Can you produce five dishes for under Dhs300? We put the professionals on the spot.
Julie Watson, head chef at new Dubai eatery Nourish, creates five midweek suppers for two.
GREMOLATA PRAWN PASTA
200g tagliatelle (we prefer fresh tagliatelle)
1 garlic glove, peeled and minced
1 lemon, zested & juiced
75ml extra virgin olive oil
300g prawn tails, peeled
1 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 cup parsley leaves, washed, dried and roughly chopped
1 cup wild rocket, washed and dried
1) Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, then stop the cooking by placing it in iced water or under cold running water until cool. 2) Finely chop the parsley, rocket and garlic and mix together. Add the lemon juice, zest and 50ml of olive oil, then mix to form a loose pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 3) Heat a wok over a medium heat, then add the remaining olive oil. Sear the prawns on both sides until pink, then add the chilli flakes, cooked pasta and gremolata. Continue to toss until everything is well coated and warmed through. Taste for seasoning, then divide between two plates and tuck in.
BAKED BLUE CHEESE CHICKEN WITH ROASTED BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER
2 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
75g blue cheese
200ml full fat cream
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 handful parsley, washed, dried and roughly chopped
200g cauliflower, cut into florets
20ml Tabasco sauce
2g garlic powder
5ml extra virgin olive oil
1) Preheat your oven to 180°C. 2) Cut a horizontal line in the thickest part of the chicken to form a pocket, without cutting all the way through. Stuff the pocket with blue cheese, season the meat with salt and pepper, then transfer to a baking dish. 3) Pour over the cream and fresh parsley, then coat the entire top with breadcrumbs. 4) Cover with foil, then bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further ten to 15 minutes until golden. 5) While the chicken is cooking, make the buffalo cauliflower. Blanch the florets in boiling water for three or four minutes, then refresh in cold water to stop the cooking. 6) Mix the Tabasco, olive oil, garlic powder and some salt and pepper together, toss with the cauliflower and transfer to a roasting dish. Put in the oven for the last five to ten minutes of cooking. 7) Serve the chicken with the cauliflower.
THAI VEGAN CURRY
45g red curry paste
1 can coconut milk
1 can chick peas, drained
100g cauliflower florets, blanched and refreshed
100g broccoli, blanched and refreshed
8og red onion, peeled and chopped
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1 large courgette, carefully sliced into noodles
1 lime, cut into wedges, seeds removed
1) Sauté the onion in olive oil in a medium saucepan until translucent. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring to coat the onion, for one or two minutes, to release all the flavours. 2) Add the coconut milk and stir to combine. Cook for five minutes on a medium heat until the milk comes to a simmer.
Taste and adjust the flavour by seasoning. 3) Add the drained chick peas, broccoli- and cauliflower florets, stir to coat well and keep on a medium heat for a further two or three minutes until heated through. 4) Serve the curry on a bed of courgette noodles, finished with lime wedges.
CHICKEN and PRAWN STIR FRY
200g chicken breast, cut into strips
200g prawn tails, peeled
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
100g broccoli, cut into florets
100g red onion, peeled and sliced
1 bunch fresh coriander, washed, dried and roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled then cut into thin strips
200g cauliflower, blanched, refreshed then grated
50ml low sodium soy sauce
2g chilli flakes
Extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch spring onions, washed and thinly chopped
1) Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a wok or large frying pan to medium high, add the olive oil and fry the chicken strips until browned on all sides. 2) Start adding your vegetables, onions first for a minute, then the carrot and prawns. Cook for a couple of minutes then add the pepper, soy and honey and fry on high for a further 30 seconds to allow the sauce to thicken and coat all the vegetables, chicken and prawns. 3) Meanwhile, tip the blanched, grated cauliflower into a non-stick pan set over a high heat. Fry quickly, shaking or stirring continuously. Season to taste and add some of the coriander, then divide between two serving plates. 4) Add the remaining coriander into the stir-fry, and divide between the two plates to top the ‘rice’. Sprinkle with spring onion and serve.
PEAR, BROCCOLI AND BLUE CHEESE SALAD
150g broccoli, cut into florets, blanched and refreshed
75g blue cheese, broken into chunks
100g wild rocket leaves, washed and dried
1 pear, washed and cubed
80g walnuts, toasted
5g parsley, washed, dried and roughly chopped
For the dressing
30ml extra virgin olive oil
15ml balsamic vinegar
10g Dijon mustard
1) Place the salad ingredients into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. 2) Mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until amalgamated. 3) Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.