Presents are wrapped, the Christmas cake made months ago, the tree decorated and the house smelling of pine trees and Christmas baking, all cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon. Maybe you have done a spot of ice skating at the Natural History museum or seen some of the glorious window displays or lights in town.
Whilst not particularly festive we did love the carnival themed lights on Carnaby Street.
and the Karl Lagerfeld tree in Claridges Hotel was so impressive and rather original being turned on its head, reminiscent of a silver stalactite. It was rather magical, whimsical with a touch of Dr Seuss.
If however you are still searching for the ‘perfect’ Christmas gift, I can highly recommend the baking courses at Bread Ahead.
There is a huge range of courses – even a donut making course – these are their donuts above: blueberry jam, hazelnut and almond praline, velvet chocolate caramel and caramel sea salt honeycomb. My father, brother and I have all done the sourdough, which we loved and would recommend, I’d definitely go back and do another course.
Over the Christmas period there is always lots of feasting and whilst all the traditional dishes are wonderful, it is refreshing to have the odd meal which is, lighter, zingy with a touch of chilli notes. As such I wanted to show you a super easy recipe, which is more a case of compiling than actual cooking but good to feed a crowd.
I adore crab, its definitely up there amongst my favourite things to eat. Not so long ago I devoured a whole crab over the course of an hour. I got really stuck in and was determined to get every last bit of crab out of its shell. A squeeze of fresh lemon and a cold crisp white wine, simple and yet heavenly. My kind of food.
Now don’t worry this recipe does NOT require you to dissect a fresh crab. Its far simpler than that.
You need to buy two 170g tins of white crab meat, which you can do at all supermarkets (it’s in the tinned tuna section).
When you are ready to eat, boil the water for the linguine and finely chop the garlic, chilli, parsley or coriander and remove the crab from the tin/pot. When the pasta is cooking, heat some chilli oil in a pan and place the garlic and chilli in first and let it sizzle for 20 seconds before adding the crab bring the heat down and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. As you bring the crab mixture off the heat squeeze the juice of one or two lemons and zest, depending on how much of a lemon kick you want to give the dish and a splash or two of olive oil along with either the parsley or coriander.
Once the linguine is cooked, drain thoroughly and immediately pour the crab mixture over the linguine. I tend to then mix it all together so that the crab is evenly spread through all the pasta.
Serve immediately and season with black pepper and rock salt and wait for the mmmmmmmm reaction. It will happen, trust me.
I have also tried this dish using chilli flakes instead of fresh chilli. Both are good, but I think the fresh chilli has the edge. I cook this dish for my children, but obviously omit the chilli and they love it.
I hope you do too.
Chilli Crab Linguine
dried linguine (see packet for amount per person)
2 x 170g tinned white crab meat
2 large red chilli, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large bunch of parsley, coriander/cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 or 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp of chilli oil
2 tbsp of olive oil
rock salt and black pepper
1. Finely chop the garlic and chilli and chop less finely the parsley or coriander.
2. Boil the water for the linguine and place in the pan. In a separate pan heat the chilli oil and then place the garlic and chilli in the oil for 20 seconds to sizzle away before adding the crab. Cook on a low heat for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. As you take the crab mixture off the heat add the juice of one or two lemons, the zest and the olive oil.
4. Drain the linguine and then mix the crab mixture into the pasta thoroughly.
5. Serve and season with rock salt and black pepper
Right I am going to check out now for a few weeks but I will be back on form in the New Year with some interesting posts and recipes from where I am heading. Follow my instagram @chilliandmint to find out more. Have a wonderful Christmas one and all and thank you so much for continuing to follow me on my blogging journey.