My friend Luiz is a terrific cook. He is also a blogger and food writer, that is how we are friends. He runs a wonderful supper club in his house (one of the best in London and in the most beautiful space). Last year his first cookbook was published, on Nikkei cuisine called Nikkei, Japanese Food the South American Way.
I remember when I first had prawn toast from a Chinese takeaway and I was mesmerised. Just how do they make this, and how do they get the prawns to stick to the toast? Very much a guilty pleasure, I can’t actually order it as the supermarket bread used turns my guts into knots (real bread is no problem, as for most!), so I turned to my stove as I always do, and figured it out.
Have you got plans for the weekend yet? No? Right, get your pencil ready and write this list:
squid ink spaghetti (or just great pasta)
the best chorizo you can find
lots of lovely fresh clams
drinkable dry white wine (some for the pot & the rest for you)
and then make this. Do! I promise you won’t regret it.
This dish is perfect for an Autumn Saturday. It is speedy and it is so flavoursome. The chorizo gives the gorgeous briney clams a rich lightly spiced depth, the chorizo itself the colour of Autumn leaves. The squid ink noodles make it all very deep and rich (predominantly visually). It is speedy. The whole thing will be ready start to finish in 15 – 20 minutes. And you will want more, so prepare to have enough for seconds. You might even think of sharing it, with someone you like very much. Maybe.
Clams seem complicated but they are the easiest thing to cook, and the flavours are perfect, especially when you have the rumble of chorizo and the finely chopped parsley to keep it all in line. White wine helps make a gorgeous sauce with the garlic and the sea water released from the clams. And all you are doing is heating them until they cook and release the tight catch on their shells. The sauce coats the pasta beautifully and it is all so very good.
If you have never cooked with clams before do try this, and let me know how you get on with it. And don’t worry about it being fishy. This is light and briney and like getting a delicious splash of sea water on a seaside frolic.
Recipe: Spaghetti with Clams & Chorizo
200g squid ink pasta (I uses tonnarelli al nero di seppia from Rustichella d’Abruzzo) or good spaghetti or linguine will do well too
500g clams, fresh and in the shell
100g diced chorizo (fresh or cured)
A handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped very fine
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
a small glass of white wine
a little light oil or extra virgin olive oil for cooking
sea salt (if necessary)
Soak the clams for up to an hour in room temperature water to remove any grit. Rinse thoroughly and remove any open shells that don’t close again when you tap them (they are dead and not good to eat).
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions and while it is cooking heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying or sauté pan with a lid over a medium/high heat. Cook the chorizo until releasing its oils, then add the garlic and cook for a minute. Then add the clams and the wine and stir through. Allow the wine to reduce by half over a few minutes, then put the lid on and allow to cook for a few minutes until the shells have opened and the clams are cooked. Stir again. This should time nicely with the pasta being ready.
Drain the pasta when done and add to the clams with the parsley. Toss so that the pasta is covered with the lovely sauce and season with salt if necessary (it will likely be salty enough)>
I posted a lot of photos of lobster rolls when I was in Nova Scotia. Some of you were good about it, others were like: I WANT A LOBSTER ROLL, WAIL! So, it is only fair that I shared a recipe with you as soon as I returned, and here you are.
Lobster in Nova Scotia is plentiful and not expensive. A lobster roll costs less than £10 in a cafe or restaurant and is invariably packed with delicious fresh sweet meat. There are different approaches. Some are just soaked in melted butter, some are with mayo, others with creamed lobster, some have celery and pepper, some have nothing but lobster inside. They are almost always served in a bun, and usually a hot dog bun (although the hot dog buns in Eastern Canada are different to ours).
One of my favourites was one that I made with the Kilted Chef, Alain, in his kitchen at a lobster-tastic evening, also involving gorgeous lobster caesars (a caesar is a Canadian take on the bloody mary with clamato, which is tomato juice with clam juice). Alain first steamed the lobster by cooking the lobster in a lidded pot in about an inch of salted water, the salt is important as the lobster is salty too, and if the water isn’t salted much of the flavour will leave the lobster for the unsalted water.
Alain suggests not killing it first, but if you are worried put it in the freezer for a few minutes to put it to sleep (they hibernate in cold conditions). After it was steamed and had cooled down, we extracted the meat and used it for the roll. They were gorgeous. Lobster rolls are served traditionally with potato chips or potato salad, we had a lovely fresh salad with ours.
To replicate the Nova Scotian hot dog buns, cut the sides off yours before toasting.
Thanks for the recipe, Alain! Enjoy everyone!
Recipe: Old Fashioned Grilled Lobster Rolls
6 hot dog buns
75g soft butter
500g lobster meat chopped
2 tbsp mayonnaise
50g diced celery
pinch of sea salt
pinch of pepper
75g shredded iceberg lettuce, divided into 6
Butter your hot dog bun on both sides and grill them on both sides. In a bowl mix the lobster meat, mayonnaise, celery and salt pepper to taste. Open your grilled bun and place 1/6 of your iceberg lettuce in, then spoon the lobster mixture onto the
center of the hot dog bun and serve.
This post is about vongole (clams) but we must first talk about guanciale, the magical bacon that is cured from the jowl of the pig. It has a flavour that is different to all others. It is bacon, sure, but it has a volume to it, a roundness that consumes you when you eat it. It is big, it is present, and it is one of the best things that you can eat. It is traditionally Italian, and can be tricky to find here, I think because in the main we are so nervous about fat, which is ridiculous as fat is flavour, and we are built to digest it. Partially, it may be because it was traditional to eat the whole of the pigs head here, and maybe not cure it. Guanciale is perfection, eat it, just don’t have it every day.
Clams are perfect with pasta and so good with pork. There is something about the subtle brine and flavour of the sea released from each shell, the slick saline sauce that coats the pasta and compliments the sweet pork meat. The pop that is each small clam as you retrieve it as you eat.
I have made many versions of vongole (Italian for clams) with linguine or spaghetti over the years. This time I had a gorgeous plump sweet Roman tomato, so I put that in. Peeled and deseeded, which is so worth the effort, so that you just get the purity and intensity of the tomato flesh. And who wants to pull tomato skin out from between their teeth? Chilli, because I love it, and it is a perfect flavour enhancer plus it gives a vibrance to the dish. Guanciale is perfection wherever it sits, and it is brilliant here. Peter Hannon makes a terrific guanciale which is stocked at Fortnum & Mason in London, and any decent Italian deli will have it too. If you can’t get guanciale, I would suggest looking online for it, or substitute with pancetta or streaky bacon.
Recipe: Linguine Vongole with Guanciale, Tomato & Chilli
takes 30 minutes
350g fresh vongole / clams
1 gorgeous fresh tomato, peeled and deseeded (peel by cutting a cross in the base & covering with boiling water for 30 seconds, drain and peel skin)
1 mild chilli or some fruity dried chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
50g guanciale, chopped into 1 cm dice
a handful of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
a little fresh cracked black pepper
Soak the clams in water for as long as you have, up to an hour, although just 10 minutes will be ok too. Just to remove any sand that might be still in them. Then drain, discard any that are open and won’t close when you tap them (these are dead) and leave the remaining to the side.
Sauté the guanciale in its own fat for a few minutes over a medium heat, stirring as you do. Add the garlic and chilli and fry for a minute, then add the tomato.
Cook your linguine in salted water until al dente. When there is just a few minutes to go, add a ladle of the pasta water to the tomato and guanciale mix, then add the clams. Cover with a lid for a couple of minutes or until the clams open.
When the pasta has a minute or two to go, drain it and add the pasta to the clams. Stir through ensuring the linguine is well coated in the sauce.
Add the parsley, stir through, check the seasoning and add salt if necessary (with the guanciale and clams you may not need to), and finish with a little black pepper.
On a quiet street in Fornells in Menorca is an unassuming restaurant, Es Cranc. Es Cranc has a large menu, but most come here for the Caldereta de Langosta, a popular lobster soup from Menorca made with the native blue spiny lobsters which Es Cranc is particularly well regarded for.
Caldereta gets its name from the pot that it is cooked in, a caldera. Traditionally this was a fishermans dish, cooked with the broken lobsters that they had caught. Now, it is a luxury and an indulgence, cooked at home for special occasions and at specialist restaurants like Es Cranc in Fornells.
Behind a side door next to Es Cranc is a path that meanders to a room of large water baths, and these are full of spiny lobster. Spinning and weaving, large and small, these lobsters are mostly destined for the caldereta, some will be served simply grilled on their own. This is where the fishermen deliver their catch, for Es Cranc that is 5 different day boats that go out up to 7 miles out to sea. .
Es Cranc was full on the Sunday that I went for lunch. Jovial large tables with extended families, all there for the caldereta. The soup has a base of tomato, onions and green pepper, and is light and fruity, with lovely lobster cooked just so inside, still sweet and tender. It is served on top of thin sun dried slices of bread, like crackers. A bib is provided – and you need it. We had some lovely local white wine on the side.
The langosta lobsters can only be fished between March and August, so pencil it in your diary for then. Alternatively, you can recreate it at home. One of my favourite food writers Claudia Roden has a lovely recipe for caldereta from her superb book The Food of Spain. She serves it with a picada of almonds, garlic and parsley. Here it is for your Sunday lunch pleasure. Lets let the sunshine in, even if it doesn’t want to be here!
Notes on the recipe: As above, this recipe is adapted from Claudia’s Caldereta de Langosta in The Food of Spain. Claudia includes monkfish and fennel which I have omitted (including extra lobster instead) so that it is closer to the one that I had. Buy your lobsters just before you need them and have your fishmonger kill and chop them for you into chunks just over an inch. The sun refuses to play frequently enough for us to sun dry the bread, and even though it is considered a cheat in Menorca to roast it, if they were here, they would have to too! :)
Recipe: Caldereta de Langosta
For the caldereta
3 x 700g raw live lobsters (as your butcher to prepare them as per the notes above)
1 large onion, chopped
1 green or red bell pepper,cored, seeded, and chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
350g tomatoes (4 to 5),peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 litre fish stock
125ml brandy or cognac
salt and pepper
For the picada
12 blanched almonds
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
handful of flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
4 tbsp brandy or cognac
One good baguette, sliced into narrow slices and toasted or roasted in a medium hot oven until crisp
Fry the onion and the pepper in the oil in a large pot (I used my shallow casserole which was the closest I had to a caldera) over a low heat until very soft. Add the tomatoes and sugar and cook until the sauce is reduced and jammy. Blend until well combined (in the pan with a hand blender or a food processor – whatever you have, you can mash coarsely if you have neither).
Meanwhile, for the picada: Fry the almonds and garlic in the oil in a small skillet over low heat for moments only, turning them once, until they are golden. Pound them to a paste with the parsley in a mortar, or blend them to a paste, and add the brandy.
Add the fish stock and brandy to the tomato mixture and season with salt and pepper. Add the lobster, and bring to the boil. Boil for five minutes and stir the picada into the lobster soup. When the lobster shells are bright red and the meat is firm the soup is done, this will take only a few more minutes at most. Take care not to overcook it, lobster is best when tender.
Serve immediately in bowls with the bread and savour your work. A crisp white wine or rosé perfect this. Aim for a Menorcan or Spanish one :)
I travelled to Menorca as part of a project between iAmbassador and Visit Menorca, who sponsored this project. As always, I’m free to write what I like and I do! Life is short etc. :)
Making Heinz Beck’s Green Tortellini with Fruitti di Mare
So, you have just been out foraging for clams with a 3* chef. You have fallen over on the boat (just a few scratches), and you have a wicker basket full of clams. What do you do next? Head to the kitchen, of course.
Getting a chance to cook with Heinz Beck in his kitchen at Gusto at The Conrad, Algarve was a treat. He is (obviously) talented, but he is also very thoughtful, helpful and open to food writers blundering around his kitchen. We cooked 2 dishes, Bacalhau with Herbs, Pepper sauce and Fennel and Green Tortellini con Frutti di Mare, both flavourful, light and healthy, and just what my body is screeching for at the moment. I am on a bit of a fresh pasta kick – you will have noticed – so I will share the pasta recipe with you now. It seems complex, but it is all achievable, and it is a perfect lunch for friends. Just give it time, perhaps get your friends to pitch in as you do it.
Ps. – passionate pastanistas out there, there are only 2 places left for my full day pasta cooking class on Saturday 18th October. There are still places for the later dates, but they are filling up.
RECIPE: Green Tortellini con Frutti di Mare
adapted from Heinz Beck
It is hot. It is muggy. I know we aren’t supposed to complain, but hey, I have no air con and I work from home. I do love the bright light and long evenings, and firing up the BBQ, though. For the first time in 12 / 13 years in London, I have a little garden (same one as last year, but I am still rejoicing in it).
Summer has been busy, in a good way. I have had work related travel, travel related work, and lots of recipe development to get on with. Project Bacon is nearly there. I had forgotten how traumatic writing a book can be, or I thought that the second would be easier. Right now, I am the bottleneck and I have to finish it and let it go. I have a fabulous team who are waiting for me too, and have other projects that they are juggling.
Project: Bacon means a lot to me. It is a very personal project that will be a limited edition, firstly. So, it is special. There will be a digital one but right now the only hardback versions are available for pre-orders only (I need to get Shopstarter to change the date but you can still order there, if you want to). I love cooking, especially for friends and I want this book to inspire you to do the same. I want it to be different, brilliant and fun and I want it to send you rushing to your kitchens. I aspire for your faces to be joyful when you taste the results, and for you to want to share everything. Bacon is the ultimate seasoning, and while amazing on its own, it really brings some cakes, drinks and sweets to life too. It also contains a whole selection of bacon condiments, which are fun and utter flavour bombs too.
We don’t eat enough fish. We really don’t. I don’t know why, for islanders, we have such an aversion to it and why it is so difficult to source good fresh fish.
Of course, there are great fishmongers and we need to support them. Fish is so good for us, healthy and quick too cook too. It’s an ethical minefield but your fishmonger will advise what is good to eat. Ethical fish is often inexpensive too, there’s a lot of fish which we usually don’t eat – and therefore over fish – that tastes great too.
Now, you hear scallops and you probably think ‘eeeek, they’re so expensive!’ And they are. Especially if you buy the ones that don’t harm the sea floor and taste better – and please do buy hand-dived scallops from your fishmonger if you can. However, there are ways of serving a scallop dish where it becomes a bit of a bargain. And that is to serve them with other ingredients that suit and also bring down the cost of the over all dish.
This dish is a perfect starter or grazing snack if you have friends round. One large scallop will do per person, and will feel so luxurious that everyone will be happy. Serve with a crisp white wine on cold winter night and remember summer while you toast your toes in front of the fire. Of course you can also serve it as a main or just make a lot for yourself.
Chorizo is a dream with scallops. It’s bolshy big, strong and is a perfect partner with the more delicate scallop, and in small amounts it doesn’t overwhelm. The sweetness and delicacy of the humble pea – and frozen is fine – pitches in perfectly, and some fresh mint livens it all up. Some onion serves as a gentle base adding some further sweetness.
This takes 15 minutes – honestly – and rewards you with flavour in spades. If you want to be a bit more luxurious, add some cream, although it is perfectly nice and fresh without it.
Recipe on iVillage: A little Indulgence with chorizo, smashed pea, mint & scallops | iVillage UK
Crab claws are very common on restaurant menus by the sea in Ireland, but I rarely see them here. Perhaps this is because I don’t spend enough time by the sea here (I don’t), or perhaps we just love them more in Ireland. Either way I bet many of you don’t cook them much at home? I don’t either. I don’t know why that is.
At the market at the weekend, the fish stall had 1 kg of crab claws just sitting there, and I thought, oooh, I bet they would be lovely in a wild garlic butter sauce! They were, they were really good, but not just because of the wild garlic but also because of the robust smokey and warm undertones provided by some chipotle that I had brought back from the US with me on my recent trip there (you can get it very easily online here too).
They look like a lot of work, both to cook and to eat, and they are a little bit for both. I had to prep them a little bit to get rid of random broken bits of claw stuck on the end, but it took minutes and wasn’t too gruesome. To eat, you can suck the meat out or tease it out with a fork, I prefer to smash it with my crab claw pincer things. A nutcracker would do the job very well too.
If you can’t deal with the crab claws, and it’s ok if that’s the case, I think this sauce would be terrific with scallops and prawns too.
Crab Claws with Wild Garlic & Chipotle
Serves 2 as a starter or more to graze
600g crab claws, raw
2 tbsp chopped wild garlic
1 tbsp chipotle, roughly chopped
100 ml white wine
Reduce the white wine by about a third in a hot shallow pan.
Add the butter, the wild garlic and the chipotle.
When the butter has melted add the crab claws and cook for 6 – 8 minutes over a medium heat until cooked through.
Season to taste.
Serve warm with good sliced bread to mop up the delicious sauce.
Brainchild of Dan of Food Urchin and wild garlic distribution fame, where’s my pork chop is a side project, born out of frustration from reading our collective tweets about our dinners, while poor Dan is stuck at work, working late shifts and watching hungrily from the sidelines.
He came up with a solution, and asked if we’d be willing to offer him our leftovers and he’d give us something in return. I thought it sounded great and was only delighted to take part, and that’s how I found myself at Oxford Circus one lunch time, cradling leftover prawn curry. That’s also how I got my free tickets to Taste of London, I’ll blog about that another time. Thanks Dan!
Why prawn curry? It’s one of my favourite dishes, homely and comforting, fruity and fragrant. Light and perfect for summer, with a fruity tomato base, and creamy cocnut overlay, it seemed a good fit for a man stranded in an office, watching life go by on the internet as he slogged away, all the while analysing dinner tweets.
The truth is, I had wanted to make him chickpea & chorizo stew but Dan of Essex Eating beat me to it. I hadn’t made prawn curry in months, so it was due, and I was quite looking forward to indulging myself also.
I had a few hurdles to cross. Firstly, it was a gorgeous day in London, so after work I met a friend for a glass of wine on the South Bank, which quickly became half a bottle. Oooops. Then I had to go buy prawns, they needed to be as fresh as possible, as they needed to survive two rounds of cooking and still be edible. Having sourced them, I trekked home and put my key in my front door at 10pm. Late. Crap.
Like I said, it had been a long time since I had made these and I was soon to find out how long, as my spices had lost their ooomph. Crap. I was very disappointed. Normally this curry is fragrant and bright, my dull spices would not make this dish sing. However, it was late, and I had no time to buy new spices or line up and alternative so I persevered.
11pm and my curry was done, and having packaged Dan’s portion for the next evening, I sat down in front of Sex & the City and indulged. It was nice, but the spices were dull on the palate and that was a shame. Never mind. Dan enjoyed it and that makes me happy. You can read about it here.
If you’re interested in making it (and I recommend that you do, but with fresh spices), the recipe is here – Prawn Curry.
I adore light summer pastas, so I thought that I would do a little series, starting with one of my favourites, crab linguine. Crab is a wonderful delicate meat. Light and fluffy and tasting of the sea. One of my favourite restaurant dishes ever, was a River Cafe starter of crab on toast with a light salad. It was so simple and gorgeous, with stunning fresh ingredients.
Growing up in Ireland, I thought that eating crabs was plain insane. Our elderly neighbour used to catch enormous ones in a bucket at a rocky beach near our house and boiled them up for her alsatian dog. I envy that dog now but at the time I felt it was an act of cruelty. I was also terrified that she would come near me with her bucket of living sideways walking friends. I was afraid of crabs, and really anything living in the sea, I remember standing on an isolated rock shrieking with horror as the crabs ascended. I thought that they would eat me. They didn’t but that’s another story.
You don’t need to go to such enormous lengths for this dish. You can buy perfectly good fresh crabmeat already prepared for you. It seems expensive at roughly £5 for a small tub, but this goes a long way, especially in this dish. If you can, it’s better to get a fresh live crab, then you have the benefit of it’s gorgeous fluffiness and the deeply savoury brown meat. I had mine delivered along with an Abel and Cole veg box, they now do lots of other things, and one of these things is fresh Cornish crab meat, which was delivered very cold surrounded by ice gel packs. Very handy for a busy girl like me. Which brings me back to the recipe, which is also very handy for a busy girl like me, as it’s super quick and tasty. This made enough for three, add more crab meat if you’ve got it.
the very best unwaxed lemon you can find
flat leaf parsley, a handful, chopped
White crab meat (100g)
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
nice fruity extra virgin olive oil
Cook your linguine according to packet instructions so that it’s just shy of al dente (it will cook a little when you add it to the crab).
Heat about 2 tablespoons of the oil, add the chilli and stir for about 30 seconds.
Add the crab and stir until it’s nice and hot.
Add the linguine to the crab and chilli, and stir through, ensuring that the pasta is nicely coated, drizzle with some more oil if it’s dry. Add fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste, and some lemon zest with the parsley. Season with fresh ground S&P. Stir through and serve immediately.
It’s a keeper, I think!
Add the cooked linguine
My sister and her fiancée were visiting this past weekend and we wanted to do something nice. We ended up being extremely decadent indeed, starting in the morning at Ladurée in Harrod’s, moving onto the Oyster & Champagne Bar in Selfridge’s for smoked salmon and champagne and finishing with a beautiful Japanese meal in Sushi-Say in Willesden. It was more decadent than I have ever been in my life, I really must make more of a habit of these little treats. Occasionally, of course ;)
I am going to talk about Sushi-Say in it’s own post later as it deservss it’s own space and I have a few pictures of the beautiful food to share. I only had macarons in Ladurée and I’ve done that before so we’ll get back to that at another time. For now, I want to talk about the smoked salmon in Selfridge’s.
I have passed by the Oyster and Champagne bar in the Selfridge’s Food Hall countless times but it never appealed to me, it seems quite clinical thrown to the side of the cheese counter and, I’ve always thought that if I am going to be decadent it would be nicer to do it in better surroundings. My visitors really wanted to try some Oysters, however, and we were going to Selfridge’s anyway so it seemed like a good option for a quick stop. So, in we went and perused the menu. The smoked salmon looked great so we got that and some blue prawn salad. Also, some oysters, although I didn’t have any.
The smoked salmon was from Frank Hederman’s Belvelly Smokehouse
in Cobh, Cork (Ireland). I have heard about his smoked eel, it’s supposed to be beautiful and as there was no eel I had to have some of the salmon. It has got great credentials, they’re affiliated with the Slow Food Movement in Ireland, have been featured in the NY Times, Bridgestone Guides, Rick Stein’s Food Heroes and they supply Rick Stein & Ballymaloe among others.
Laksa is food for the soul. It’s delicious – spicy and fragrant and packed full of goodness. I always feel so good after eating it! It’s messy, it’s true, but I think that adds to the value. Although, I did have to suffer through an afternoon at work recently with laksa all over my top having treated myself to one for lunch. My lunch partner, who shall remain nameless, was also drenched in laksa. I think we pulled it off. Looked like it should have been there! Erm, maybe not.
There are several types of laksa originating from Malaysia and Singapore. It’s essentially a spicy noodle soup, usually containing seafood, sometimes chicken. It’s hugely popular in Sydney which is where I came across it. There are many types, the ones I normally make (and haven’t blogged yet) are penang & singapore laksas – I’ll blog these soon. This one is a little different, fruity with the addition of tomatoes with a lovely sourness provided by the tamarind.
Laksa recipes seem fiddly and time consuming but they’re really worth it and not all that bad. The laksa spice pastes that are available in oriental shops are never the same as a homemade paste. I usually make double the amount so that I can make two meals from that one effort.
Enjoy and let me know how it works out for you. I am curious!
You’ve probably noticed that I like prawns. Alot. I would say that we have them at least weekly if not twice a week. They’re so tasty and so quick to cook and are perfect for something speedy and healthy after work. I also love Indian food so a prawn curry is a real treat. Some people don’t like to make curries from scratch because they think that working with the spices is an ordeal, but all you need to do is bung all of the spices in a pestle and mortar and grind them before adding them to the pot. It couldn’t be easier.
This recipe is based on one that I found online – Caril de tomato, a goan prawn, tomato and coconut curry. I have adapted it to my taste and to suit the ingredients available to me. It’s an old favourite and requires about an hour in total for prep and cooking and once you’ve sorted out your spices it’s relatively painless. I buy my prawns with their shells removed and deveined to save time and effort.
I am calling this a tapa but, in truth, I didn’t have something like this in Spain. But, Spain inspired me to make it. And, I am using cava. Can I get away with that? It seems like something you would get in Spain, perhaps with less chilli? Anyway, here it is.
I love prawns. We eat them really often, preferably from raw. I don’t like buying the precooked ones – they’re too tough and overcooked. I can be quite lazy and frequently buy the ones that are uncooked but have been deshelled & deveined for you to save time. We usually have them in a curry or in pasta with the occasional breakout to piri piri or a fish pie. This time they’re cooked briefly in cava with chilli, garlic & parsley and served on toast.