Tagliatelle  with vanilla and king prawns (4 servings)

120 g of sugar
2 limes
1 vanilla-bean
300 g of large tagiatelle
8 big peeled shrimps
4 tablespoons of olive oil freshly ground pepper freshly chopped coriander

Cook the sugar in 100 ml water until sugar has completely dissolved. Wash the limes with hot water and slice thinly. Put the lime slices in the sugar syrup and heat up once more then set the syrup aside.

Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise open and scrap out the seeds. Put them into the boiling water, add the tagiatelle & cook until they are ready.

Meanwhile prepare the king prawns: with a sharp knife cut open the back & take out the black bowels. Wash under cold water and slice open lengthwise. Then fry them in a pan with hot oil on both sides and season with Pepper & salt.

Warm up the lime syrup. Mix the king prawns and tagiatelle, place them on a preheated plate and serve with the lime syrup on top. Garnish with chopped coriander & serve immediately.

Tipp1: Who likes it hot can fry the shrimps also with a little bit of dry chilli pods or cayenne peppers.


Sauteed shrimps in vanilla saffron  sauce (4 servings)

680g large shrimp, cleaned with tail on
Coarse salt, and freshly crushed black pepper
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice

For the Sabayon (sauce)
2 egg yolks
1 ½ tbl of lemon juice
6 tbl Vermouth
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of saffron
2 tbl of water
1/2 of a vanilla-bean
freshly crushed black pepper

For the decoration Lemon wedges Parsley sprigs

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large saute pan on high heat and add the shrimp. Sprinkle with the lemon juice. Cook, tossing occasionally, about 3 to 4 minutes or until cooked through and starting to turn golden.


Dissolve the saffron in 2 tbsp. of water to make a saffron mixture.

Put the egg yolks, lemon juice, vermouth, salt, saffron mixture and vanilla in a medium bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water.

Beat with a whisk until pale yellow in colour and ribbons form when you lift the whisk and wave it back and forth over the mixture (whisk about 2 minutes).

Remove from the heat and continue whisking until the mixture has cooled. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Serve the shrimp with the sabayon.
Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs.
The vanilla-saffron sauce is a loose sabayon, more like a foamy sauce than a thick custard. Vermouth and lemon juice give it a refreshing touch of acidity.


Shrimp Papantla with Ripe Plantains  in Vanilla Chili Chipotle  Sauce (4 servings)

680 g shrimp, medium-size (about 20-24 to the pound)
2 vanilla beans or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 plantains, ripe (should be soft with blackened skin)
240 ml sunflower or corn oil
900 g of tomatoes peeled, seeded and quartered (or canned tomatoes, drained)
3 Chipotle chilies in adobo (available canned in Latin-American markets)
59ml olive oil
Salt to taste
1 med white onion, peeled and julienned

Peel and de-vein shrimp, leaving on tails, and set aside. Cut vanilla beans into 1 inch pieces with a knife and then chop to a fine bread-crumb texture in a small food processor or spice grinder, about 2 teaspoons. Set aside.

Cut off brown ends of plantains and slit skin length-wise from end to end along its ridges, preferably with a table knife. With fingertips, work off skin.

Slice crosswise into 1/4 inch rounds. Heat the sunflower or corn oil over moderate

heat in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan or deep skillet until barely rippling. Fry plantains until golden, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from skillet and place on paper towels to drain. Keep in a warm place.

Place tomatoes and chilies in a blender or food processor and puree. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Fry first the onions and then stir in the puree and season with salt & pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes or until sauce thickens and oil starts to separate from solids and begins to fry again. Stir in ground vanilla or extract and cook about 2 minutes while stirring. Add shrimp and plantains. Cook 3 more minutes. Serve immediately.


Baked Ham with vanilla  (6 servings)

1 vanilla bean, just seeds
1 tbs of Dijon mustard
230 ml bourbon whisky
3 tbs of brown sugar
1 pinch Cayenne pepper
1 ½ kg of cooked ham without bone.

Preheat oven to 190 º C.

Combine all ingredients, except ham, in a small bowl and stir to blend.

Brush generously over ham and reserve remaining glaze for brushing later. Place in a small roasting pan and cover tightly with foil.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until warmed thoroughly.

Remove foil and brush with remaining glaze. Increase heat to 200ºC and bake until glaze is browned, about 10 minutes.

Drain baking liquid and add 1 tbsp. butter and reduce by 1/3 to make gravy. Tip: Serve with potato and celery root gratin


Vanilla Marinated Pork Loin with Mashed Sweet Potato (12 servings)


2 vanilla beans split open & scraped
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp freshly-crushed black pepper
200g brown sugar
225ml cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
225ml bourbon
1 pork loin - (ca. 2,5 kg) trimmed, cleaned

For the Pecan gravy:

225g chopped pecans
60g butter
250g chopped trinity - (equal amounts onion, celery, green pepper, finely diced
1/2 tbl chopped garlic
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbl flour
225ml pork marinating liquid - from the above
1 qt chicken stock

For the sweet potatoes

8 large sweet potatoes peeled, and cut into chunks
225ml sour cream
60ml bourbon whisky
50g brown sugar
60ml sugar cane syrup
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground white pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, combine vanilla beans, orange zest, black pepper, brown sugar, cider vinegar and bay leaves and cook over medium heat until sugar is melted, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add bourbon whiskey. Cool marinade completely

before pouring over pork loin in a glass casserole or bowl. Refrigerate for 48 hours, turning every 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 190ºC degrees. Remove pork from marinade and pat dry. Transfer marinade to a saucepan and reduce the volume by 1/3. Reserve it to make the pecan gravy. Place pork on a rack on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with Pecan Gravy and the mashed Sweet Potatoes.

For the Pecan gravy:

Cook the pecans in butter until you get a pleasant pecan aroma. Add trinity and cook for

2 minutes. Add garlic, cayenne pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add flour, cook for 2 minutes then add marinating liquid and chicken stock. Continue to cook until sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Sweet Potatoes:

In a large saucepan, boil sweet potatoes until fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Pour off all of the water and put potatoes through a food mill or ricer. Using a large plastic spatula, fold in sour cream, bourbon, brown sugar, and cane syrup. Taste and add salt and white pepper to taste. Serve immediately or put in a casserole dish and reheat when ready to serve.


Stir-Fry summer vegetables  with vanilla – (6 servings)

120 ml olive oil
1 medium-sized onion sliced
1 bay leaf
½ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp ginger
½ tsp vanilla extract (preferably sugar free)
¼ tsp freshly-ground black pepper
2 small courgettes, sliced
2 small yellow pumpkins, cut in discs
4 tomatoes, quartered
1 tin of olives, drained
2 tbl grated Parmesan

Heat the oil in large sauce pan or wok. Add onion, bay leaf, cardamom, ginger, vanilla, and pepper. Stir well.

Add vegetables and olives. Cook while stirring for further 5 minutes.

Remove from the stove and discard bay leaf. Spoon the stir fried vegetables into a serving dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bon Appetit!