Oh, it’s still hot, hot, hot out there. With the temperature tipping the scales at plus 40 degrees, we understand that at the moment everyone wants to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible, but still eat well.
Light and healthy dishes are the key to surviving the UAE summer it seems. With that in mind, if you’re after a snack idea that proves popular with children, how about introducing them to watermelon fries? Fear not, there’s no deep-frying (or tomato ketchup!) involved here, just some quick and simple assembly: cut peeled watermelon wedges into sticks or ‘chips’ and serve with a yogurt-lime sauce for dipping and dunking. As an alternative, sweet and juicy mango also works really well.
For a meal that’s a little more adult in execution, but still barely takes any time at all to put together, a seared steak and blue cheese salad ticks all the right boxes – filling and delicious, yet still light and bright. To make it, generously season a ribeye or sirloin steak with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Cook in a hot griddle pan for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until done to your liking. Remove from the pan and leave to rest. Arrange lettuce leaves on a large platter or plate and top with a thinly sliced cucumber, red onion and avocado. Cut the rested steak into strips and add to the platter, along with any of the meat juices. Scatter over a handful of blue cheese and serve.
And finally, let us introduce you to our super-fast take on classic Prawn Pad Thai. You’ll find the recipe below and while you can of course use regular peanut butter from a jar to make it, we’d love to know what you think of the peanut butter made using the nut butter machines in select Choithrams stores.
Enjoy, and happy summer eating everyone.
Prawn pad thai
For the peanut sauce
140g peanut butter
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp runny honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
For the prawns and noodles:
150g thick Pad Thai noodles
2 tbsp olive oil
200g large prawns, peeled (tails can be left on, if you like)
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
75g bean sprouts
2 eggs, whisked
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tbsp roasted peanuts
For the peanut sauce put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth and well combined. Set aside.
Cook the noodles according to packet instructions, then drain well and drizzle with ½ tbsp olive oil to prevent them from sticking together.
Set a large frying pan with the remaining olive oil over a high heat. Add the prawns and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until pink and just cooked through. Remove the prawns, keeping the pan on the heat.
Add the carrot and beansprouts to the pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the carrots are softened. Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and add the eggs. Allow to scramble slightly, then mix with the vegetables.
Stir through the cooked noodles and half the spring onions. Return the prawns to the pan and mix in the sauce, ensuring the noodles are well coated.
Divide among serving bowls, top with the peanuts and remaining spring onions and serve.