Friday, 26 February 2010

Turkey Steak Fried in Sage Breadcrumbs with Real Chips

Turkey Steak Fried in Sage Breadcrumbs with Real ChipsIt truly never fails to amaze me why so many people in this world consider turkey merely to be for special occasion dinners such as those eaten at Thanksgiving or Christmas. While chicken is eaten through each of the four seasons in the West, we have this stigma almost about eating turkey as part of a simple everyday menu. Is this because we automatically associate turkey with buying the whole bird for one of the aforementioned special occasions? Are we not aware that we can buy individual cuts of turkey as we can with chicken? Whatever, this recipe is for a delicious turkey steak, fried in sage breadcrumbs, which can be eaten on any day of the year - including Thanksgiving or Christmas!

The Chips for this Recipe

As I have featured the process by which these real chips are made both on this blog and elsewhere around the Web before, it makes little sense to simply repeat myself. The full, detailed instructions for making these absolutely delicious chips can be found by clicking on the link immediately below. The remainder of this recipe will follow thereafter.

How to Make Delicious, Real Chips (Opens in a new window)

Ingredients per Person (Turkey and Veg Only)

1 turkey breast steak
2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 beaten egg
6 cobs of baby corn
Small handful of mangetout
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sunflower oil for frying


By this stage, our chips will have undergone stages one and two, as detailed in the link advised above.

The beaten egg should be in a flattish bowl and the breadcrumbs on a plate next to it. The sage should be stirred in to the breadcrumbs and the egg seasoned well with salt and pepper. A little sunflower oil should be poured in to a non-stick frying pan and brought up to a medium heat.

It may prove a little messy if you are not used to doing it but the next stage is to dip the turkey in to the egg, then pat it in to the breadcrumbs on both sides. Very importantly, the process should then be repeated, so that essentially the turkey goes in to the egg, then the breadcrumbs, then the egg again and finally back in to the breadcrumbs. This will ensure that the breadcrumb coating is thick, adheres well and is beautifully crispy at the point of service.

The turkey steak should then be placed in to the moderately hot oil and fried for five minutes each side. When the steak is turned, the chips should be put in for their final fry and water should be boiled in order to essentially blanche the veg for at most two minutes.

The chips should be drained (as instructed) in kitchen paper, the veg in a colander and the meal served as shown in the photograph.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Smoked Salmon Fishcakes with Hot Chilli and Tomato Sauce

Smoked Salmon Fishcakes with Hot Chilli and Tomato SauceThe considerable health benefits of eating smoked salmon aside, it truly is a delicious way to eat salmon. The natural oils of the fish remain intact and thus the rich, salmon flavour can be enjoyed in full. This smoked salmon fishcake recipe is in the quantities required for two people.


2lb potatoes
6oz smoked salmon trimmings
4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
2 beaten eggs
2 tsp freshly chopped basil
1 14oz can of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
1 small red chilli pepper (very finely chopped)
1/2 tsp caster sugar
16 Brussels sprouts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sunflower oil for frying


The first step is to make the chilli and tomato sauce, as we wish it to accompany the fishcakes having cooled. The tomatoes, chilli, sugar and salt and pepper to taste should be added to a medium sized pot and brought up to a simmer. They should continue to be simmered for around twenty minutes until the tomatoes have really started to break down. The mixture should then be poured in to a sieve over a large bowl and pressed through the sieve with the aid of a wooden spoon. The sieved sauce should then be returned to the pot and brought back to a simmer. Around ten minutes of simmering should reduce it to a fairly thick and lush sauce. It should be covered and set aside to cool while the meal proper is prepared.

The potatoes should be peeled, chopped and added to a large pot of boiling, salted water. They should be cooked until soft (around twenty-five minutes) before being drained and mashed. The smoked salmon should be roughly chopped and added to the potatoes, along with the basil and some seasoning. It is important to be careful with the amount of salt added, however, as a lot of salt will come from the smoked salmon.

A large frying pan should be filled with sunflower oil to a depth of around one and a half inches and brought up to a fairly high heat. The Brussels sprouts should be peeled and added to boiling, salted water, to simmer for no more than eight to ten minutes, depending upon their size.

The breadcrumbs should be placed in one small, flat bowl such as a soup plate and the eggs beaten in another bowl. The fishcake ingredients should be thoroughly mixed together before being divided in to eight equal portions and carefully shaped. Each fishcake should be dipped in the eggwash before being carefully rolled in the breadcrumbs. They should be fried in the oil for about three minutes each side. Note that depending upon the size of your frying pan, it may be necessary to fry the fishcakes in two batches, keeping the first batch warm in a low oven while the second batch cooks.

The chilli sauce should be split between two small serving bowls and placed in the centre of each plate. The fishcakes should be drained on kitchen paper before being arranged around the sauce. The Brussels sprouts may then also be drained and served.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Lamb Chilli in Pitta Bread with Salad

Lamb Chilli in Pitta Bread with SaladCooking with lamb is of course a very different proposition from cooking with beef. The meat is much more tender and when it is minced or ground, finer somehow. This is the principal reason why I have used tomato puree in this recipe for two, rather than the chopped tomatoes I would use in beef chilli. It simply seems more appropriate and less overwhelming.


- Lamb Chilli

1/2lb minced/ground lamb
1 8oz can red kidney beans in water (washed and drained)
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 garlic clove (crushed or grated)
1 red chilli pepper (finely chopped - seeds in or out as preferred)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

- Salad

1/4 small white cabbage (shredded)
1/2 large onion (finely sliced)
1/2 small cucumber (sliced)
1 large tomato (de-seeded and sliced)

2 pitta breads


The lamb should be carefully browned in a medium to large saucepan for a couple of minutes before the rest of the chilli ingredients are added. A little boiling water may be required in order just to let it simmer gently for around fifteen to twenty minutes. Be careful, however, only to add a little as required, or the chilli will be too watery.

While the chilli is simmering, the salad ingredients should be prepared and added to a large bowl. They should then be seasoned and stirred together thoroughly.

The pitta breads should be sprinkled very lightly with cold water before being placed under a hot grill for one minute each side, once the chilli is ready. A sharp knife should then be used to carefully slit open one side edge of the pitta bread and the chilli carefully spooned inside. Be careful not to overfill, however, or the bread will burst.

I have simply used a little twist of cucumber in the example photographed above for garnish, but such as grated cheese or garlic and herb soured cream are other options which I use from time to time.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Valentine's Recipe: Chicken and Red Pepper Stir Fry in a Heart-Shaped Puff Pastry Tart

Chicken and Red Pepper Stir Fry in Puff Pastry HeartBetter late (or almost late, in this instance,) than never is a very common expression. Although I had intended to start offering Valentine's Day recipe suggestions on this blog last Monday, various things unfortunately got in my way. Here, therefore, is my first such suggestion. The quantities in this recipe are stated per person.


1 chicken breast fillet
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 small onion
4oz puff pastry
1/2 tomato
2oz green beans
2 tsp roughly chopped parsley
Flour for rolling the pastry
Butter for greasing
Eggwash for glazing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


The oven should be put on to preheat to 200C or equivalent. The pastry should then be rolled out in a rectangular shape on a floured surface or board to a thickness of slightly less than a quarter of an inch. A sharp knife should then be used to cut as large a heart shape from the pastry as is possible. It does not require any great artistic skill to cut a heart in this way, merely a steady hand and a little care. If preferred, of course, a template may be employed. If desired, smaller shapes such as stars can be cut from the remaining pastry as an effective form of garnish.

The pastries should then be placed on to a baking sheet, lightly greased with butter. A fork should be used to make holes in the heart, all over, other than a border all around the edges of about 1/2". The pastries should then be glazed with the beaten egg and put in to the heated oven for twenty to twenty-five minutes, until raised and golden.

The chicken breast, red pepper and onion should all be chopped in to circa 1" pieces. A little sunflower oil should be heated in a wok or deep frying pan before the chicken is added and stir fried for about a minute. The red pepper and onion should be added for the second minute.

The green beans should be essentially only blanched, in boiling water for two minutes. The tomato can simply be cut in half or can be presented as I have done by cutting deep around the centre at alternate forty-five degree angles.

When the pastry is ready, it should be transferred on to a plate and the central area which was forked should be very easily depressed. The parsley should then be mixed through the stir fry and seasoning to taste and the stir fry used to fill the heart. The remaining garnishings may then be added.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Shin of Beef Stew Served in a Giant Yorkshire Pudding

Shin of Beef Stew in Giant Yorkshire PuddingThe only drawback with making shin of beef stew is in the time which it takes to cook. Shin of beef is one of the cheapest cuts of beef one can buy but when it is cooked properly, it is absolutely delicious and as tender as any piece of spring lamb. Tonight's recipe is for one person.


- Shin of Beef Stew

1/2lb diced shin of beef
1 small onion (quartered)
1 medium carrot (scraped and roughly chopped)
2 pints of fresh beef stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

- Yorkshire Pudding

3oz plain (all-purpose in the USA) flour
5fl oz milk
1 small egg
1/2 tsp salt
Sunflower oil for cooking


The first step is to get the shin of beef on to cook. It will take a total of two and a half hours to do so.

The beef should be put in to a large stew pot and quickly browned on a fairly high heat, while the stock is heated in a separate pot. The hot stock should then be poured in to the beef and brought to a simmer. The shin of beef then has to simmer in this way for two hours. It is important to check frequently if more liquid is required. If so, boiling water should be used to top up the pot.

The Yorkshire Pudding will take about thirty-five minutes to cook in a hot oven. When the beef has been simmering therefore for around an hour and three-quarters, enough sunflower oil should be poured in to a circular, ovenproof dish about eight inches in diameter and one inch deep to comfortably cover the base. The dish should then be placed in to the oven and the oven should be put on to pre-heat to 220C or equivalent while the Yorkshire Pudding batter is prepared.

There are a lot of fanciful tips and advice given both in cookbooks and around the Web for making Yorkshire Pudding. Very often, these are extremely complicated and almost ominous sounding and it is my firm belief that they are the principal reason why a lot of people are afraid to try making Yorkshire Pudding. Alternatively, attempting to follow some of these preposterous suggestions is the very reason why the Yorkshire Puddings don't turn out as intended. Those who know me and how I cook will know that I am a great advocate of simplicity in cooking and therefore I make Yorkshire Pudding very effectively in the following, simple fashion.

The flour should be sieved in to a mixing bowl or basin and the salt added. The milk should be measured out in a measuring jug and then the egg added to the milk and the liquid whisked briskly to combine the egg with the milk. Slowly, the milk and egg mixture should be poured in to the flour and salt, whisking all the time, until a smooth batter is formed.

Very carefully, the hot dish should be removed from the oven and the batter poured in to a depth of about two-thirds of the way up the side of the dish. It will splutter a bit so be careful not to get splashed. Return the dish to the oven and cook for thirty to thirty-five minutes, until the Yorkshire Pudding is beautifully raised and golden.

When the Yorkshire Pudding is safely in the oven, the onion and carrot should be added to the shin of beef stew, along with more boiling water if required. I know that it is more usual to add the vegetables at the start that their flavour may fully permeate the meat but I like my vegetables to be eaten with a bit of substance, not turning to mush the moment they are out of the pot. That is why I compromise in this way when the meat has to cook for so long.

When the Yorkshire Pudding is ready, it should be removed from the oven and removed from the dish to a plate with a fish slice or spatula. The shin of beef stew should then be seasoned with salt and pepper and added to the centre of the Yorkshire Pudding to be served.