Flash Cooking

Fit fast flavours for busy people

Flash Cooking is about making the ordinary extraordinary in a flash. Bringing together great ingredients that literally flash in the pan, Flash Cooking is about fast, healthy, easyto- prepare, nutritious, flavour-packed meals that look great, taste extraordinary and promote well being. Laura Santtini’s collection of brilliant ideas and recipes is not just about cooking, but a way of life. Through this cookbook her mission is for us all to live a healthful lifestyle and be the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be. This she believes is the route to living a healthful and happy life and is just the ticket after a few weeks of indulgence!

Lemon Pesto Scallops

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 6-8 king scallops or 200g smaller scallops
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Splash of white wine
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon and a squeeze of juice, plus lemon wedges to serve
  • 145g fresh green pesto (the type found in the chilled section, not jars) or see below

Method

  1. Heat a dash of oil in a wok until quite hot, then add the garlic and scallops with a good grinding of black pepper.
  2. When sizzling, splash with the white wine and scatter over the lemon zest. Then toss until the garlic begins to colour and scallops are opaque.
  3. When the scallops are just firm but not overcooked, remove from the heat and stir in the pesto with a squeeze of lemon juice.
  4. Serve immediately.

Classic Pesto Recipe For Those Who Can Be Bothered

A more delicate and perhaps more ‘naïve’ pesto can be achieved by leaving out the cheese and pine nuts. For red pesto, replace the basil with 2 handfuls of sun-dried tomatoes (and a sprinkling of chilli flakes if you like).

Ingredients

  • 2 large handfuls of basil leaves
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 30g grated pecorino cheese
  • 30g grated Parmesan cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Place the basil leaves in a mortar with the garlic, pine nuts and a pinch of salt. Crush the ingredients to release their flavours, taking care not to be rough, as this will spoil the texture.
  2. Add the cheeses and pour in a fine steady stream of olive oil, stirring until you reach your chosen consistency. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.

International Jerk Prawn

I like to chop my own fruit when I am not in a hurry and I buy the small pineapples and serve my international jerk prawn on his own pineapple yacht.

Ingredients

  • Glug of olive oil
  • 1/2-1 tsp jerk seasoning (depending on how hot you like it!)
  • 400g peeled rawking prawn tails
  • 200g mixed chopped mango and pineapple (you can use supermarket ready-cut, but cut into bitesized pieces)
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • Salt
  • Knob of butter
  • Handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 red chilli, sliced and deseeded
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick wok. Add the jerk seasoning and fry for a couple of seconds. Add the prawns and toss them until coated in the jerk seasoning and almost cooked.
  2. Add the fruit and season with salt to taste. When the fruit begins to soften, add the butter and stir-fry until the banana almost disappears into the sauce and the remaining fruit is hot right through.
  3. Just before serving, check and adjust the seasoning, then add the coriander, chilli and a squeeze of lime juice.

Preserved Lemon and Cumin Chicken Cakes

This recipe can also be made with 500g firm white fish, such as monkfish. As an accompaniment, try making a dipping sauce with 2 tablespoons of Chinese rice vinegar, a drop of runny honey, a couple of drops of nampla fish sauce, a squeeze of lime juice and some shredded fresh ginger matchsticks.

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 small preserved lemon (about the size of a ping-pong ball)
  • 1/2 tbsp harissa paste or powder (rose or ordinary)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A little olive oil for brushing (optional)
  • ..to serve Lettuce leaves (ideally radicchio or baby gem)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C)/350°F/gasmark 4.
  2. Put all ingredients except the oil in a food processor and blend to a paste. To check for seasoning, I fry a little of the mixture to taste and see if it needs more salt, as it isn’t advisable to eat raw chicken. Shape into small patties.
  3. Place on a non-stick or lightly oiled baking tray and cook in the preheated oven for 15-20minutes, until golden on the outside and cooked through.
  4. Serve on crisp lettuce

Baby Gem & Fennel Salad with Prawns & Mint

This is one of my favourite salads and often I eat it without the prawns, as it makes a wonderful accompaniment to any Flash dish. For those of you who don’t mind the breath, it is wonderful with a scattering of chopped spring onion.
Ingredients

  • 4 Baby Gem lettuce hearts
  • 2 heads of fennel
  • 300g cooked king prawns
  • 1 large bunch of mint, roughly chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground Black pepper

Method

  1. Cut the lettuce hearts into quarters lengthways, then quarter the fennel bulb and cut into crunchy slices. Put them in a salad bowl.
  2. Add the prawns and mint, and dress with the oil, lemon juice and season to taste.

Sumac-roasted Tomatoes

I love these with thin slices of pecorino or feta cheese accompanied by a simple salad of Baby Gem lettuce leaves with an olive oil and lemon juice dressing.

Ingredients

  • 6 ripe tomatoes, preferably ‘on-the-vine’
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Light sprinkling of molasses sugar
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (fan 140°C)/300°F/gas mark 2.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half and place on a baking tray. Season with salt and pepper, and add a light sprinkling of sugar. Drizzle with oil, and then sprinkle with the sumac and thyme leaves.
  3. Slow roast the tomatoes until soft and beginning to caramelize, about 20-30 minutes.

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