Sunday, 29 December 2013

Crispy Buttermilk Turkey Tacos

If you're not yet sick of the sight of turkey and you're still keen to indulge a little whilst making the most of the Christmas leftovers then you have to MAKE this!!
Don't be put off by the ingredients list, you'll have most of it in your cupboards. This also serves to impress at any dinner party and if you're all out of turkey use fish, chicken or try my vegetarian version. 

Crispy Buttermilk Turkey Tacos

Cooking / Preparation Time - (As long as you have the patience to marinate the turkey for - Anytime from 1hr to overnight ) plus 30mins cooking time.
Feeds - 4-6

Ingredients - 

Leftover turkey - Keep it in medium sized chunks/ slices and allow around a handful per serving

Buttermilk Marinade -

150g of Buttermilk (If you can't find this use sour cream and add a dash of milk)
2 x Tbsp of Smoked paprika
1 x Tsp of Cayenne pepper
2 x Tbsp of maple syrup
Sprinkle of rock salt
Generous sprinkle of white pepper
Generous sprinkle of black pepper

Flour Mix -

2 x Cups of plain flour
2 x Tbsp of smoked paprika
1 x Tsp of cayenne pepper
Sprinkle of rock salt
Generous sprinkle of white pepper
1/2 x Lemon zest

Pickled Red Onion- 

1 x Large red onion finely sliced
3 x Large glugs of red wine vinegar - Enough to cover the onion
1 x Tbsp of caster sugar

Spicy Pickled Radishes -

5 x Radishes - Finely sliced
2 x Glugs of red wine vinegar - Enough to cover the radishes
1 x Tsp of caster sugar
1inch of ginger - Finely sliced
1/4 x Medium sized red chilli - Finely sliced

Paprika Mayo-

4 x Tbsp of full fat mayonnaise
1 x Tbsp of smoked paprika
Large sprinkle of white pepper
Glug of Choula chilli sauce or Tabasco
Squeeze of a lemon


Pack of soft flour tortillas - Allow one per person
1/4 x Red Cabbage - Finely sliced/shredded
1/2 x bunch of fresh coriander finely sliced to garnish
3/4 x Red Chilli - Finely sliced to garnish

Instructions - 

Start by combining the buttermilk marinade with the spices then add the turkey, cover and leave in the fridge to marinade for as long as your patience allows.
TIP - I always freeze some of my leftover turkey as I find I need a few days turkey free post Christmas. As long as you defrost and cook thoroughly the turkey will be just as good as fresh.
Whilst the turkey marinates combine the spices with the plain flour so it's ready to coat the turkey. Next start on pickling the red onion and radishes, combining all ingredients listed above and making sure you finely slice both the onions and radishes, they'll pickle quicker this way. 
Ensure the red cabbage is as finely shredded as possible and put to one side along with the coriander and fresh red chilli if you fancy the extra spice. 
Combine the mayonnaise with the lemon juice and spices. Give it a try to make sure you're happy with it, add extra spice if you can handle it.
Heat up a medium sized pan with vegetable oil until the fat is bubbling hot. Test by sampling one small piece of turkey before adding the rest - It should fizz and float to the top if ready.
Once the turkey is marinated carefully remove it from the marinade and add it straight to the flour mix coating all sides (try to keep as much of the marinade on the turkey as possible) before adding to the hot oil and deep frying for 3/4 minutes until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon to remove it from the oil, place the turkey onto paper towels to soak up some of the excess oil.

TIP - Don't overfill the pan as it reduces the temperature of the oil. You can keep the cooked turkey warm in the oven if you have a fair bit to get through. 
Once you've cooked all the turkey, start by adding the shredded cabbage to the middle of a taco followed by a generous topping of paprika mayo and the crispy fried turkey. Follow this with the pickled onions and radishes before garnishing with coriander and chilli Serve whilst the turkey is still warm. 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013


Bread Sauce- 
3 slices of white bread
1 x Pint of Full fat milk- Enough to cover the bread
4 x cloves
2 x Bay leaf
Sprinkle of salt 
Generous sprinkle of white pepper
A nob of butter

Instructions - 
Combine all ingredients and heat on a medium to low heat on the hob until the bread dissolves, let this simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning and once you're happy with it remove from the heat, once cool cover until you need to reheat and serve or serve immediately. 

Turkey Leftovers Round 1- Crispy Fried leftovers with Spicy Guac & Gem Lettuce

If you're like me and are already a few Christmas dinners down then you might find this one useful...

Turkey Leftovers Round 1
Crispy Fried White Pepper Turkey with Extra Crunchy Stuffing, Spicy Guac & Gem Lettuce

This is a great option when you're still full from your Christmas day roast but have leftovers that you can't resist.

Cooking / Preparations Time - 15mins
Feeds 4

Ingredients - 
2 x Handfuls (8/10) Brussel Sprouts - Cut in half with outer layers pulled off
2 x Gem lettuces - Thoroughly washed with end cut off and leaves left separate 
2 x Handfulls of leftover turkey - A combination of light and dark meat works best - Sliced into rough strips
1 x Handful / Generous chunk of stuffing - Sliced into small cubes
1 x Spring Onion - Finely Sliced
1 x Handful of fresh coriander - Thoroughly washed and finely sliced
1/2 x Tsp of Smoked paprika
1/2 x Tsp of White pepper
2 x Ripe Hass avocados
1 x Limes 
Glug of Oil
Generous glug of Mexican style chilli sauce such as Cholula or chipotle tabasco 
Rock salt & black pepper

Instructions - 
Start by adding the brussels sprouts, turkey and stuffing to a pan on a medium to high heat before adding a glug of oil, 1/2 a tsp of white pepper and let cook until golden and crispy. Make sure you shake the pan enough to turn the sprouts, turkey and stuffing. All sides need to be golden and crispy before serving.

While the sprouts and meats are cooking, start by combining the avocado, 1/2 the spring onion, juice of both the limes, 1/2 a tsp of smoked paprika and good glug of the Cholula chilli and garlic sauce (I'm obsessed with it). Season with salt and pepper then give it a good mash/mix before finally add 3/4 of the chopped coriander. Taste to make sure it's spicy/seasoned well enough.

Once the guacamole, sprouts, turkey and stuffing are ready to go - Serve up by placing generous spoonfuls of the spicy guacamole onto the individual gem lettuce leaves followed by doing the same in sprouts, turkey and crispy browned stuffing. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with spring onion, coriander and a squeeze of fresh lime. 

The best bit is that you won't be left too full to eat all the other leftovers going...this is great as a light lunch, brunch or starter.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Mikey's Mulled Wine

Mikey's Mulled Wine 

This hands up has to be the BEST mulled wine I've had, I'm a red wine enthusiast and this one nails it :-)

Preparation Time - 30mins
Waters - 6-8 or even 12

Ingredients - 
2 x Bottles of OK quality red wine
500ml x Ginger beer
500ml x Apple juice
Glug of brandy- for extra strength
1 x large cinnamon stick
2 x Star anise
3 x Cloves (he's not keen) - stick into satsuma
2 x Cardamon pods
3 x  Orange slices
3 x Lemon slices
3 x Lime slices
1 x Satsuma with cloves stick in 
1 or 2 Tbsp of Muscovado sugar - taste it after one.

Instructions - 
Add all of the above and cook on a low heat for between 30mins and 3 will get better with time :-)

Stuffing Rolled Roasties

Stuffing Rolled Roasties - 

This one is for the vegetarians out there who feel like they may be missing out over Christmas...this dish really does take roast potatoes to the next level. I'm only cross that I'd not done this sooner!!!

Cooking/ Preparation Time - 1.5hrs
Feeds - 6/8 or 4/6 with enough for potato hash the next day

Ingredients - 

5-6 or (around 1.5kg) x Large potatoes Maris Piper 
1 x White Onion - Finely Sliced into rings
170g x Sage & Onion Stuffing (Paxo) - Add 350 ml of boiling water to the dry stuffing - Stir thoroughly.
1/2 of a cup of fine semolina
3 x Handfuls of fresh spinach - Wilted down
Olive Oil 
Rock salt and white pepper


Start by peeling the potatoes then slice into 3"x 3" rough squares and add to a pan of boiling water with a good sprinkle of salt. Boil on a high heat for 12-15 mins. It's better for them to be over cooked rather than undercooked. Test the potatoes by pushing a knife into one, the potato should slide off pretty easily if they've been boiling for long enough. Once cooked drain in a colander and then return the potatoes to the hot pan but off the heat.  Next add the sage and onion stuffing ensuring that you use a fork to separate/whisk up the stuffing first so that it's not in big lumps. Add both this and the semolina to the potatoes, cover with a lid and shake so that the potatoes are rough and fluffy with a coating of semolina and stuffing. 
Take a large oven dish and cover with a good amount of oil. Season with salt and pepper and heat in the oven for 5 mins on 200 degrees Celsius. Add the potatoes to the hot oil (be careful it may spit) using a serving spoon gently turn the potatoes in the oil before placing in the oven - All sides should be covered. 
Let them cook for around 35mins then carefully turn the potatoes in the oil again. You may need to add another glug of oil at this point to make sure you encourage as much crunch as possible. You can also add in the onions and spinach making sure you tuck them in alongside the potatoes as you don't want the onions to overcook. Plus you still need to maximise opportunity for potato crispiness!
Cook for a further 15/20 minutes until you're satisfied with your golden potatoes. Oven dependent you may need to turn it up to 220 degree Celsius if you're not getting them golden quick enough. 

TOP TIP- Make sure you don't over crowd your tray as they'll take longer to cook and go golden. 

Monday, 16 December 2013

Baked Brie with Roasted Garlic, Chilli & Cherry Tomato Salsa

Baked Brie with Roasted Garlic, Chilli & Cherry Tomato Salsa

This one is super simple, completely indulgent and definitely one to be shared. It's all down to good quality, ripe ingredients.
This should be a strong contender to be included in anyone's Christmas canap├ęs or can even be eaten a pre-Christmas day supper snack. As long as you get it while it's warm and take into consideration the  serious amount of garlic you're about to eat, you'll thoroughly enjoy this dish.

Cooking / Preparation time - 20mins
Feeds - 4/6

Ingredients - 
1 x Whole Brie (vegetarian Brie available)
8 x Large cloves of garlic
1 x Medium red chilli
2 x Tsp of chilli flakes
1 x Sprinkle of rock salt
Large handful/ 8/10 cherry tomatoes - Try the yellow ones for some variation and extra sweetness
2 x Sprigs of rosemary
4 x Large glugs of extra virgin olive oil 
Sprinkle of black pepper

Instructions - 
Start by adding six cloves of garlic (outer layer left on) and your cherry tomatoes to an ovenproof dish and cover with a glug of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Roast for 10 mins on 180 degrees Celsius. Add in a sprig of rosemary for the last 2 minutes or just until it's crisp.
In the meantime remove the outer layer of the remaining garlic cloves, crush them with the side of your knife and slice in half. Next carefully make small slices in the Brie, around 6 or 7 should be enough and push the garlic inside along with a few sprigs of rosemary. Place in a dish and bake for 5/6 minutes.

Whilst the Brie is baking, start your salsa by using a pestle and mortar to muddle the red chilli and chilli flakes with rock salt and black pepper until you're left with a paste. Once you have gently roasted your rosemary add this too, leaving out the central hard stalk. When your cherry tomatoes have roasted nicrly and your garlic has become soft, start squeezing out the sweet, roasted garlic and combining this to your paste. Continue to muddle and gradually start to add your olive oil. Next add your cherry tomatoes along with the juices from roasting them and give a thorough stir.  Check for seasoning and adjust if you need to.

Serve the salsa alongside the baked brie with a crunchy french stick or freshly baked loaf.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Roasted Tomato & Rosemary Soup with Cheese & Onion Ciabatta Toastie

Roasted Tomato & Rosemary Soup with Cheese & Onion Ciabatta Toastie
Now the temperature outside has started to drop and the days are closing in, I'm finding I can't help but crave warming comfort foods. This is a super simple way to pack in a load of vegetables, indulge in a bit of melted cheese and enjoy the comforts of a tomato soup that's not Heinz. Don't leave out the rosemary as this takes this dish to a whole new level. 

Cooking / Preparation Time - 40mins
Feeds 4-6

Ingredients -
4 x Large tomatoes - Roughly chopped
8 x Cherry Tomatoes - Finley sliced
1 x White onion - Half finely sliced, half roughly chopped 
5 x Large Cloves of garlic - Left whole (save half of one to rub over the ciabatta)
2 x Dark red peppers - Roughly chopped into chunks
2 x Vegetable stock cubes
1 x Pot of creme fraiche
1 x Small handfull of parsley - Finley chopped
2 x Spring onions - Finely sliced
1 x Bunch of rosemary - Roasted and finely sliced
1 x Large handful of mature vegetarian cheddar - Grated
1 x Ciabatta 
Rape Seed Oil - Small glug

Instructions -
Start by roughly chopping up the large tomatoes, half an onion, garlic and red peppers. Add them to a roasting dish, season and drizzle with rapeseed oil. Cook on 200 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. 10 minutes before removing from the oven add in the rosemary so it remains fragrant once cooked. Next make up 2.5 pints of vegetable stock and combine with all the vegetables and blend in the blender. Ensure that you remove all rosemary stalks before blitzing. Check seasoning and adjust accordingly.

For the cheese and onion toasted ciabatta, slice the ciabatta in half lengthways and rub with the fresh garlic. Add a small sprinkle of the finely sliced white onion, spring onions and finely sliced cherry tomatoes followed by the grated vegetarian cheese. Season with black pepper and place the other half of bread on top forming a sandwich. Next pan fry the ciabatta in a glug of rapeseed oil cooking on both sides. Place something heavy on top, pressing down on the ciabatta to help it cook. If you have one a toasted sandwich maker will work well here as well.

Serve the soup with a sprinkle of chopped parsley, fresh white onion, black pepper and a dollop of creme fraiche. Add the cheese toastie to the soup or serve on the side and dunk.