Monday, 28 December 2009

Leftovers - Sweet and Sour Turkey

Fancied something with a bit of zing this evening. Serves three or 4 at a stretch depending on how much turkey you have. I cook this in a large (and very cheap) Ikea wok that now has a very nice patina.


1 Medium Onion - Finely sliced into half-moons
1 Large Red pepper - sliced
3 sticks of celery - chopped
2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
Thumb sized chunk of garlic peeled and finely sliced into matchsticks
1 small can of pineapple chunks
1/2 hard white finely sliced
Shredded leftover turkey
1 teaspoon of cornflour
1 tablespoon of tomato purée
2 tablespoons of vinegar
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of chilli sauce (or more if you like it hot or add fresh green chilli)

Fry the onion garlic and ginger in a glug or two of vegetable oil until starting to colour. Add the pepper and celery and stir fry for a few minutes until they start to colour. Add the turkey and stir fry. Drain the pineapple and add the chunks, vinegar, soy sauce, tomato purée and chilli sauce. Stir. Mix cornflour into reserved pineapple juice and add to the pan and stir to thicken the sauce. If the sauce is too thick add more pineapple juice or orange juice or vinegar depending on the sweet/sour balance you want.

Serve with boiled rice.

Leftovers - Curse or Blessing?

I love them - simple as that. Cold turkey and gammon with cold roast potatoes, cranberry sauce and pickles on Xmas Day evening and Boxing day lunch - Yum!
However after a couple of meals you need something to pick them up. A slaw of vegetables with a sharp perky dressing is great for this.

Half a small cabbage finely sliced (or a dozen or so Brussels Sprouts grated)
Half a medium onion - very finely sliced (red onions are especially good)
Two carrots - grated
Two stalks celery - chopped
One apple - grated (something crisp and tart is best)
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds (freshly crushed)
1/4 teaspoon salt (ditto)
1/2 teaspoon Szechuan pepper corns (ditto)
1/2 teaspoons carroway seads (optional but they work well with the carrots)
Glug of oil and juice of half a lemon

Toss the lot together and serve with leftovers, jacket spuds, cheese etc. I make small batches so it stays crisp. You can add yoghurt and/or mayo if you like your salads more gloopy.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Xmas Lunch

Glad that the snow has gone and the ice has melted - it made digging the vegetables for lunch a lot easier! Couldn't find many potatoes - not surprising as I hadn't planted any this year but there were still some that had self seeded from last year. Instead I harvested some Jerusalem Artichokes instead. Pearly white and of a good size I will roast these with the turkey. I also picked a trug full of Brussels Sprouts and pulled a trio of leaks from the heavy soil as accompaniments to the turkey. The turkey (crown only) has had lemony garlic butter and bay leaves stuffed under the skin and the juice of the lemon over the top before streaky bacon was applied.

Bread and cranberry sauces are now being produced (I like to add orange juice, orange zest and star anise to the latter giving it a warm mulled wine sort of feel).

Sunday, 20 December 2009

The Power of Three

I have been asked "Why do you serve three when there is only two of you?" It is not that we feed the remains to Fitz and Tara, nor is it that I keep an illicit lover in the shed...
No making enough for three means I have enough to take into work and heat up for my lunch the following day, which when it is curry gets all my cow-orkers' noses twitching!

Party Food

Last night was party night at Chez Fitz, lots of fun and games and as usual too much to eat and drink.
This year we started with Peach Fizz (50/50 Cava and peach nectar) served with cheese sables, smoked salmon and assorted cured meats. These were then joined by an assortment of 'bread shots' (very small rolls made with smoked wholemeal malted flour) which had a variety of fillings (cheese, walnut & pesto, sun-dried tomato and olive). I then wheeled in an assortment of filled savoury pancakes (ricotta, parmasan & spinach and smoked salmon & sour cream). Finally a tray of baked mushrooms stuffed with stilton and a variety of cocktail sausages filled in the gaps before a slightly disappointing lemon ricotta tart (slightly undercooked almond pastry base) was served for pudding.
Of course this was all washed down with copious amounts of mulled wine!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Lentil and Polish Sausage Soup

One of the great things about living in Greenford is the increase in the number of Polish pork products that have appeared in the local shops as well as the local bakery now staying open until after I get home from work. This soup serves three and is great with a slice of crusty bread and cheese.

3 sticks of celery, trimmed and finely diced
2 carrots finely diced
1 medium onion finely diced
1 clove garlic finely chopped
Polish sausage sliced into bite sized chunks
Two or three large handfuls of green lentils
1 teaspoon Dried herbs (I used thyme and oregano)
1 litre or so of vegetable stock
1 large glug of olive oil
Salt an pepper

Fry the celery, onion, carrots and garlic in the oil until the onion is transparent. Add the sausage and fry for a few minutes then add the lentils and herbs. Stir to mix then add the stock and bring to the boil. Season to taste then simmer until the lentils are cooked.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

My favourite way of using up leftover roast chicken. I like my risottos quite moist, adding the knob of butter at the end helps amalgamate the stock and the rice and makes a creamy texture. This is not a meal you can leave for very long, frequent stirring is a must to get the right texture, as is cooking it over a medium hat; not to hot otherwise the stock boils off too quickly, too slow and you end up with a savoury rice pudding.

225g Risotto Rice
Knob of butter and glug of olive oil
Glass of white wine
Two sticks of celery, trimmed and diced
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
Handful of roast chicken leftovers chopped or shredded
Few chestnut mushrooms diced
1 litre or so of chicken stock
Parsley and tarragon finely chopped
Handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Fry the onion, celery and garlic in the butter and oil until softened. Add the mushrooms and rice and stir. Add wine and stir frequently until absorbed over a medium heat. Add the stock a couple of ladles at a time, stirring frequently until the stock is absorbed. Repeat until the rice is cooked. At this point add the herbs, Parmesan and another knob of butter. Stir and test the seasoning and serve.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Chicken and Leek Soup

Roast chicken yesterday so today, after making stock with the carcass it is a thick and warming soup on a cold, wet windy day. Serves 3 with a chunk of crusty bread.

Cold roast chicken - a good handful - chopped or shredded
1 fist sized potato peeled and diced
2 leeks trimmed and finely sliced
2 medium carrots diced
1 litre of chicken stock
250ml milk
Parsley and Tarragon - small bunch of each, chopped
Salt and pepper
Knob of butter and glug of oil

Fry the leeks in the oil until softened but not coloured, add the chicken, carrots and potato and cook gently for another 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil then simmer until the potato and carrots are soft. Mash a bit with a masher to thicken the soup. Add the milk and herbs and season to taste. Don't boil the soup again but heat it through and serve.

Some garlic croûtons sprinkled on top would add a nice texture

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Tomato and Beetroot Soup

Beetroot. I always associated it with the vinegary stuff in jars that stained your lettuce and potato salad purple. So for some reason I decided to plant some this year and now I have a row of purplish lumps in the vegetable bed looking at me through the mud, hence this soup which serves 3 for lunch along with some fresh bread and Lancashire cheese.

1 medium beetroot (about 200-250g) but beetroot don't come in nice regular sizes do they?
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove
large knob of butter and a splash of olive oil
1 can of chopped tomatoes
600ml vegetable stock
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper

Grate the beetroot. This will make a mess and will make your hands and kitchen look like you've killed a horse with a chainsaw. Fry the beetroot and the onion in the butter and oil for about 10 minutes until they have softened. Add the spices, the tomatoes, purée and stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Blend with a stick blender and add the Worcestershire sauce and season to taste.

A dollop of sour cream or yoghurt on top and or some chopped chives would make it look pretty.