Special Holiday season: Baked Prawns and Cheesy Pasta

Pasta pasta… who does not love pasta… we all do if we know how to cook different dishes with Pasta. Not many ingredients are required but if you cook pasta, you can’t just eat it without cheese. Pasta and cheese they are the ideal couple 🙂 haha….. I love baked pasta filled with a seafood blend, creamy sauce, cheese and the smell of freshly sprinkled herbs. A COMPLETE MEAL!!!!! 

I serve mine with some homemade green chillies & garlic and lemon paste. Give yours a try, it is such an easy recipe. After the Noodles, I call the Pasta a second reason to eat with a fork at home because in our little island Mauritius most of the people eat with a spoon. Hahahahahaha 

NOTE: I have not added salt in this recipe because the cheese already contains much of it and while you boil or cook your prawns and mushrooms just add your desired amount of salt. 

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Servings: 4-5 
Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of Pasta, boiled and cooked
  • 500g of Prawns, without shells and cooked
  • Mushrooms, finely chopped and cooked
  • Beans, cooked
  • 1/2 cup of Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup of Mozarella cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup of Parmeasan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup of fresh cooking cream (I use Elle & Vire brand)
  • 2 tbsp of Tomato puree
  • 1 tsp of  Garlic paste
  • 1 tsp of Paprika powder
  • Coriander and Parsley leaves, finely chopped

Preparations:

1. In a baking tray, mix the tomato puree together with the cooked pasta, prawns, mushrooms and beans. Set aside. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 180 C. 

2. In a pan, pour the fresh cooking cream , together with the papripa powder and garlic paste and simmer for 5minutes on low heat. Stove off and add the parmeasan. Mix well so that the cheese incorporates with the sauce. Cover the lid so that the cheese melts. 

3. Pour the creamy sauce onto the pasta and combine together. Sprinkle on top with cheddar and mozarella cheese and pepper. Bake for 5-8 minutes.

4. Garnish with finely chopped coriander and parsley leaves. 

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Virgin Pina Colada

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Hello beach and summer:)  With one sip of this drink, you will already feel the warmth of the sun under the shade of some palm trees and the softness of the sand under your feet. Summer is not really summer if coconuts do not invite themselves 😀 I love coconut water, I never go to the beach without having drank an entire coconut full of water. Virgin Pina Colada makes you feel relaxed and happy. In little tropical island Mauritius, you can spot coconut trees almost anywhere. So convenient and refreshing. 

I am the pina to my colada 😀  Pineapple and Coconut are amazing together! 

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Servings: 3-4

Ingredients to mix into the blender:

  • 1/2 cup of frozen unsweetened Pineapple chunks
  • 1 1/2 mug of unsweetened Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream
  • 1/2 mug  of Coconut Water (optional)
  • 1/2 mug of sweetened Pineapple juice
  • 1 mug of Ice cubes

Garnish on top with additional Pineapple chunks and ice cubes.

Mauritius Tomato and Chillli Chutney

A mainstream in the Mauritius culture! The best accompaniment the island people enjoy having with oily snacks, mauritius food, vegetable briani , pasta and even chinese soups. At my place it’s the ideal chutney we have when fried rice (riz frite) is cooked. 

Note: You can also add coriander leaves into the chutney, it then called Chatini Cotomilli (Coriander Chutney) in Mauritius.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 tomatoes, cut into chunks with the seeds removed
  • 1 red chilli (quantity based as er your preferences)
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5 cl of water 
  • Salt

Preparations:

1. Blend all the ingredients, except the salt into your blender. Pour into a bowl and add salt. Mix everything well with a spoon. 

Mauritius Bouillon Poisson (Fish Stew) with bredes mouroum (moringa leaves)

Mauritius Bouillon Poisson (Fish Stew), the preferred traditional seafood dish in our little tropical island. Always accompanied with rice and chatini coco (coconut chutney). Cooked in so many kitchens in Mauritius 🙂 The nostalgic moment of fishing fresh fishes from the beach with the family returns back when the smell of that delicious bouillon (stew) is spread in the kitchen.

The best medicine in a bowl. Bredes Mouroum (Moringa leaves) have many health benefits, they can cure and prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, anemia, digestive disorders, skin, respiratory and many more diseases.

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Servings: 7

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 small whole parrot fishes
  • Bunch of bredes mouroum (Moringa leaves)
  • 1.5 Litre – 2 Litre of water
  • Parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp of vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp of lime juice
  • 1 cup flour

Spices:

  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 large onions, cut into chunks
  • 4 tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 4 large tbsp can tomato puree
  • 1 branch curry leaves (15 curry leaves)
  • 1 small bunch coriander leaves

 

Preparations:

For the fishes:

  1. Mix into a bowl the vinegar, lime juice and cinnamon powder, add the fishes into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In another bowl, coat into flour the fishes. Shake off any excess.
  3. Meanwhile in a frying pan, add vegetable oil and fry the fishes for around 8-10 minutes until golden brown in color.

For the spices:

  1. Blend all the ingredients into the list of spices.
  2. In a large bottomed pot, preheat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and pour the blended spices into the pot. Let it cook on medium heat for 7 -8 minutes, lid covered on.
  3. Pour the water into the pot, combine well with the spices. Allow them to simmer for another 5 minutes, lid covered on.
  4. Add the cooked fishes into the pot and cover the lid for 5 minutes.
  5. The bredes mouroum or moringa leaves go in for 1 -2 minutes. Stove off.
  6. Garnish on top with parsley leaves. You can serve with rice and Mauritius Chatini coco (Coconut Chutney).

Blueberry Muffins

“Blueberry Muffins,” for any special occasions.. The perfect way to make everyone happy. So gloriously soft and moist, filled with flavor. Blueberries add a unique touch to your muffins. Best sweet-tooth to serve with tea or as a dessert after lunch or dinner. I know the batter can get easy peasy to make, the secret ingredient is to not overbeat otherwise you will end up with a broken and dry puck muffins. You have a great win when you add butter to your muffins and homemade blueberries sauce.

Cooked Blueberries Sauce with granulated Sugar

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Servings: 12-14

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of self-rising flour (260-280 grams)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 4 large tsps of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large tsps of melted salted or unsalted butter (to grease the muffin cups)
  • 6 large tsps of granulated white sugar (Quantity will depend as per your sweetness preferences)
  • 1/2 small tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of good quality Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 12-14 Muffin Aluminum cups or Muffin pan

Preparations:

  1. Whisk the wet ingredients; the beaten eggs, milk and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
  2. In a pan, simmer 10-15 blueberries and sugar (see in picture above) on low heat for 30-40 seconds until blueberries can be mashed up and sugar has dissolved into a sauce. Stove off and allow to cool for 30 seconds.
  3. In another large bowl, sift the flour and add the baking powder, remaining uncooked blueberries and salt. Mix well with a spatula.
  4. Add the wet ingredients and cooked blueberries sauce into the dry ingredients and stir well until they are completely combined and moistened (Don’t worry if the batter has turned a bit blue or purple). Make sure that the batter is thick and there are no lumps.
  5. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Position your rack in the center of the oven. Now if you are using a Wave Oven (Four Cyclone), preheat your oven at 200 degrees C.
  6. Grease the muffin cups (I have used Aluminum Muffin Cups) with melted butter. Spoon the batter evenly into each muffin cups.
  7. Place the cups on the oven rack and if for (Wave oven-Four Cyclone), place the cups at the bottom and bake for 15-20 minutes (for both oven) until light golden on top. Insert a toothpick or fork in the center of the muffin, if it comes out clean then muffin is ready.
  8. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before removing them from the muffin cups. You can preserve a little blueberries sauce and top them on the blueberry muffins before serving 🙂

Blueberry Lemonade Drink

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Haha I know it’s definitely not summer yet in Mauritius, we are still freezing frozen in this winter 😀 though its mostly sunny. In our little tropical island, whether it be summer or winter, we always make time for cold refreshing drinks and even ice-cream 🙂

Blueberries my favorites! If not served fresh nor baked and cooked then be it as a cold refreshing drink. The perfect drink to take for your beach adventure!

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Servings: 1
Ingredients:

  • 10 blueberries, heated for 20 seconds into the microwave oven and mashed
  • squeeze juice from half of a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp of honey
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar (optional)
  • 7-8 mint leaves
  • ice cubes
  • 1 cup of cold water

Preparations:

1. Add the mashed blueberries, lemon juice, honey and sugar. Mix well together.

2. The ice cubes go in and then the mint leaves. Pour the cold water and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

3. Before serving, mix everything together and garnish with more whole blueberries, mint leaves and lemon slice.

Vol-au-Vents Fillings Recipe

Everyone’s favorites 😊 The fillings make the Vol-au-vents perfect. I personally don’t have time to go and make the puff pastry so I just buy the already baked Vol-au-vents empty shells.

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Servings: 15-20

Ingredients:

  • 25 cl Cooking Cream
  • 5 cl milk
  • 1 tbsp of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 tbsp of unsalted melted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • Pinch of Paprika powder
  • 7-8 Coriander leaves, finely minced
  • 15-20 baked Vol-au-Vents shells (can be found in supermarkets or bakeries)

Preparations:

  1. Melt the butter in a pan on medium heat. Add the milk and simmer for 1 minute.
  2. Pour the cooking cream, paprika powder and 3 tbsp of grated cheddar cheese and cook for 7-8 minutes until sauce has thickened. Add salt and pepper based as per your preferences.
  3. Meanwhile preheat your oven for 350 degrees F, position your rack in the center of the oven.
  4. Fill the shells evenly with the cream and top on with the remaining grated cheese. Brush butter on each shells and lay them onto parchment paper on the baking tray. Bake for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle on top with coriander leaves.

Eid Special: Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins,” for any special occasions.. The perfect way to make everyone happy. So gloriously soft and moist, filled with flavor. Blueberries add a unique touch to your muffins. Best sweet-tooth to serve with tea or as a dessert after lunch or dinner. I know the batter can get easy peasy to make, the secret ingredient is to not overbeat otherwise you will end up with a broken and dry puck muffins. You have a great win when you add butter to your muffins and homemade blueberries sauce.

 

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Cooked Blueberries Sauce with granulated Sugar

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Servings: 12-14

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of self-rising flour (260-280 grams)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 4 large tsps of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large tsps of melted salted or unsalted butter (to grease the muffin cups)
  • 6 large tsps of granulated white sugar (Quantity will depend as per your sweetness preferences)
  • 1/2 small tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of good quality Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 12-14 Muffin Aluminum cups or Muffin pan

Preparations:

  1. Whisk the wet ingredients; the beaten eggs, milk and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
  2. In a pan, simmer 10-15 blueberries and sugar (see in picture above) on low heat for 30-40 seconds until blueberries can be mashed up and sugar has dissolved into a sauce. Stove off and allow to cool for 30 seconds.
  3. In another large bowl, sift the flour and add the baking powder, remaining uncooked blueberries and salt. Mix well with a spatula.
  4. Add the wet ingredients and cooked blueberries sauce into the dry ingredients and stir well until they are completely combined and moistened (Don’t worry if the batter has turned a bit blue or purple). Make sure that the batter is thick and there are no lumps.
  5. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Position your rack in the center of the oven. Now if you are using a Wave Oven (Four Cyclone), preheat your oven at 200 degrees C.
  6. Grease the muffin cups (I have used Aluminum Muffin Cups) with melted butter. Spoon the batter evenly into each muffin cups.
  7. Place the cups on the oven rack and if for (Wave oven-Four Cyclone), place the cups at the bottom and bake for 15-20 minutes (for both oven) until light golden on top. Insert a toothpick or fork in the center of the muffin, if it comes out clean then muffin is ready.
  8. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before removing them from the muffin cups. You can preserve a little blueberries sauce and top them on the blueberry muffins before serving 🙂

Mauritius Red Sauce Octopus “Ourites Sauce Rouges”

Red sauce octopus, known as “Ourites sauce rouges” on my little island. This dish is really simple to make and requires easy ingredients. Everyone has their own ways of cooking this dish. This is just my version 🙂 I love seafood and you can substitute octopus for this recipe with prawns and lobster as well.

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Servings: 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg Octopus
  • 1/2 a small can (425g) of peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of tomato sauce
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • Handful of thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp of sweet Paprika powder
  • 1/2 tbsp of lime juice
  • 5 cl of water, for the sauce
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Preparations:

  1. Start to rinse well your octopus and remove the ink sac or any unwanted parts. I normally rub the whole octopus with corn flour, let it rest in the freezer overnight. The next day, rinse the octopus well to remove the corn flour.
  2. Preheat a deep pan or pressure cooker with water and slowly add the octopus once the water has reached a boil. I always use a pressure cooker, allow the octopus to cook on medium heat until 4 & 5 whistles. Once cooked the octopus will tenderized and developed into beautiful pink color, cut the octopus into small pieces.
  3. Preheat a pan with vegetable oil on medium heat and add the minced garlic and bay leaf so that they can infuse with the oil to create a great flavour.
  4. Once they start to sizzle, add the minced onions. Let it cook until translucent. Then goes the thyme leaves, tomato ketchup, paprika powder and lime juice into the pan, mix well and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the peeled tomatoes, season with salt and pepper (quantity based as per your preferences) mix together and simmer for 3-4 minutes, lid covered on.
  6. Pour water and simmer for 2 minute without lid. Add the octopus and cook for 5 minutes.

Serve with rice 🙂 Sprinkle with coriander leaves and slices of lime Bonne appetit

 

Eid special: Tropical Shrimp Skewers

Shrimp skewers as a snack for Eid day or any other occasions. I call them “Tropical Shrimp Skewers”  because they are dressed with bell peppers, onions and tropical pineapples. Incredibly succulent and appetising with every bite. So easy to make with the minimal preparations required for this recipe.

Note: For this recipe, you can also substitute with chicken

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Servings: 25-30
Ingredients:

  • 500g of clean shrimps
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 5 tsp of smoked paprika powder
  • 2 tsp of Tandoori powder
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of lime juice
  • 1 large onion, cut into large chunks
  • 3 large bell peppers, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 of a ripe pineapple, cut into chunks
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preparations:

1. In a bowl, add the garlic and ginger paste, paprika and tandoori powder, honey and lime juice. Combine everything together with the help of a spachler. Add the shrimps, cut onions, bell peppers, pineapples and marinate together. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Divide shrimps evenly for 25 – 30 skewers. Add the shrimps, onions, bell peppers and pineapples into a skewer.

3. Preheat a pan or grill pan with some vegetable oil. Fry or grill the skewers for 2-3 minutes on each side until shrimps are pink and slightly firm.

4. Garnish with coriander, lemon wedges, chillies or Mauritius famous “Piment cari” and serve with mint sauce.