Tangle - noun
1. a complicated or confused mass of hairs, lines, fibres etc knotted or coiled together
2. a complicated problem, condition or situation
It is interesting how the state of one's mind and emotions can transfer into one's cooking. Here I am, 31 years old, truly single for the first time in 10 years and not sure who CB on her own, without a man is but fast coming to some wonderful but scary conclusions. Still aching and hurting but trying to move on. Trying not to think of him but of building a new life whilst trying to mend a stupid, fragmented heart (don't worry - this is the last you will hear of my emotional outpourings - I have plans for those elsewhere. In a truly anonymous fashion). I am rather tangled, in every sense.
A supper with friends at the weekend, dazzling with zingy flavours and conversation, has rather tempted my tastebuds into life once again, as did a trip to the local farmers market the following morning. And so this evening, tired after a day at work (during which I felt the creativity bleeding out of me) I opened the fridge, mentally re-ordered its contents and created the following dish. Tangled in appearance, it rather matched my spirit.
A Fragrant Tangle of Leeks and Prawns (serves one - get used to it!)
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 small red chili, seeds removed and thinly sliced (in an attempt to ward off a summer cold)
2 small leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
glug of wine (I used red as it was open but white would also be lovely)
handful of spinach leaves
tsp of wholegrain mustard
150g or so of large, cooked prawns
Heat a glug of oil in a frying pan (one to which you own the matching lid), and when shimmering, add the garlic, cumin, coriander and chili. Fry until the aromas tickle your nostrils.
Add the leeks and heat gently to soften. Add a glug or two of wine and cover with the pan lid. Stir from time to time to stop them sticking and trickle in a teardrop or two of wine when necessary.
When the leeks have separated and start to resemble a knotted ponytail (around 10-15mins) add the spinach and the mustard, stir, check the moisture levels and cover once again.
Once the spinach has wilted, stir in the prawns, heat briefly and then tip into a bowl.
Eat, smile and be happy.
Tangled, yes, but in a beautiful, (lemon) soulful way.
(No pictures as my camera is with an Italian.......)