Tag Archives: Turkey

Cranberry Sauce

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Since it is the start of December, I thought it was time for something for Xmas. As someone who isn’t religious, I think it is a bit hypocritical to get too involved in the festivities but there are certain things you sort of get caught up in – it is rude not to buy people presents etc. The best thing about Christmas is the food, admittedly not the turkey though, that just provides a base for all of the excellent bits and pieces. Cranberry sauce makes Christmas!

Cranberry sauce is not just for the end of December, it is fantastic with almost all poultry and especially good in a sandwich with the cold meat the day after. I love the stuff from a pot and eat mountains of it but I try not to buy things now when I have a saucepan and a supermarket!

It was a bit of a brave new world when it came to melting sugar for the caramel but I kept the words of Gordon Ramsay in mind “You have to have the confidence to let the sugar brown”, on the basis that I also had to let it brown and get some suitably pretentious photographs before chucking in the cranberries, I think I almost took this to the point of excess and wouldn’t have wanted to wait too much longer. IMG_2071

Apart from the sugar, everything else was plain sailing and really pretty easy. Cleaning the pan and spoon was a bit of a pain though.

Notes

  • I put a splash of Cranberry juice in to calm the sugar down a bit too as my fresh cranberries were a touch on the dry side, using frozen might well be advisable.
  • The sauce seemed to be a black hole for liquid, don’t worry if it seems to be too wet at any point as it will get absorbed by the cranberries very quickly.
  • Once the cranberries have been in for about 5 minutes, it is worth going through the mixture to check they have all split, I found there were still a few hard little bullets that hadn’t broken down. I light press against the bottom of the pan seemed to do the trick.
  • I used Grand Marnier instead of the more frequently used port because I thought it would be a good way to keep the flavour more tart.

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Ingredients

100g of sugar (or a little more if you want it sweeter)

300g of cranberries (fresh or frozen (defrosted))

An optional splash of cranberry juice

The zest and juice of an orange

A cinnamon stick

A couple of scrunched up bay leaves

A couple of cloves, crushed

A star anise (optional)

4 or 5 cardamon pods lightly bashed

A glug of Grand Marnier or port

 

Method

  1. Pour the sugar into the pan of choice, I used a frying pan but a saucepan would be just as good. Heat at a moderate temperature, keeping an eye on it.
  2. The sugar will melt fairly quickly once it starts to change colour, let it start bubbling for 10-20 seconds, pour in the cranberries – this is less explosive than I was expecting! you want to stir well and keep everything moving. This is a good time to add the orange to cool the sugar a little and make it more manageable.
  3. Once the cranberries have started to break down and it is becoming a bit more manageable, add the spices and alcohol, this will deglaze the pan. turn the hob down to let it simmer to infuse all of the flavours.
  4. Add some more liquid (orange juice or cranberry) to get it to your desired consistency and sweetness, remembering that it will thicken as it cools.
  5. Be careful decanting it because it isn’t an easy pour!

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Warm Turkey Salad

I think you’ll notice a pattern here in that I’ve been eating a lot of warm salads for supper and soups for lunch, but I’ve been seriously short on time and in need of something quick and light to keep me eating healthily while fitting the preparation around my revision schedule. 

This is a great, balanced meal, packed with protein, big on flavour and providing fresh, nutritious veg. 

 
  You will need: 

Salad vegetables; I used a couple of handfuls of iceberg lettuce, a medium carrot, peeled into ribbons as chopped into sticks, half a red pepper, sliced, a good chunk of cucumber, chopped, giving you st least 3 of your 5-a-day in one easy meal 

2-3 turkey mini fillets

Greek yoghurt, whichever kind you prefer (I’m not really one for low-fat dairy – everything in moderation)

2-3 heaped teaspoons of your favourite curry paste 

1 tsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper 

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp lemon juice (for the dip)

 
  1. Mix the curry paste with about 4 tbsp of the yoghurt. Season and add the 1 tsp lemon juice.  

2. Add the turkey into the bowl and make sure every piece is covered.   
  3. Put in the oven for around 10 minutes at 180C until looked through. I only baked 2 pieces one night she had the remaining 3 with rice the next day. Boil the egg for 4 minutes, allow to cool then peel and chop. 

 
  4. Meanwhile, add the dry spices and remaining lemon juice to the remaining yoghurt to make the really simple dressing.  
  5. Chop your veg, the add the turkey, egg and dressing to the top. Serve and enjoy.  

Pad Thai

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If you’ve never tried Pad Thai, you really have to. This is insanely good. Researching this recipe, I came across a host of different ways to make this dish, and I’m sure a lot (most/all) of them are more authentic than mine, but I’m a fan of switching ingredients to what you have in your cupboards or what’s available at the supermarket at a better value price. Traditionally, Pad Thai is for prawns or tofu, but I’ve had a lot of fish recently so I thought I’d try it with sliced turkey steaks. These are much better value than chicken fillets, as well as being leaner so better for you, plus they really benefit from a good flavoured sauce. You could, of course, add more veg if you’d prefer a veggie version.

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You will need:

1 pack ribbon rice noodles – the straight to wok variety is easiest.

2 turkey breast steaks, sliced into strips

1 clove garlic

1 chunk ginger

2 tbs soy sauce

3/4 tbs sesame oil

1 tbs lime or lemon juice

1 tbs honey

2 tbs siracha or other chilli sauce – I used some tomato and chilli syrup I had in the fridge

beansprouts, peppers, bok choi or cabbage, carrots, broccoli – use whatever veg you’d like. I used a pre-prepared stir fry veg mix then added extra pepper and boiled some broccoli to serve alongside

1 egg

2 tbs peanuts, crushed. Ideally, you should use plain, unsalted ones but they (weirdly) were £2 whilst the salted ones were 48p so I used those and crushed in kitchen towel to dab off some of the oil and salt.

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1. Heat a small amount of oil in a big pan or wok. Grate the garlic and ginger and add to the pan.

2. Add in the chopped vegetables and cook at a medium heat for 5 minutes or so. If you’re serving broccoli, put it on to boil.

3. Mix up the oil, soy, honey, lemon or lime juice and chilli sauce in a bowl and add a tablespoonful or so to the veg.

4. Push the veg to one side and place the strips of turkey into the pan where it is clear. Leave to brown slightly then turn.

5. Mix the turkey in with the veg and add in the noodles and the rest of the sauce mix.

6. Sprinkle in two thirds of the crushed peanuts (to crush, place in kitchen towel and fold it around them then batter with a rolling pin), saving the rest for a crunchier garnish.

7. Clear a space at one side of the pan and crack in the egg. Allow it to set a little on the bottom, then start to stir it in, allowing it to scramble, but don’t overcook it as it will turn to rubber. Don’t worry if the sauce bleeds into the egg – it will make it creamier and season it (it seems wrong but it’s so right).

8. Mix in together, make sure everything is nice and hot and serve, adding the broccoli on top and sprinkling on the rest of the peanuts.

I only managed to eat about 2/3 of mine so I have the rest to take to work for lunch tomorrow. I’ll definitely be adding this to my regular rotation though – it’s just so easy and delicious.

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Turkey Tacos

I happened upon some turkey fillets at the local farmers’ market at the weekend, and then stumbled upon corn taco shells at the supermarket.  Add peppers and onions from the fridge and you’re pretty much there for a delicious Mexican supper!

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You will need:

turkey, chicken, beef or pork, sliced into strips

1/2 red pepper

1/2 onion, red or white, whichever you have or prefer

2 tsp cornflour

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp parsley

salt and pepper

olive oil

1 tsp tomato puree

taco shells (3 if smallish and you’re greedy like me) or tortilla wraps, flour or corn, folded or rolled

sour cream, guacamole, grated cheese and salsa, to serve with, optional

salad to serve alongside, optional

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1.  Slice the onions and peppers and chuck into a hot pan, medium to high heat, in a little oil.  Stir occasionally to keep the veggies moving, to avoid burning.

2.  When almost done, lower the heat and stir in the tomato puree – cook out for a couple of minutes.

3. Whilst all that is going on, mix up the herbs, spices and cornflour in a bowl and cut your meat into strips.  Toss in the spicy flour mixture and turn the heat up under the pan.

4. If using crunchy taco shells, turn them upside down on a tray and put in the oven to heat up – this will make them crunchier.  Remove from the oven, lay on their sides and sprinkle grated cheese inside then pop them back in the oven.

5. Add the turkey to the pan and fry ’til taking on colour and cooked through – this shouldn’t take more than about 5 minutes – stirring back into the vegetables for the last few minutes.

6.  Now it’s time to construct them!  Once the cheese is nice and melted, fill with the turkey and veg filling, layering with sour cream, guacamole and salsa if you wish (which I do), or you can keep those as dips for the side if you prefer.

7.  Serve with salad and a heap of napkins – you’re going to have to eat these with your hands!  Buen provecho!

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