P&O Cruises Food Hero James Martin started the first British cookery school at sea on Britannia. Here he shares three recipes from his new cookbook, James Martin’s American Adventure

CREOLE-STYLE SHRIMP – SERVES 4

In New Orleans, wherever you go you are surrounded by food and music. I made this dish right in the heart of the city in Louis Armstrong Park – the perfect setting. The Creole flavours come from the French and Spanish settlers that made Louisiana their home.

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
8 slices crusty bread
1 knob of butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp Creole seasoning
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp dried thyme
6 tbsp white wine
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 tsp caster sugar
150g pimento-stuffed
olives in brine, drained
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 kg raw prawns (shrimp), peeled and de-veined
Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Small bunch of basil, chopped

METHOD

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the bread slices in two batches until golden and crispy, then lift onto a plate and put to one side.
  2. In the same pan, add the remaining oil and the butter. When the butter has melted and is bubbling, stir in the onion and garlic and cook over a low heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Put the Creole seasoning, cumin and thyme into a small bowl. Add a splash of the white wine and stir in to make a paste. Spoon into the pan with the onion and stir in.
  4. Add the tomato purée, chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, sugar, olives, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and the rest of the wine. Season well and stir together then simmer over a gentle heat for 5 minutes. Add the prawns (shrimp), stir in and cook gently for a further 8 minutes.
  5. Stir through the fresh herbs and taste to check the seasoning. Remove the bay leaves. Drizzle over olive oil, if desired, then spoon among four shallow bowls. Serve with the toasted bread.

 

CRAB & CORN SOUP WITH FRITTERS – SERVES 4

Wherever you go food shopping in the States, there will always be plenty of corn on offer. Simple to make, this dish uses the sweetest corn on the husk. But you can also make it with a tin of sweetcorn, if you like.

INGREDIENTS

For the soup:
2 tbsp butter
1/2 white onion, finely diced
1 green (bell) pepper, finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
1 tbsp plain flour
6 tbsp white wine
500ml hot chicken stock
100ml double cream
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 corn on the cob, kernels removed
200g white crab meat
5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely diced
1 lime, juiced

For the fritters:
200g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 medium eggs
200ml milk
1 corn on the cob, kernels removed
100g white crab meat
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 tbsp butter

To garnish:
Edible flowers and spring onion tops, thinly sliced
Good-flavoured olive oil

METHOD

  1. To make the soup, put the butter into a large saucepan and place over a medium heat. Once the butter has melted and is foaming, stir in the onion, pepper and celery. Lower the heat slightly and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally and not letting the vegetables colour, then stir in the flour. Cook for a few more minutes to cook out the flour. Next, pour the wine into the pan, bring to a bubble, then stir in the stock. Turn up the heat slightly so that the liquid comes to the boil, then add the cream. Season, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook gently for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the fritters. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and eggs. Slowly add the milk and keep stirring so that the mixture forms a thick batter. It should be dropping consistency – to check, lift the spoon up and allow a dollop of the mixture to drop back into the mix. It should fall after a slight pause. Add the corn kernels, crab meat and parsley, season with salt and pepper and fold everything together.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add a tablespoon of butter and once the butter has melted and is foaming, place three large spoonfuls of the batter into the pan, well-spaced apart. Cook for 1–2 minutes until golden brown, then flip over
    and cook for a further 1–2 minutes. Lift onto a plate and repeat three more times until all the batter has been used up and
    you’ve made 12 fritters.
  4. Stir the soup to check the consistency (it should be fairly thick), then stir in the corn, crab, ginger, lime juice and taste to check the seasoning. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle over the edible flowers and spring onion (scallion) tops. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with the fritters.

 

BANANAS FOSTER – SERVES 3

James Martin's American Adventure

This dish was created at Brennan’s in New Orleans in the 1950s, for the crime commissioner at the time. This must be served hot. I’ve put French toast with it but pancakes would also be delicious. It wouldn’t traditionally be served with whipped cream and pecans, but it works.

INGREDIENTS

3 medium eggs
2 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp milk
4 tbsp butter
3 thick slices of brioche, cut from a loaf
5 bananas, peeled
4 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp banana liqueur
2 tbsp rum
25g pecans
300ml double cream, whipped and chilled
3 scoops vanilla ice cream

METHOD

  1. Put the eggs, caster sugar and the milk into a bowl and whisk together.
  2. Place a large frying pan over a low to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons butter. Dip the brioche into the egg mixture, and once the butter has melted, place the brioche into the hot pan. Cook for 1 minute on each side until golden brown. Transfer to a warm plate.
  3. Wipe the pan clean, then return it to the heat and add the remaining butter. Once the butter has melted, add the bananas, keeping them whole. Cook until golden brown on one side, sprinkle with half the brown sugar, then flip the bananas over. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top, add the cinnamon then pour in the banana liqueur and rum. Flame to burn off the alcohol. Simmer for a couple of minutes until the butter and sugar turns into a sauce, then stir in the pecans.
  4. Spoon the bananas and the sauce all over the brioche, then top with the whipped cream and the ice cream. 

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