them in, sauce and all. If the beans are stored in brine, drain them and rinse them before adding them to the onions and add about 100ml of water to replicate the sauce.

Put the black bean mixture to one side and whip up some homemade Guacamole and Salsa. Feel free to substitute shop bought Guacamole and Salsa for a little time saver but I personally think it’s worth the extra effort both for your health and for your tastebuds! If you’re only cooking for one (like me), then there will be enough black beans for 2 portions. These can be frozen as required. Just give them a blast in the microwave or heat in a pan whenever you have a hankering for Huevos Rancheros or use them in a other Mexican favourites such as Burritos.

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In a hot dry pan, toast your tortillas for about a minute on both sides. You can do this ahead of time and keep them warm in a pre-heated oven until you are ready to plate up. It’s probably best to do this if you seem to be feeding an army or are not so hot at multi-tasking.

Fry your eggs gently in some olive oil to your liking. I like to keep my yolk nice and runny but if a hard yolk is your ‘cup of tea’ then keep it in the pan for a bit longer. I like to season my egg while it’s frying with some salt and pepper. I’ve recently discovered jalapeno salt which is perfect for this recipe, check it out. To get a perfect egg (in my opinion) I pour some of the hot oil onto the yolk of the egg whilst it’s cooking so that the top get’s some of the heat needed for an evenly cooked egg.

Now it’s time to plate up.

Pop your toasted tortillas onto your plate and top with the black bean mixture, Guacamole and salsa. Add your fried egg on top and sprinkle some freshly chopped chilli (if you love chilli as much as I do) and some coriander and crumbed feta cheese on top. Then for an extra zing, squeeze some lime over the lot.

Make lots of mmmmm noises as you devour the lot and dream of Mexico!

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