Food & Drink

James St Recipes: Spice up your dinner plans with showstopping comfort dishes

Paid Thai Prawns
Paid Thai Prawns

This week, we have two comfort dish recipes that are packed full of flavour – making them the perfect dishes to serve when entertaining guests.  Who doesn’t love a curry? Spice up your evening meal with a deliciously fragrant Thai curry, served with noodles and fresh, juicy prawns. This Thai inspired curry, which is packed with vegetables and prawns is guaranteed to have your taste buds singing. 

The second recipe is a classic French pie that oozes with flavour and is sure to be the showstopping dish at any dinner. 

This savoury pastry is filled with tender leeks, mushrooms, and a rich creamy sauce, all wrapped in a buttery puff pastry.

Would you like to take your cooking skills to the next level? Check out our cookery classes at Waterman House Cookery School. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn new culinary techniques or have a fun night out with friends. 

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(Serves 2)

4 eggs, beaten 

300g of rice noodles, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes and drained

10 prawns shelled, heads removed and deveined

2 tbsp of fried turnip 

2 handfuls of beansprouts 

Chilli powder, to taste 

1 bunch of spring onions, finely sliced 

2 tsp of roasted peanuts 

1 lime, halved

2 sprigs of coriander, chopped

For the sauce 

3 tsp tamarind pulp 

3 tbsp of vegetable oil  

3 shallots, chopped

2 tbsp palm sugar

1 tsp Thai Fish sauce


To make the sauce, soak the tamarind pulp in five tablespoons of warm water and stir until it becomes a thick liquid. Next, heat two tablespoons of oil in a wok, add in the shallots and stir fry until almost golden, then add in the tamarind – it may spit so be careful as it’s very hot.

Stir for one minute. Next, add in the palm sugar and fish sauce and cook over a high heat for one minute until a thick sauce like consistency has formed. Transfer the sauce into a bowl and set aside. There should be enough sauce for a second serving, this should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. To prepare the noodles, add the beaten egg into a hot wok with the remaining oil.

Add in the noodles until the egg is cooked and noodles are soft. Next, add in the prawns and dried turnip and stir fry until the prawns are cooked through. Once cooked, mix eight teaspoons of the pad Thai sauce, and continue frying until the noodles are golden-brown in colour.

Next, add the beansprouts, chilli, Chinese spices, peanuts and keep stir frying for a further two minutes. Finally, serve with lime and coriander

Leek and Mushroom Pithivier
Leek and Mushroom Pithivier


(Makes 1 for 8 people)

120g of butter, plus extra for greasing

6 leeks, sliced (white only, discard of greens) 

150ml crème fraiche

200g mushrooms, sliced 

Flour for dusting 

500g of puff pastry 

250g of soft cheese, chopped (gruyere is good)

One egg yolk, beaten with a splash of water 


Ground black pepper


To start, melt 25g butter in a heavy bottomed pot on a medium heat and add in the sliced leeks. Sweat down with no colour for approximately two minutes.

Next, add in another 50g of butter and a tablespoon of tap water, continuing to stir the leeks on a gentle heat. Cook for approximately 20 minutes until tender. Next, remove the pot from the heat and leave to cool. Once cooled, add in the crème fraiche and pop into the fridge until cold. 

Next, in a separate pan, melt the remaining butter before adding in the chopped mushrooms. Increase the heat and cook the mushrooms for five minutes, continuously stirring to prevent burning. Season with salt and pepper and add to the leeks and crème fraiche. Combine and leave to cool. Heat the oven to 180°C. 

Next, grease a baking tray, flour the worktop and roll out one half of the pastry, using a plate to form a round shape. 

Place the pastry onto the greased tray and top with the leek, crème fraiche and mushroom mixture, leaving an edge of 3cm the whole way round and place the sliced cheese into the centre. Roll out the other half of the pastry, making it slightly larger as you will want this to cover the base and its contents. Brush round the edge of the pie base with the egg yolk and place the top pastry case onto the base, crimping the edges with the back of a fork to seal the pithivier and glaze with the remainder of the egg yolk.

Using a knife, gently score the pastry with a curved line – you do not want any holes so be careful. 

Finally, place in the bottom of the over and after 12 minutes reduce the heat to 160°C and cook for a further 15 minutes until golden brown and crisp.