Pimientos de Padron

Pimientos de Padron

Pimientos de Padron are a delicious speciality from Galicia. These thumb-sized chillies are completely without the usual fire. To prepare just fry, with the stalks still attached, in hot olive oil until blistered, use kitchen towel to remove excess oil and sprinkle liberally with flakes of sea salt. They may not make the world’s most attractive dish but they are absolutely scrumptious. If you find these in your local greengrocer’s, I urge you to give them a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Chilled Broccoli Stalk Soup With Concassé

A while ago, I posted a recipe for a delicious soup based on broccoli stalks. With the beautiful run of weather we’ve been having in Ireland over the last month or so, I decided to do a chilled version. I just love chilled soups but we get too few chances to savour them during our normal summers. The soup turned out to be quite delicious and I’m hoping the weather stays nice so we can enjoy it again.

I’ve left the type of stock up to yourself. If you want a vegetarian version, use a vegetable stock: otherwise use a nice chicken stock.  I have specified white pepper, but this is mainly for aesthetic reasons, as this does not leave specks in the finished soup but don’t worry too much if you’ve only got black pepper: the flavour won’t be affected.

Summary

Makes: 4 generous portions
Preparation: 5 mins
Cooking: 20 mins

Ingredients

4
1 litre
25g
1 sprig
250ml
4 tbsp
200g
100g
3 r.tsp
Broccoli stalks (about 500g)
Stock
Butter
Mint
Cream
White wine vinegar
Ripe tomatoes
Cucumber
Capers
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Fresh white pepper
Mint to garnish

Method

Trim the dry ends and cut the stalks into small chunks. Place in a medium saucepan with the stock and add the butter. Crack a little white pepper into the pan. If you know that your stock is not salty you can add a little salt now, but it’s better to leave the main seasoning until the end.

Cover the pan and bring to the boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer gently until the broccoli is soft (about 20-30 minutes). After about 10 minutes, add the leaves from the sprig of mint. Liquidise the soup and pass through a fine sieve. Add the cream. Put back on the heat, but don’t let it boil. Make the intial adjustment of the seasoning. Transfer to a jug or jar and chill in the fridge overnight.

Next day, add the vinegar, give everything a good stir and make the final adjustment of the seasoning. This soup tastes best well chilled, and your fridge may not be cold enough. You can cool the soup further by placing the bowl in ice water or putting it into the freezer for a short while before serving.

Meanwhile make the concassé. Seed the tomatoes and chop to about same size as the capers. Wash the cucumber and scoop out the seeds. Chop to the same size as the tomatoes. Rinse the capers to remove excess salt. Mix the tomatoes, cucumber and capers together, binding with the smallest amount of olive oil. Add a small amount of freshly ground pepper.

Serve in shallow soup dishes. Place a mound of concassé in centre of each dish. Carefully pour the chilled soup around the concassé. Garnish with a little mint. Enjoy!

New Season Garlic

Early summer gives us a chance to experience one of the kitchen’s stalwarts in its fresh form. Fresh or wet garlic can be found readily and allows dishes to made with lots of garlic taste, which at the same time don’t overpower everything else. There are many things you can do, but here are a couple that I tried this year. The first is a fantastic quiche and the second is a great marinade for a steak.

Fresh Garlic Saffron Tomato Quiche

Fresh Garlic, Saffron and Tomato Quiche

I found the recipe for this quiche in Simon Hopkinson’s fantastic The Vegetarian Option and have been eagerly waiting for chance to try it. It’s a slightly involved recipe, which can be carried out in two stages, but the results are great and I’d recommend that you try it. Don’t be tempted to make this dish with normal garlic as the taste will just be too strong.

Summary

Makes: 4 good portions
Preparation: 20mins + 5mins
Cooking: 30mins + 25mins + 40mins

Ingredients

.
.
100g
65g
1 pinch
1-2 tbsp
.
.
.
100g
200g
1 r.tsp
100ml
1 tsp
2
1
100ml
100ml
100g
30g
Pastry
.
Plain white flour (sieved)
Cold unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
Salt
Ice cold water
.
Filling
.
Fresh garlic cloves (peeled and trimmed)
Ripe tomatoes (peeled, seeded and chopped roughly)
Tomato puree
Milk
Saffron strands
Large eggs
Yolk of large egg
Fresh cream (double cream if you like)
Crème fraîche or sour cream
Light cream cheese
Freshly grated parmesan
Salt
Pepper

Method

First, make the pastry. This can be done ahead of time, in fact it needs to be done at least an hour ahead. Put the sieved flour, butter and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Tip into a large cold bowl and add just enough of the chilled water to bring the pastry together. Put into a plastic bag and transfer to the fridge for at least an hour. If you’re a dab hand at pastrymaking, you can do all this by hand, but it’s hard to keep the butter from getting too warm.

Next, we need to blanch the garlic to take the edge off the flavour. Place the cloves in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, drain. Repeat this twice. Then cover with cold water, add a little salt and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the garlic is soft. Drain and set aside.

In the meantime, heat the milk to just below boiling and switch off the heat. Add the saffron and leave to infuse.

Put the tomatoes and puree, lightly seasoned and with a tiny splash of olive oil, into a small frying pan over a very gentle heat. Let the moisture evaporate, stirring occasionally. You should be left with an almost jam-like texture after twenty minutes or so. Set aside.

After the pastry has cooled, roll it on a lightly floured surface until about 30cm in diameter. Gently line a 20cm quiche dish about 3cm deep. I found it easiest to use a non-stick tin with a pop-up bottom. Prick the base with a fork and trim any excess pastry. Line the pastry with tin foil and cover with baking beans (or chickpeas etc). Place into a 180°C preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. You could of course buy a prepared quiche base, but where’s the fun in that!

All of this can be done in advance.

When it’s time to cook, set the oven to 180°C. Put the eggs, egg yolk and garlic into a food processor and whizz until smooth. Add the cream, crème fraîche or sour cream, cream cheese and parmesan and mix again. Season lightly and stir in the saffron-infused milk.

Next, spread the tomato ‘jam’ over the pastry base. Pour the filling into the case and transfer to the oven. This can be a little unnerving, so it’s best to carry out this step as close to the oven as possible. Bake for a little over 30 minutes until set and the top is golden.

Leave to cool for 10 to 15 minutes, to let the flavour develop. Remove gently from the tin and transfer to a serving plate. Enjoy with a nice green salad.

Fresh Garlic and Rosemary Marinade

The previous recipe left me with about 10 juicy cloves of garlic. I decided to make a nice marinade for a couple of lovely rib-eye steaks I’d bought. First of all, I peeled and trimmed the garlic. I then gave them a very light coating of olive oil and put them in a small ovenproof dish and roasted the cloves in a low (150°C) oven for about half an hour until they were soft. These were then transferred to a mini food processor. I added enough olive oil to almost cover, along with the juice of half a lemon, the leaves from a 30cm length of rosemary branch and some freshly ground pepper. This was all whizzed together and then applied to the steaks. After marinading for an hour or so, the grilled steaks were just delish!

Beef Tagine with Prunes

Beef Tagine

Tagines are one of Morocco’s most famous dishes, and this is maybe the most famous tagine of them all. We tend to think of them in those lovely pots with the conical lids. If you believe the blurb, that’s supposed to help the condensation drip back from the sides and not straight back into the pot. However, I’ve read that the Moroccans cook tagines in more normal pots and transfer to the elaborate pots for serving.

Lovely rich flavours and texture combine to give a memorable meal, particularly suited to the colder months. In Ireland, that means we can eat it all year around! It’s a real cinch to make: the very basic preparation is followed by a couple of hours simmering gently on the stove top or in a low oven.

Summary

Makes: 6 portions
Preparation: 20 mins
Cooking: 2 hours

Ingredients

1kg
40g
3tbsp
1tbsp
3tbsp
2tsp
1tsp
1tsp
½tsp
1tsp
500g
2tbsp
.
.
.
1
Stewing beef cut into good-size chunks
Butter (pus good splash of olive oil)
Coriander leaves (roughly chopped)
Mint leaves (roughly chopped)
Minced onion
Ground cinnamon
Ground ginger
Ground coriander
Black pepper
Saffron strands (infused for 20mins in a little hot water)
Ready to eat stoned prunes
Clear runny honey
Salt and black pepper
Toasted almonds and chopped coriander to garnish
.
Large flameproof casserole dish with lid

Method

Trim any excess fat from the meat. You can use a cheese grater for the onions, or just whizz them. You’ll probably need two medium onions to get the amound needed. Place the casserole pot on a medium-high heat. Add the butter and a splash of oil to stop the butter burning. When the butter is foaming, add the black pepper, cinnamon, ginger and coriander and stir around a bit. Add the onion, coriander and mint leaves and stir well. Leave for 30 seconds or so. Add the meat and stir to make sure it is well-coated with the onions and spices. Add enough cold water to just cover the meat. Stir in the saffron and the infusion liquid. Next, add about two-thirds of the prunes. Season with a little salt. You many need some more water, the ingredients should just be covered. Bring the pot to the boil and then reduce to a really low simmer and place the lid on the pot.

After about one and half hours the meat should be pretty tender and the prunes almost dissolved, which will thicken the dish. You can stir gently to encourage the prunes to break up but be careful that you don’t disturb the meat. At this stage add the honey and the remaining prunes. Season with salt and pepper. You might need more than you think, in order to balance the honey. Replace the lid and leave for another half an hour or so.

When the dish is ready, transfer to a large warmed serving bowl and garnish with toasted almond flakes and some chopped coriander. Enjoy with some cous cous, good white bread or plain boiled potatoes.

Food Report: Düsseldorf

I have spent quite a lot of time in Düsseldorf over the couple of years. Since I was hotel-based during this time, I have got to try a good number of the restaurants that this pleasant city has to offer. For the most part I have listed restaurants outside the Altstadt, mainly in the Flingern, Pempelfort, Tußmannstraße and Zoo areas just to the north-east of the centre area. While, the Altstadt is fully of places to eat, many of these are aimed at tourists. The restaurants, with the exception of two, are in the above areas, and all are frequented by locals.

I’ll group the restaurants by area. The map at the bottom shows where they are.

Am Wehrhahn

El Ömmes – Wielandstraße 37, Pempelfort, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 571914

This is a friendly cross between tapas bar and Gaststätte. The tapas are good, if a little oily and occasionally garlicky. Pimientos de Padron are excellent. Really busy at the weekends. Prices are keen. No credit cards.

Trattoria Emiliana – Adlerstraße 42, Pempelfort, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 350123

This excellent restaurant serves great Italian food. There is a menu with pasta, pizza, mains etc but it’s best to choose from the blackboard, which changes weekly. They have a fantastic dip for the bread made with cucumber, garlic, parsley, oil and vinegar. Prices are good.

Bar Olio – Schirmerstraße 54, Pempelfort, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 3677294

Very popular restaurant in a hut in an old railway freight yard. Food quite good but seems to hit the spot, as the place is permanently packed. Reasonably priced. No reservations.

Les Halles – Schirmerstraße 54, Pempelfort, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 3677294

Across the yard from Bar Olio. Priced considerably higher. Dark and atmospheric. Again very popular. Does a good brunch on Sundays. Zimmer No. 1, which is just across the street does a very nice Sunday breakfast too.

Su Nuraghe – Am Wehrhahn 69, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 354921

Tiny hole-in-the-wall pizza/pasta joint on Wehrhahn. Some of the best pizza you’ll eat anywhere, especially the simpler pizzas. Not many seats (stools really!) and usually busy. No credit cards. Closed on Saturday!!!

Frankenheim – Wielandstraße 16, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 351447

Restaurant belonging to the Frankenheim Alt brewery. Used to be the brewery but now only restaurant and bar. Good solid German food and great beer. Good value.

China Restaurant Sichuan – Am Wehrhahn 59, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 ???

Very popular Chinese restaurant, especially with Chinese expats. Lots of people also come for the buffet. I personally prefer the authentic Sichuan dishes from the menu. Excellent value.

Malkasten Restaurant & Bar – Jacobistraße 6, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 173040

Trendy bar and restaurant, especially the bar. Good food but quite expensive for Düsseldorf.

Pempelfort/Tuβmannstraβe/Zoo

This is a real up-and-coming area. There are lots of restaurants and bars, so the ones below are those that I’ve been to a few times. Other restaurants in the area include Löffelbar, Ab der Fisch and Botschaft Mitte.

gu:s – Moltkestraße 120, Pempelfort, 40479 Düsseldorf T: 0211 20964085

Very well executed German food, with a modern twist and light touch: Himmel und Ähd, Rostbraten etc. Nice wines. Good value.

vin & mer – Moltkestraße 122, Pempelfort, 40479 Düsseldorf T: 0211 4846479

Nice restaurant next door to gu:s, specialising in seafood and wine. Very good quality but prices are quite high. Last time I was in the area, the restaurant seemed to be closed. Hopefully only for holidays.

This restaurant has now closed and been replaced by em brass. Not tested yet.

Tußmann - Tußmannstraße 63, Pempelfort, 40477 Düsseldorf T: 0211 4846350

Fusion restaurant. Good food and wine. On the expensive side.

Askitis - Herderstraße 73, 40237 Düsseldorf-Zoo T: 0211 6020713

Fantastic Greek restaurant: the best I’ve been to … anywhere. Great food, good Greek wine selection and friendly staff. The grilled octopus simply melts in your mouth. Prices good.

Himmel und Ähd – Nordstraße 53, Pempelfort, 40477 Düsseldorf T: 0211 4981361

Bar cum restaurant in a lively area serving German classics such as Himmel und Ähd, Schweinehaxe, Veal liver etc, all washed down with by excellent Alt beer. Only slight drawback is that is a Raucherclub and you have to put up with a little smoke.

Kirti’s Dhaba – Düsselthaler Straße 1a, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 8604202

Best Indian restaurant I’ve found in Düsseldorf. It’s a simple place and you can’t be in too much of hurry, but the food’s really good and the prices reasonable. I have been there a couple of times with a group and we have managed to try a fair bit of the menu. Unlike many Indian restaurants, the dishes seemed to have their own distinct identity and consistency between visits was good too. There is a good vegetarian selection.

Flingern

This is a leafy area with lots of cafes and restaurants. I’ve only been to a handful: a situation I must address.

El Pescador – Grafenberger Allee 67, 40237 Düsseldorf T: 0211 2519153

This is a fish shop with restaurant attached. Prices are good and the fish is usually pretty good too. Things are pretty simple here. Very large portions.

Kytaro - Grafenberger Allee 119, 40237 Düsseldorf T: 0211 686048

This is a lively Greek/Mediterranean restaurant on the busy Grafenberger Allee. The food is good, the prices good and the atmosphere great. It is/was one the places to be seen. Unfortunately since the new smoking laws came into place, Kytaro has become a Raucherclub (ie smoking club), which makes life unpleasant for non-smokers, except in summer, when you can sit on the terrace.

As of March 2011, Kytaro seems to undergoing extensive renovation. Maybe has closed.

Altstadt

The Altstadt is chock-a-block with restaurants, mostly aimed at the tourist traffic. These are fine as far as they go, but not my thing. As well as drinking a few Alt beer in the Uerige brewery, try out these two restaurants, which are just around the corner and offer good food.

Fischhaus – Berger Straße 3, 40213 Düsseldorf T: 0211 8284564

Good fish restaurant with a vast range of fish at good prices.

La Copa – Berger Straße 4, 40213 Düsseldorf T: 0211 3238858

Excellent tapas bar, with a huge selection to choose from.

Food Report: Pierre Gagnaire à Seoul

During a recent trip to Korea, I had the pleasure of eating at the relatively new Pierre Gagnaire à Séoul restaurant. This stunning restaurant and attached bars occupy the entire top floor of the new wing of the Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul. The three-star Gagnaire has recently gone down the route of expanding his culinary empire, but less so that some of his colleagues such as Alain Ducasse or Gordon Ramsay.

The restaurant is very stylish and features great views over Seoul. I snagged the last table in the main dining area, but there are also three private dining rooms available, which is practically a must in Asia.

There were two menus to choose from: L’Esprit de Pierre Gagnaire and the Hommage à Séoul in both short and long forms. The prices were fairly eyewatering at approximately €120, €165 and €225 respectively, including service and VAT. You can really pay through the nose for western food in Seoul and wine is also incredibly expensive. A glass of nothing-too-special Chianti Riserva cost €21.

I plumped for the L’Esprit de Pierre Gagnaire menu, which was at the limit I would countenance paying. An small amouse bouche and bread arrived. To my shame, I can’t remember exactly what the amuse bouche contained, but it was very tasty. The bread was excellent. An array of five starters then arrived, each little bigger than amuses bouches themselves. These were: salpicon of strawberry and key jo gae, chives cream with white balsamic; oyster foam, beetroot purée, buttered yuzu sablé; fried potatoes stripes, jun ao and salad with orange; Sicilian small ravioli, fresh goat cheese, bang ao tomato-basil; and Burgundian snails, eggplant purée with black chocolat. These were all little flavour bombs, with the snails being outstanding.

The main course was built around lamb cooked three ways: cutlet roasted with an aromatic blend, nayng-i (like spinach) with Bleu d’Auvergne, coconut milk with soft garlic; thin slices of saddle with cumin, slow braised chicory, fresh beans with black rice creaml; and melted shoulder with dry fruits, navarin garnish, vegetal cocktail. These were all very good, although the chicory may be a bit too bitter for some tastes.

The traditional cheese course was interpreted somewhat differently. A mousse-like ‘unctuous’ Camembert with apple juice, cucumber, calvados and guava leaf granité managed to be cheesy and refreshing at the same time. I followed this with a feather-light soufflé flavoured with yuzu, a East Asian member of the citrus family. This was washed down by a frankly disappointing espresso – especially at €9.

So all in all, it was a very memorable meal, but at those prices, it could only be considered on very special occasions, when you just happen to be in Seoul.

Coriander Pork

Coriander Pork

I just love the earthy flavour of coriander seeds. Apparently coriander leaves are the world’s must used herb. This recipe combines both in a Stroganoff-type dish. For any North Americans, coriander goes by the name of cilantro.

This dish is really easy to make and with pork filet being such good value, it is not expensive either, especially compared to Beef Stroganoff with its beef filet. Nevertheless, it has an at-least equally sophisticated taste and, with the cream, is rich and filling. If only all such nice dishes were so easy to make.

Summary

Makes: 4 portions
Preparation: 15mins
Cooking: 15mins

Ingredients

1
250ml
1 tbsp
1sm.bunch
Pork filet (about 700g)
Cream
Coriander seeds
Coriander leaves (roughly chopped)
Salt
Pepper
Butter (plus splash of oil) 

Large frying pan

Method

Put the coriander seeds into a dry pan over a low heat. Slice the pork filet into slices about as thick as a pencil, then season with salt and pepper. When the coriander starts to give off a little aroma, remove from heat to a mortar. Grind with a pestle until all the seeds have been ground but a little texture is still left. You can use coriander powder if you want but you will lose some flavour, aroma and texture.

Place the pan over a medium high heat. When hot, add a good knob of butter and a little oil to stop burning. Add the pork in one layer. Wait until starting to brown, then turn over. Repeat until all meat is sealed. Keep the meat in a warmed dish.

Wipe out the pan and return to the heat. Add another knob of butter. When this starts to foam, add the cream. Increase the heat until the cream starts to bubble. Reduce the heat a little and keep stirring. Do this until a lot of the water from the cream has evaporated. You can recognise this by the cream becoming much thicker and more yellow in colour. Don’t go as far as letting the cream separate. Add the ground coriander and stir in. Return the pork and any juices to the pan and warm through. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Broad Bean Pilaf

Broad Bean Pilaf

This pilaf turns up in both Turkish and Persian cooking. Pilaf or pilav is present in one form or another from Turkey to India to Kazakhstan, where they call it plov. I got this recipe from Sam Clark’s Moro cookbook.  It tastes great, is good for you and is simple to make. The only slight drawback is that it requires a little advance planning to soak the rice and broad beans, if using dried ones. The rest is child’s play only takes about 20 minutes. You can eat on its own, in which case this recipe should be enough for four good portions. As a side dish you can reckon with six to eight portions.

Summary

Makes: 4 portions
Preparation: 15mins + 3 hours soaking
Cooking: 25mins

Ingredients

150g
500g
75g
1
6
Pinch
Md bunch
Sm. bunch
Basmati rice
Podded broad beans (or 150g dried broad beans)
Butter (plus splash of oil)
Shallot or small onion
Scallions
Allspice
Dill
Flat leaved parsley
Salt
Pepper 

25cm frying and lid

Method

First wash the rice several times in cold water until it runs clear. Then cover in lukewarm water and add a tablespoon of sea salt. Don’t worry if it seems a lot, it will be washed off later. The salt helps stop the rice from splitting during cooking. Soaking the rice for this long (3 hours) helps match the cooking time to that of the broad beans. If you are using dried broad beans you can soak these at this time too, in fact an hour earlier is even better. For fresh beans, unless you’ve got early specimens, you’ll probably need to remove the outer skin, which can be a bit indigestible. The easiest way to do this is blanch the beans for a minute or two to loosen the skin and then peel them.

When it’s time to cook, slice the shallot finely and chop the scallions using all the green. Chop the dill and parsley coarsely. Put the pan over a medium heat and add the butter with a small spash of oil. When foaming add the shallot, scallions and allspice. Fry until soft and the shallot is starting to colour (about 10 minutes). Meanwhile drain the rice and rinse off the excess salt. Drain the beans.

Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat with butter. Add the beans and two-thirds of the dill and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and mix everything gently together. Add enough water (or stock) to cover by about 5mm. Cover with damp greaseproof paper and turn up the heat. When it starts to boil, put a lid on the pan, and leave to cook for about 5 minutes, then turn the heat to low and leave for another 5 minutes. At this stage, the water should be fully absorbed and the rice quite fluffy.

Spoon the pilaf on to a warmed platter and sprinke with the remaining dill and parsley. Serve with a little [[link entry=”13″ text=”yoghurt”]].

Dressed Puy Lentils

Dressed Puy Lentils

Lentils are tasty and high in protein. They form an important part of a vegetarian diet, and indeed the largely vegetarian Indian diet has resulted in many delicious recipes, such as tarka dal,  for all sorts of lentils. In France the bluey-greeny Puy Lentils are a common accompaniment to lamb and other dishes. Puy lentils cook quite quickly without the need for presoaking. This is a considerable advantage. A very simple dish is to chop a shallot very finely and fry gently in butter or oil for a few minutes in a saucepan until soft. Then add 1 cup of puy lentils, which you have picked over to catch any pebbles etc. Stir the lentils carefully to coat with the oil. Then add 3 cups of water. Don’t add any salt at this stage as it can make the skins tough. Bring to a boil and simmer gently, partially covered, until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid. Add a dressing of 1 tablespoon red wine or sherry vinegar to 3 tablespoons of good olive oil. Do this while the lentils are still warm. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool to room temperature. There is easily enough for six side portions. Any leftovers can be kept for several days in the fridge.

The Saga of the Christmas Turkey

Christmas Dinner

This year Anna’s farmer brother, John, very kindly offered us one of his hand-reared turkies for the Christmas dinner. Being forewarned that they were on the large side got us thinking about what to do with the bird. We picked up one of the smaller ones, as seen in the picture, but it still weighed in at around 10kg, and came with all the giblets.

We decided there and then to remove the crown and save the legs and wings for future dinners. After dissection, the crown still looked pretty big, so we weighed it and found it to be 4kg: obviously too big for the two of us, so we split it in two. I made about 3.5 litres of very nice turkey stock out of the carcass, of which I froze about 2 litres for future use in soups and the like.

So, read on to see what we did with this magnificent specimen!

Christmas Dinner

Since we were only cooking the crown, we were naturally worried about it drying out. We decided to give it a two-stage preparation, suggested by Domini Kemp in the Irish Times. On the evening before, we poached it in a cider, water and orange juice liquor, suitably enhanced with salt, sugar, cinnamon and orange zest. After simmering for about a half an hour, we turned off the heat and left whole thing to cool with the lid on until the dinner time the next day. We then smothered it with butter and roasted it on a bed of coarsely chopped root vegetables, along with a lemon and a splash of white wine, for about 45 minutes. The turkey stayed lovely and moist. We accompanied it with potatoes roasted in goose fat, peppered sprouts and buttered carrots, as well as a nice gravy made with some of the stock. Very tasty. Pacing ourselves, we made sure we left some room for a bit of cheese and Christmas pudding!

Leftovers

One of the fun bits about the Christmas Turkey is finding ways of using up the rest of the bird. This is what we did this year.

Turkey Soup

We actually had our first left-over on Christmas Eve. Using meat pulled off the carcass and the neck after making the stock, along with some slices from the heart and gizzard and carrots from the stock, we put together a delicious soup.

Turkey Pizza

Covered a base with a little tomata pizza sauce, then sprinkled on some turkey, brie cheese and cranberry sauce. Cooked for 10 minutes in a very hot oven. Really good. Have to confess to buying a prepared base, but there are good bases for sale: ours was from Pizza del Piero in Rathmines, Dublin.

Turkey Quesadilla

Basically the same as the pizza without the tomato sauce, but the filling is sandwiched between two flour tortillas and fried on both sides with a good knob of butter.

Turkey Pie

Cut chunks off the crown. Unbelievably not quite gone yet. Made a nice velouté, enriched with some cream, mustard and a little grated gruyere. Added the turkey and some baby onions, which had previously been peeled and fried until golden. Topped with a puff pastry lid and cooked in a very hot oven until the pastry was golden. Delicious

Paella

On New Years Day, we cut the last few chunks from the crown and used in place of chicken/pork in a delicious paella dish, which I’ll post soon. Due to the limited supplies in the shops I had to replace the spinach with pak choi from the local Asian shop. Tasted a bit different but still very good.