Saturday 24 December 2022

Saturday, 24-12-22: Christmas food

 Morning, everyone.  This isn't going to be the usual format.  Instead, I will just waffle on about my preparations and a few meals I make over the Christmas period in a very random fashion.  I will be back to Slimming World based stuff on Tuesday with a leftovers challenge to take us into the New Year and beyond!

Recipe:  turkey, cranberry and chestnut meatballs in a creamy sauce:

For the meatballs I used 100g turkey mince, some dried cranberries, two crumbled chestnuts, some fresh breadcrumbs (I always have some in the freezer), salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon juice.  Mix well together and shape into meatballs using floured or damp hands - it made five domed tbsp sized meatballs.
Lay them on a small baking tray on parchment, cover and chill.  Spray them before cooking
I baked them in the Ninja, 170C, air fry, 15 to 20 mins

For the sauce, I softened onion, red pepper and mushroom in spray oil, added seasoning, garlic granules, a glug of sherry (wine would be better but I didn't want to open a bottle) and a glug of cream.

For the pasta, I made half amounts  100g flour (just ordinary plain flour as the pasta flour was up high and I was too lazy to get the step ladder!), one egg and half a tbsp olive oil.   This made two of my portions.

It was so good and today I am using up the other half of the pasta, mopre turkey mince, etc, but into a savoury mince sort of thing.
The turkey
I always splash out on a KellyBronze and I follow the instructions.  I don't stuff the cavity, I pop in onion, some orange and lemon and some fresh herbs - sage, thyme and bay from the garden.  Dead easy and always works.
Cheffy I am not!  No way.  I am sure Jamie et al are right and all that roasting chicken wings and veg, mashing it down, using flour and butter, etc, must make a wonderful thing but I can't be bothered.
I have saved turkey stock in the freezer.  I get that out, add some water and boil up the turkey giblets which always come in a separate bag with the turkey.  It makes a great stock and bisto and marmite does the rest
(although a roux might make and nice change.  I have to think about it!)

In the past, I have always made a stuffing using Paxo, chopped pork and ham, melted butter and a bit of extra sage because that is how Mum and Dad liked their stuffing.  Nowadays, I buy one of the fancy stuffings that abound at this time of year and make it up Christmas eve.  This year it is cranberry, orange and roasted chestnut stuffing from Sainsbury's.  I've just made it up and added some more dried cranberries because there's never enough.  I have to say, it smells delicious!

Cranberry sauce
I use frozen cranberries because you can be pretty sure of getting them all year round and it's useful to have some in the freezer.
I just boil together frozen cranberries, demerara sugar, splash of water, orange zest and orange juice.  Sometimes I add cinnamon but this year I am just adding a good glug of port.
Making it the day before means that the flavours mellow overnight - it is definitely better second day.

Today's plans:
I think it will be just two meals today.

Brunch:  I have a square of puff pastry left over from making sausage rolls for the family think last Thursday so I am being naughty and making a cheesy bacon slice.  Just so as not to waste it, you understand!  And as eny fule kno, if you add healthy stuff like tomatoes and mushrooms to the plate, the calories don't count!
(I wish)

D:  As mentioned above, as sort of festive bolognaisy type thing using turkey mince, then yogurt.

Have a very happy Christmas Eve.

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