Turkey Curry Recipe – use #7,632 for leftovers

Ok so following on from this mornings post you’ll know I’ve got a fridge full of leftover Turkey – well hasn’t everyone at this time of year – so even though I’ve so far munched on a couple of hundred turkey sandwiches and several platefuls of bubble and squeak so tonight I decide it’s time to do a curry…

So I’ve chopped up an onion and stuck it in a stock pot with a couple of chopped up garlic cloves to start frying up while I peel, de-seed and cut up a butternut squash into a bowl, added to this is a cored and chopped cooking apple, a couple of chopped sweet potatoes and a cup of raisins. Once the onions and garlic have got to the translucent stage I add the spices – 2 teaspoons of Patak’s mild curry pastes, 2cm of chopped and grated root ginger – and the vegetables. A quick stir later and I add a pint of gammon stock (another left over from Christmas day)another quick stir and then its built up to the boil and left for 20 mins to simmer stirring occasionally. At the end of that time I checked the veg before adding the cold turkey for another 10 minutes of cooking while the Naan bread also warmed up in the oven. Served with a big dollop of creme fraiche. Nice and simple but also nice and tasty – and pretty much everything was a left over anyway:)


Coming down from a Turkey “high” – Christmas Dinner

Ok ok I know – my bad for not writing sooner but its been the usual manic time over the Festive period between shopping and cooking and wrapping and relatives and cooking and suffering from over-eating and making merry there hasn’t been much spare time but yes you are right I should have made time.

But enough – time to more forward – hoping you all had as good a Christmas as I did – I loved every moment of mine for many reasons, loads to be thankful this year so it was a really special time anyway even without the usual magic of Christmas and, of course, the good food:)

Only going to cover the actual Christmas day meal in this post and then I’ll write more this evening:)

Starters – Salmon Terrine Managed to pick up a full side of salmon for only £3 at Morrisons on the 24th. I wrapped this in foil with a knob of butter, a few dashes of lemon juice, a tablespoon of boiling water and sprinkle of dill. This parcel went into a hot oven for about 20 mins (I checked it at 15 but it was a thick piece and not done to my liking) and allowed to cool just enough to handle and flake into a bowl. While still hot I stirred in several large tablespoons of low-fat Asda cream cheese with garlic and herbs, some ready cooked prawns chopped into small pieces (at this stage I also considered chopping in some spring onion in but wasn’t sure about all the other guests liking it so I used them to decorate instead)
This mixture I then layered alternately with cooked asparagus in a bread tin mould which I’d already lined with smoked salmon ready for serving with a light salad and brown toast.

Main Course – Turkey Roast – “with all the trimmings”
Not going to dwell too much on this as there was no real rocket science to most of it so here’s the list of what we had and then I’ll expand on a couple of the items:

  • Roast Turkey
  • Baked Gammon – see below
  • Sausages and Bacon
  • Homemade Chestnut Stuffing – see below
  • Roast potatoes and Roast Sweet Potatoes
  • Various Mixed Vegtables (mainly steamed with no salt)
  • Sprouts with Fried Bacon
  • Homemade Bread Sauce and Gravy

Baked Gammon
Boiled this up in my slow cooker for about 3 hours in cider with a handful of cloves, peppercorns and a quartered onion before removing the skin/rind and smearing the fat with a mixture of clear honey and mustard and baking in a hot oven for about 35 mins to glaze over.

Chestnut Stuffing at the Top

Chestnut Stuffing
Hardest part I find is peeling all the chestnuts to begin with, yes I know you can buy them ready cooked and peeled but buying them whole and raw from a market stall is about a tenth of the price (seriously – got loads more for less price) Chestnuts can be boiled or roasted/baked both styles give different flavours – baking tastes more nutty where-as boiled gives a more meaty type flavour – If I’m eating as a snack/saturday tea in front of the TV then I personally prefer to boil in heavily salted water and then eat while still hot with a knob of butter. But for cooking with I bake of in the oven – small slit *on the curved side* of the shell of each fresh chestnut and then onto a baking try in a medium oven for about 15 minutes until sizzling and cracking. Then there’s nothing else for it than to sit there for hours peeling them all (I did a large bag as I love the taste – brings back many happy childhood memories) Then just mix them (roughly chopped) in with bread crumbs, chopped onion, crushed garlic, mixed herbs and some pork sausage meat. Knead all this together with your hands (squidgy but the best way) then bake off in a hot oven for about 40 mins depending on how you have decided to present your stuffing – balls, block, candy bar etc – personally to accompany roasts I put mine in a pie mould and slice up:)
You cant have Christmas dinner without at least mentioning sprouts – I’m not a great fan (but will eat them) so I like to liven them up a bit with some bacon – boiled up the sprouts for a few minutes before draining and popping into a frying pan where I’d have some sliced up bacon frying in butter(ok so maybe I’m having a day off from healthy) to finish off:)

Baked Alaska

Of course Christmas dinner isn’t Christmas dinner without the pudding however the Wife’s families tradition is to have Christmas pudding on New Years so they don’t get over-stuffed on the day. deciding that this was a good idea so I needed an alternate which was light, fun and easy so settled on Baked Alaska with a home-made vanilla ice-cream, and of course Christmas crackers, Coffees and teas to follow.

Anyway, to anyone reading – I hope your Christmas was as happy as mine with plenty of good food and good cheer, here is to a second weekend of celebration over the new year and a fabulous 2012:)

You’ve just gotta love 24hr supermarkets…

…especially at this time of year:) its 5am in the morning of the 23rd and had the ENTIRE supermarket completely to ourselves so nice and easy to stroll around and finish the entire food shop without crushes, crowds or problems and with loads of staff eager to help (even if they thought I was mad) – just a shame they weren’t also in my kitchen to help with the unpacking too:)

Anyway – off to bed now that everything is squared away – I’ll do a fuller post in the (later) morning when I start some of the prep work:)

Egg fried rice from leftovers, cheap and tasty

Ok so yet another busy day but barely stepped outside the door – loads of housework done so now all spick and span ready for food preparation and visitors for the big day:) Lunch was very tasty – something I normally reserve for a Friday night as its a nice simple, quick fish dish so I’ll wait till I do it again on a Friday and cover it there. So I’ll crack on with tonights dinner.

Egg fried rice with Turkey and Prawns

I had some rice and prawns left over from last night so, wanting something quick and easy I decided to do a fried rice. Chopped a large onion up and sliced up (I prefer it that way than crushed) 3 cloves of garlic and sautéed them together with a teaspoon of rapeseed oil and a small knob of butter. Once starting to turn translucent I added the left over rice and two packs of sliced up turkey sandwich slices (again from the reduced section at 19p per pack. At this point you can also add what else you want – sweetcorn, peas, mushroom etc – and I threw in a general tablespoons worth of soy sauce and black rice vinegar. Having given a good stir I left it too cook out for about a minute before stirring in 2 raw eggs (well stirred in to coat the rice etc) and the prawns cut up into halves (with a couple left over to decorate) Several good stirs and about 2 minutes later and it was ready to dish up, quick, tasty, cheap and cleared some more space out of the fridge ready for food prep tomorrow:)

Christmas countdown continues with…the sales and a curry

Not going to be a massive post today as it’s been a long (but productive) day Christmas shopping. Most non-food items ticked off the list ready for the big day and a few decent reduced priced kitchen items in the sales – the shops really seem keen to get you to spend money, any money, at the moment – some of the reductions pre-Christmas are nuts – and on top of that “Best-Buy” at Parkgate is closing down in early January so is having a massive “everything must go” sale – and there’s a new Poundland there too, and TKMax have a sale on and…and..and.. suffice to say its been a long, cheap, day and someday when I have more time and energy and less preparation for Christmas to do I’ll maybe get around to cataloguing the new toys.

So on the way home from successfully blitzing sales, and as is my usual habit, I check out the reduced section at Tesco Express and find it packed with value Jumbo prawns which lend themselves to a nice curry – ok so anything can be made into a curry but these are ready cooked and in the reduced section so I’m not expecting taste explosions without adding some more flavour to them so curry seems the perfect plan. (NB for the record I do a lot of my shopping from the Tesco value range so that is not a complaint about it – just that I KNOW having grown up on a small island with fresh seafood that these prawns are not going to ring my bell on their own. Once Christmas is out the way I think I’ll explore the value ranges more with you, remind me)

Anyway back to today – and on the way to the checkout and I’ve grabbed some value (see told you) naan bread and some value (double see) low fat yoghurt and its back to the kitchen for me.

Ok so Homemade Prawn Korma in quarter of an hour

I’m not going to tell you how to do rice or heat a naan bread so just do those in your own time to coordinate with the end of cooking. Also to note is I like my food spicy so adjust these measurements accordingly if you want to tame it down a bit…

Preparation wise mix about 300g of the low fat plain yoghurt with about a teaspoon of chilli powder, a teaspoon of ground black pepper and a teaspoon on ground cumin and lastly a teaspoon of turmeric – make sure its all stirred and mixed well and leave to sit while cracking on with the rest.

In a saucepan heat a small dribble of oil and throw in a teaspoon of whole cloves, another of peppercorns and about 4-5 cardamom pods (don’t forget to crack them slightly with the side of a knife blade) and toss them all around slighlty till they start to sizzle before chucking in a couple of crushed or finely chopped garlic cloves and a teaspoon of chopped chilli (I cheat and use the Tesco equivalent of lazy chilli) its in vinegar and gives a lovely bite to things.

Once that is all starting to smell nicely I dropped the prawns in to warm up (pre-cooked remember) for about a minute before adding the yoghurt mixture. After a good stair and another minute that should al be ready – if you’ve been paying attention and got your easy cook rice on to cook, and your naan in the over at the right time then that should have all taken around 15-20 minutes in total for a gorgeous Prawn korma at a cheap price – the prawns (albeit reduced) were £1.49 a packet of which I got 2 packets – the rest of the ingredients weren’t more than £2 between them so £5 total and 15 mins cook time for a lovely curry for 2 – can’t be bad.

You know it’s Christmas when…

…the parcels arrive – ok, ok so its not technically a Christmas present and Sushi is not considered the most traditional of Yule Tide cuisine but I’m excited all the same and it’s been an eagerly awaited knock at the door from dear old postie:)

In fairness and all joking aside I was pretty impressed with the turn around in getting it out to me anyway we only ordered it at 12:30 on the Thursday 15th and it arrived early morning of the 17th so definite spot on at this time of year:) Fast delivery, securely wrapped and all intact – can’t ask for more.

Had planned on ordering sooner but we’d been distracted by the lead up to yesterdays events but now that’s out the way I’m ready to crack on. So I better explain – after many years of eating sushi all over the Far East and now, as you know, with a pressing need to be eating healthy food regularly I’ve been looking further and further into the opportunities presented by sushi and I’ve discovered a thriving community of home Sushi makers here in the UK and many more restaurants than I expected.

I even tried applying for an apprenticeship in one of the South Yorkshire sushi restaurants but was advised by the college that as I already have a degree I wouldn’t be eligible:(

That being the case I’ve decided to take the plunge in the home kitchen and, after research  found that SushiSushi are considered *the* sushi supplies shop in the UK and placed my order for an all inclusive 4 person kit (I do have a mish-mash of odds and ends from my travels but decided to start from the beginning) Yes you guessed it – its that parcel that’s just arrived so I’m off to have a read up and see what fun I can – its been a few years, wish me luck:)



So…what is Scampi? aka TV cookery invades the Internet?

“What Is  Scampi?” ranks 2nd in top Google searches for this year. Pretty certain I actually ran this search myself after the question appeared in one of the cookery programmes I watch but which one it was I’m not sure now – the TV seems to be constantly tuned to Good Food these days (having been signed off for several months following the heart attack has given me square eyes and a rounder stomach)
Main contenders are likely to be

  • Masterchef Australia (much better format than the new UK version I’m afraid to say – viewers actually get to learn some cookery tips from watching it)
  • Top Chef – American version – a bit more game show like but great fun and again, like the Australian version, you get to know the competitors and build empathy, plus much more interesting challenges
  • Our (UK) Masterchef – any of the flavours – professional, amateur or celebrity (yes Tim Lovejoy was robbed)
  • Weekend morning TV – “Something for the weekend” and “Saturday Kitchen Live”

There are countless others – too many to mention – Valentine Warner Eats the 60s (and 70s) was possibly the best cookery show this year – fantastic for us retro foodies:)

So what other cookery shows have I missed from this list? I’m ignoring the countless re-runs to be honest as clearly that list would never stop.

Last but not least – anyone else interested to know what Cook-a-Long with Gordon Ramsay on Christmas day morning is going to involve? I’m assuming its going to be “Put your sprouts on now” “take the goose out the oven to relax now” cooking-by-numbers as it appears to last for 3 hours finishing at lunchtime on the big day?