Friday, 17 July 2009

Fast food rant (and a crab pasta recipe!)

Ok, i've got tonnes of themes i'd like to blog about e.g Thai & Vietnamese herbs, dishes inspired by the restaurants i've worked at & my favorite sambos - to name just a few...

But! The thing i'm probably most passionate about is fast food...

Yep fast food! It's almost a swear word in this country. Why does so much of it (in the UK) have to be 'orrible!? You go to different countries all over the world (SEAsia, India, Italy, Lebanon etc!) step out on the street and there's a wealth of choice of quick, super tasty and often healthy food available to be knocked up for you in seconds.

I say we need a bit more of that over here? Why do we have no street stalls? Why is it that in 95% of cases fast food = fried chicken!?

Needs to change.

The other reason good fast food is the way forward iiiiis... that, obviously, it's quick and very often that means it's easy too. So if you dont have much time or dont like cooking all that much BUT you want to eat decent food then FF is the way forward.

I'm going to try and go about proving my point on this blog by doing a series of quick & tasty recipes which in my mind are Fast Food.

Plus! With my new full time chef's life imminent i'm going to be cooking much more of it myself i.e when i come home from a long shift hungry i'm invariably going to be looking to cook something quick, tasty and fairly healthy.

Ok, enough rambling, here's a recipe to start off with: crab pasta. It's tasty, healthy and quick. I spent 1 night a week for 6 months working at Refettorio - one of Giorgio's Italian places, and learned how Italians cook pasta. It's basically just the same for any other seafood pasta dishes so have a mess around.

It's 6 ingredients, 7 with the oil and is ready in the time it takes to cook pasta + 2mins.

Crab & tomato pasta.

Ingredients - serves 2 (any more is tricky, but doable, esp if you have a real large frying pan).

  • enough pasta for 2 - linguine is perfect, but spaghetti or really any shape will taste good too)
  • white crab meat - 3 or 4 tablespoons
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 mild red chilli
  • a small bunch of parsley or basil
  • a glass of white wine
  • some olive oil
  • 3 or 4 nice tomatoes

Method (to get it done super quick)

  • Boil a full kettle and pour the hot water in a large pan, get it boiling and salt it generously
  • Put the pasta in.
  • Chop the garlic & chilli (small if you like but doesnt have to be perfect)
  • Cut tomatoes in to quarters length ways then cut out the seeds and roughly dice.
  • Chop a handful of parsley, if using basil just pick a bunch of leaves
  • Stir your pasta so it dont stick together
  • Put large frying pan on medium-high heat, add a couple of tablespoons olive oil
  • Chuck in the chilli and garlic, fry for 30 seconds (dont let it color much)
  • Chuck in the crab meat, season with salt and pepper, stir a couple of times then throw in the wine and let bubble for 30 secs
  • Throw in your tomatoes, give them a stir and finally in with the herbs.
  • If your pasta is ready, drain it and chuck it straight in the frying pan with a little of the pasta water too. If your pasta is not ready then just take the crab pan off the heat, when you are good to go put it back on a high heat.
  • Stir all this through and then tuck in while it's hot.

N.B for more of a store cupboard number decent quality tinned white crab meat can be used here - it obviously wont be nearly as tasty, but still a nice enough quick meal.


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