XmasScraps and NoelByHJ

Leftover mash = Pomme Duchesse

Leftover mash = Pomme Duchesse

Christmas is around the corner!

I have been asked by a media Co to come up with few ideas on how leftovers could be used after the big Christmas dinner… I thought you might be interested too!

You know? After you have emptied you bank account and slaved in the kitchen to cook for 20 people (15 of which you only see when there is a family party with serious food).

After they’ve gone, you are out of pocket but, what can you create with that left over mash, leg of turkey, roast potatoes for your household?

How about a little “chuck-all-In” turkey and vegetables stir fry served with some pomme dauphine or duchesse? How about a turkey & roast potato stew with coconut milk? The one I could wait to eat was the Brioche & Turkey sandwich… couldn’t resist. Didn’t want salad in it, used coriander… yum!

I won’t tell you what I’ll be doing with the leftover Christmas pudding and cheese board. You’ll just have to check in later using XmasScraps in the search box. On twitter it will be #XmasScraps.

Turkey & coriander scraps = Brioche sandwich!

Turkey & coriander scraps = Brioche sandwich!

For my next show on Croydon radio next Saturday, I am looking at doing a simples dinner for 2…

If you are on a budget you are not going to decide to invite the world and its children round to yours are you? Don’t do like the Jones, your purse ain’t just not full enough.

So as a couples who has made an effort to save a bit for this special Christmas dinner, it is not about overeating, but making sure that every single mouthful is fully enjoyed. There might not be gifts, but food will square that off! It is called contentment!

The menu might have salmon, pate, lobster (from Iceland or Lidl not sure yet), maybe some wine? Not a fan of fizzy, so champagne is off the menu. I am doing it á la Française… Oh and there will be a yule log… Just because I cannot understand the British Christmas pudding.

During the show, you will get to hear a bit about how the French celebrate the food is all special and dinner is after midnight mass… Christmas day is just the follow up to the night before and people eat lighter. The hashtag for my Christmas show on Croydon radio will be #NoelByHJ. Use it on twitter and in the search box to find all related recipes.

Do check-in in a few days to see how much it will cost.

Joyeux Noël! x

 

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#TurkishByHJ – Baklava

HJ's Baklava

HJ’s Baklava

Dessert for 5 people

This Baklava is suitable for vegans

Ingredients:

HJ's Baklava 1

HJ’s Baklava 1

  • 9 sheets of phyllo pastry (£1.29)
  • 200g mix nuts including cashew, almond, walnut, hazelnuts (£1.59)
  • 100g pistachios (£1.00)
  • 2 medium oranges (20p)
  • 50g butter
  • 100g brown sugar cane
  • 2 teaspoons rose water (optional)
  • 20 x 30cm oven dish

Total cost for the dessert £4.08 or 0.82p per person. The orange water was already available. If you do not have brown sugar, use the normal sugar. You may also chose to use honey instead of making a syrup.

Method:

HJ's Baklava 2

HJ’s Baklava 2

Preheat the oven at 180°C

Prepare and mince the pistachios either by bashing it with a rolling pin or using the blender.

Do the same for the pack of mixed nuts. Keep separate from the pistachios. The consistency we are looking for is something like on the photo left. My nuts pieces were still not small enough, but I got bored trying to bash or blending them… The short cut would be to buy a pack of desiccated mix nut, but it won’t be economical at all to buy 300g of them if you are watching the purse.

Mix nuts and Pistachios

Mix nuts and Pistachios

You could also turn the nuts into powder before using it. It could be better, but too smooth. Once the nuts mix attends the consistency you want, divide it in 2 and set aside.

Clarify the butter by heating it in the microwave the oily part separated itself from the water.  Ultimately, what you are looking for is the Oil like butter that is going to rise above the water contained in the butter if the butter is heated properly… Scrape the foam on top water part of the butter was which will be at the bottom of the container.

Line the baking dish with baking paper, then, place on it the first layer of phyllo pastry composed of 3 sheets of phyllo.

Butter the pastry generously with the clarified butter using the baking brush. Now spread on it the first half of mix nuts, not the pistachios.

Layering

Layering

Now prepare the next layer of phyllo by buttering both sides of another 3 sheets of phyllo. Place it on top of the nuts and generously butter, prick, then spread the next half of nuts. Again, prepare 3 sheets of phyllo. Generously butter the side that is going to be in contact with the nuts. Place the sheets set in place and press down before generously butter what is now going to be the outer layer of the baklava. Prick the pastry then, brush the extremities with butter before placing the dish in the oven at 180°C for 30 minutes.

So the baklava is layered as follows: 3 sheets of pastry, butter, mixed nuts, butter, 3 sheets of pastry, butter, nuts, 3 sheets of pastry, butter, and then oven.

Meanwhile, prepare the orange and rose water syrup.

For the syrup

For the syrup

Grate the zest of a half orange, press the juice of the other orange. We should obtain 2 teaspoons orange zest and 100ml orange juice.

Pour them both in a small pan with the sugar, 2 teaspoons of rose water and 100ml water.

Place on the hob to simmer and reduce to about 100ml worth of syrup. It should take 7-10 minutes. To test that your syrup is ready. Take a drop, cool it down then rub it between the index and the thumb. It should be sticky, but still light.

Once it is the right consistency, remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool down.

fresh from the oven, time to cut...

fresh from the oven, time to cut…

Once the baklava is ready, take away from the heat, cool down for few minutes, then, cut through the baklava to obtain small scares and lozenges. Once it is cut, check that the pieces are separated, but leave them in place in the baking dish. Now, pour over the Baklava the syrup the, sprinkle over it the chopped pistachios nuts. Put the baklava aside to fully absorb the syrup. Allow about 3 hours before serving in my opinion.

Soaking & sprinkled with pistachios

Soaking & sprinkled with pistachios

I served mine with a special tea made out of Red bush tea, cinnamon stick and orange peel.

Enjoy!

PS: the mint was just for colour…

 

 

Et voila mon Baklava

Et voila mon Baklava

Type #TurkishByH to find all the recipes related to the Turkish menu. Do post some comments. x

#TurkishByHJ – Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak

Mains for 5 people

This Turkish main that consist of meat & either beans (Fasulye) or spinach (Ispanak). It is ideally served with rice cooked in butter, but I am service mine with wheat which is much firmer.

 Ingredients:

  • 300g flat beans (50p)

    Kıymalı ingredients

    Kıymalı ingredients

  • 300g spinach (40p)
  • 1 tinned of chopped tomato (50p)
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 800g lamb chops (£4.00)
  • Oregano
  • Fresh Mint (50p)
  • Fresh coriander (50p)
  • 3 Turkish peppers (25p)

    Raw wheat grains

    Raw wheat grains

  • Paprika
  • Chilli flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Ground Cumin
  • Vegetable oil.
  • Pomegranate (50p)
  • Natural yogurt (45p)

£7.60

Accompaniment:

  • 500g wheat (99p)
  • 50g butter
  • 25g onion

Total cost for the main £8.59 or £1.71 per person.

All the above ingredients were necessary as I tried to make this dish as authentic as possible. The most costly item on the list was the lamb chops, found in Iceland. For even lower budget, revert to chicken which can be bought from £2.00. The yogurt and pomegranates are also extra and often found in Turkish mains. Both are not really necessary. Instead of wheat, I could have stuck to rice or barley which are half the price of wheat. Excluding the yogurt and Pomegranate well as using chicken wings instead of lamb and rice instead of wheat would have bought the main’s cost down to around £5.15

Method:

Rinse and cut the lamb chops in smaller pieces big enough to be a mouth full. Place in a bowl. Peel & press the garlic over the lamb then add black pepper and salt. Mix well and set aside.

Lamb cuts

Lamb cuts

Rinse the flat beans, cut off the extremities and cut them in pieces of about 3cm in length. Do the same for the Turkish peppers and set aside. The Turkish pepper are much more flavourful than your regular green sweet peppers and they are not hot.

Cut off the spinach leaves from their stalks, rinse the leaves individually before roughly cutting them. Set aside. I used the large spinach leaves.

Peel and chop the onion, set aside. Pick off about 15 leaves of mint and a hand full of fresh coriander, rinse and chop finely. Set aside.

In a large sauce pan, heat 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, add the meat and fry for 5 minutes turning the pieces of meat until all sides are browned. Now add ¾ of the chopped onion, mix and cover the pan. Allow the meat to sweat for 10 minutes.

Flat bean and Turkish pepper cut

Flat bean and Turkish pepper cut

Now, add tomato, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, oregano, mint, coriander and 100ml water. Mix well, taste and adjust seasoning before covering to simmer for 20 minutes.

Halfway through the 20 minutes, add the flat beans & Turkish peppers, stirs and cover again. At the end of the 20 minutes, add the spinach stir well and cover to simmer for another 5 minutes.

By the time the spinach are softened, the meat would have been cooking for 45 minutes in total, so it should be really tender and almost falling off the bone.

Steaming Kıymalı

Steaming Kıymalı

Now on to the Wheat. The Turkish would have served the meat above with a Sade Pilavi, which means rice fried in butter, then cooked with stock… Please read the Wiki page about Turkish food, such an interesting mix of flavours and techniques. I am not using rice obviously, but I am cooking my wheat in the “Sade” way.

Rinse off the starch from the wheat, set aside. In a big enough pan with a lid, heat 50g butter and add the chopped onion. Until it starts to caramelise. Now add the wheat with a pinch of salt and stir fry for about 5 minutes to obtain a very slightly toasty smell (or burn if you will) coming from the pan.

Close up cooked wheat

Close up cooked wheat

Now pour over it 500ml of stock and cover to simmer for 30 minutes.  You will need to open the pan very often to check the water levels and add more water until the wheat softens.

Now. Wheat does not soften to the level of rice and can be very chewy, if you have never used it, after cooking it for 20-25 minutes you should be able to eat it without too much efforts.

Wheat is a great alternative to rice.

I server mine hot, topped with the Lamb Kıymalı with yogurt and fresh pomegranates jewels.

I chose to use the pomegranates instead of dry fruits because they are less sweet and bring much colour to the plate.

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak serve with sade wheat , natural yogurt and pomegranate

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak serve with sade wheat , natural yogurt and pomegranate

Enjoy!

To read how I came up with the menu read here… Other elements from this Turkish menu include a meze with Babaganoush, beans hummus, flat bread, cabbage dolma & tomato/almond dip

#TurkishByHJ – Crusty bread

Bread for the meze

Bread for the meze

Meze for 5 people

Including: Babaganoush, Broad beans hummus, Fresh tomato & almond Dip, Dolma and flat crusty breads.

Ingredients:

White bread

White bread

  • 8 slices of white bread (20p)
  • Poppy seeds
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Oil
  • Salt

Cost: 20p.

Method:

Flattening bread

Flattening bread

Pre heat the oven at 180°C.

Cut the crusts of the bread, keep the sticks separately. Now take a single slice of bread and lay it flat on the work top and flatten it as much as possible with a rolling pin. The slice must be as thin as the wall of a pitta bread.

Bread triangles

Bread triangles

Once the slice has been flatten, cut in 4 from corner to corn, thus creating 4 triangular thin slices. Repeat until all the slices have been treated the same way.

Take 3 bowls and put in each of them, 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. In one of the bowls, add salt, poppy and mix. In the second bow, add salt, paprika and mix. In the last bowl, add salt, oregano and mix.

Paprika, poppy and oregano

Paprika, poppy and oregano

Prepare your oven tray. Dip a ¼ of the bread slices in the paprika mix, the other ¼ in the oregano mix ant 3rd quarter in the poppy mix and the last quarter will be left plain.

DSC05155 121

Once the bread has been dipped in the mix, the pieces in one single layer on the oven tray. Once the tray is full, place it in the oven for 10 minutes at 180°C. Repeat until all the bread has been baked. Set aside until the time to serve the meze.

Serve as suggested below.

Meze by HJ

Meze by HJ

Enjoy!

Next, I will be posting the Turkish main meal.

#TurkishByHJ – Dolma

HJ Dolmas ready for steaming

HJ Dolmas ready for steaming

Meze for 5 people

Including: Babaganoush, Broad beans hummus, Fresh tomato & almond Dip, Dolma and flat crusty breads.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 cabbage leaves (10p)

    Cabbage, tomato, potato, olives

    Cabbage, tomato, potato, olives

  • Small bunch of mint and coriander (50p)
  • 2 tomato (5p)
  • Salt
  • 2 big (any) potato (50p)
  • 10 black olives (20p)
  • Chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6-8 toothpicks

Cost: £1.35.

Method:

The Dolma is usually made in Turkey with vine leaves stuffed with rice and other ingredients. For my version, I used Cabbage leaves and potato.

Since losing a % of the use on my left arm, I have learnt quite a lot about the peeling of some vegetables. Potato is one of the vegetables I no longer need to peel unless really essential… Did you know that potato skin is full of fibre and hold 20% of the nutritional value of the whole potato? I recommend reading on that.

Dolma mix

Dolma mix

So, for my dolma. I rinsed the potato them grated them in a bowl. To that I added: Chopped mint, Olives, coriander, tomato salt and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Combine and set aside.

Remove the greenest (& strongest) leaves of the

Dolma mix 2

Dolma mix 2

cabbage and place in a deep bowl, then pour over it boiling water and leave it to soften for 5 minutes then remove from the water. Flick out the water and set aside to cool down for few minutes.

Once the leaves have cooled down. Lay them flat and place 1-2 tablespoons

Dolma mix 3

Dolma mix 3

of stuffing on each of the leaves before rolling tightly. Now secure the roll with a toothpick. Repeat until all the leaves are done.

Place all the dolma in the steamer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

You can serve them whole or cut in 2.

Done.

#TurkishByHJ – Tomato and almonds dip

Meze - Tomato & almond dip

Meze – Tomato & almond dip

Meze for 5 people

Including: Babaganoush, Broad beans hummus, Fresh tomato & almond Dip, Dolma and flat crusty breads.

Ingredients:

Tomato dip ingredients

Tomato dip ingredients

  • 10 small tomato (50p)
  • 10 leaves basil (59p)
  • 10g red onion
  • Salt
  • 10g roasted almond flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 50ml groundnut oil or any other vegetable oil

Cost: From time to times, Lidl sells groundnut oil from 99p for 250ml during their Asian week promotion. I already had this oil, so didn’t need to buy some. For this dip, I only had to buy tomato and basil. I have flaked almonds left over from a previous recipe. They are essential to this recipe and they give it the dippy taste. This dip cost £1.09.

Method:

Cut the quantity of onion needed, peel, dice and place it in the blender. Rinse the tomatoes, quarter them and place them in the blender. Rinse and chop the basil, peel the garlic and add all in the blender as well as the almonds and groundnut oil. Put the lid on the blender and mince the content in 2-3 bursts.

This dip is not meant to be smooth and should still have visible bits in it…

Once you are satisfied with the consistency, pour in a serving bowl, cover with the cling film and chill.

Done.

Turkish Meze - 3 dips

Turkish Meze – 3 dips

Next, the dolma and flat bread.

#TurkishByHJ – Broad beans hummus

Beans Hummus w/toasted sesame oil

Beans Hummus w/toasted sesame oil

Meze for 5 people

Including: Babaganoush, Broad beans hummus, Fresh tomato & almond Dip and flat crusty breads.

Ingredients:

Beans oil and lemon

Beans oil and lemon

  • 500g beans (64p)
  • Juice of a half lemon (25p)
  • Garlic granules
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 90ml toasted sesame oil (or olive oil)

Cost: Olive oil can be found at the 99p store. From time to ties, Lidl sells toasted sesame oil from 99p for 250ml. I already had both, so didn’t need to buy some. For this dip, I only had to buy the beans and lemon. Some hummus require tahini paste, but it is not a must. This dip only cost 89p.

Method:

Made with a hand blender

Made with a hand blender

Drain and rinse the beans (I have mixed white beans and broad beans) then pour them in a bowl. Add garlic, black pepper, salt, the juice of a half lemon and 80ml toasted sesame seed oil. Blend everything until you obtain a very smooth paste.

Scoop the hummus in a serving bowl, cover with cling film and chill until serving time.

Done.

Next, the fresh tomato and almond dip.