Well, where to start?
This was a joint idea between my fabulous wife Celine and our lovely friend Titch. They are both wise in many ways, but I'm not sure about me being let loose on the web is their best idea...time will tell!
This blog is primarily about food. I like food. I try to have some every day if I can.
I should clarify that; I don't just like eating it, I love cooking it too. I only really started cooking relatively recently in comparison to my great age; a mere six or seven years ago and, to be brutally honest, at the start I was not that good. I nearly napalmed the entire house whilst trying to make chili jam. (Note; do not walk away from the pan when you're cooking that, it really is nasty when it burns!) However, now I'm not too bad, apparently, and hence this blog thingy.
I don't have any set plan for how I'll put my little recipes on this. By and large, it'll be the meal I've cooked either the previous day (as the first one will be), or something I make on a regular basis. So don't expect a well balanced presentation of my culinary skills!
I should say at this point, that I shop in all the major supermarkets, and little speciality shops when possible, just for that unusual ingredient. I am quite, quite happy to use supermarket products, meats veg and branded sauces etc. As most people, I work to a fixed weekly budget (thank you Fianna Fail), and I am often to be seen hanging around the reduced section in Dunnes Stores, looking for a deal! Even today, I bought three stuffed chickens, eight burgers, four chicken breasts on the bone, and four stewing steaks, all for just over 22 euro! (If you want to use my recipes and change the ingredients for really expensive alternatives, then please do, and let me know how it tastes!) That said, I will add stuff to shop bought sauces to make them just a little more special.
I have a few food hero's. Rick Stein is, as far as I am concerned, the god of food incarnated on the Earth. Not only that, I can watch his programs time after time and I find them relaxing and entertaining. I love his mixture of travel, recipes, poetry and gentle humour, and have cooked his recipes numerous times and they aways fabulous. And I miss Chalky now he's gone.
Keith Floyd, because he was the bad boy of the culinary world and cooking to him was as easy as downing a decent glass of claret. Now he's gone, the world is a less colourful place.
So, with that said, my first recipe! This one fed four people, so adjust accordingly for your own tribe.
Turkey Skewers with French stir fried veg.
For the Skewers:
A 1 kilo Turkey breast, cut into two centimeter pieces (pleased don't use a ruler. They melt in the dishwasher. The size is an approximation).
A BIG clove of garlic finely chopped (Lidl sell fabulous giant garlic now, in a little basket) and keep half of it back for the stir fry
a good third of a tea-spoon of dried Oregano, Basil and Parsley
nice pinch of ground black pepper
ditto sea salt
a good glug of virgin olive oil (again, Lidl sell a really decent oil, and it's seriously reasonable in price)
twelve bamboo skewers
For the Stir Fry:
You'll need two white onions - chopped roughly
a punnet of closed cup mushrooms - chopped roughly
a packet of asparagus spears, chopped up with the last woody bits removed
a good handful of frozen garden peas
a table spoon or two of pre-cooked (Dunnes, 1euro) baby carrots
Knorr Vegetable stock pot
a glass of white wine (and one for yourself!)
a few spoons of cream
dash of virgin olive oil for frying
good pinch of ground black pepper
ditto sea salt
A good lot of baby new potatoes (Dunnes' cheapest bag at 99cent are lovely!) (By the way; do you say potato, or podado?)
OK; put the turkey, and the rest of the ingredients for the skewer, in a bowl, mix with a spoon till they're all covered evenly, cover with cling film and stick in the fridge (On the bottom shelf, of course. You don't want any rogue dribbles of raw meat juice dripping onto your cheese cake, do you?)
Cool for at least an hour, and take out a good hour before you're going to cook it so it can come up to room temperature. Put the skewers in soak when you take the turkey out of the fridge (that'll stop them burning when you're grilling the meat).
Once the turkey's out and ready, we're ready to cook. Brace yourself, as here we go...
Put on the kettle.
Light the grill.
Put on at least eight pieces of turkey per skewer, cover your grill pan with tin foil and arrange the skewers in a neat row.
When the kettle's boiled, put the stock pot in a jug and add 200ml of the hot water, stir to melt.
Put the potatoes in a pan and add the salt, then cover with hot water and loosely cover. Heat.
Put the turkey under the grill.
The stir fry: heat a frying pan, and when it's hot, add the oil carefully. Add the onion and mushrooms, salt and pepper. Now, most cooks will say don't overload the pan, and they're right because it'll steam rather than fry (the salt will draw moisture out of the onions and mushies; you'll hear the sizzling increase after you've added it), but I like the juices that come out with my method as they add another flavour.
Cook, stirring occasionally until they're soft. NOW you add the garlic, this'll improve the flavour. Yum. Stir a bit more.
When the garlic's softened, add the stock and the wine. Stir well. Add some of YOUR wine to yourself as you're doing SO well!
Check your turkey, turning all the skewers over when the meat starts to brown. You're looking for a lovely golden colour.
Stick a fork in your potatoes to see how far along they are (you don't want them mushy!)
Once the sauce in the frying pan is reducing a little, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Have another sip of wine.
Just before the pots and turkey is nearly ready, add the veg to your sauce and mix in well. Check the seasoning now, and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the cream, and stir in, bringing back to the simmer. You don't want the veg being too soft.
Drain potatoes, add a good knob of butter.
Take out the skewers and check the thickest piece of meat to make sure it's cooked right through.
Serve the sauce on each dinner plate, next to the pots, and arrange the skewers on top in an x pattern. Looks nice, doesn't it? (I will add photos of my own food in the future. Can't do that for this recipe as it's inside me, and no one wants to see that.)
Finish of your glass of wine, and serve your culinary triumph to your waiting loved ones!
If you try this meal, thank you for that, and I really hope you enjoy it! If you don't, my name's Marco Pierre White and it's been my pleasure!