Friday, 27 January 2017

Leftover symphonies 4: Goose Goan Vindaloo (which also works with chicken)

A bucket of vindaloo
Somehow it seem appropriate to include this shouty football song

Misappropriation was one of the buzzwords of 2016. It usually referred to things like white people wearing dreadlocks, white people wearing a bindi or white people doing yoga, apparently. I agree to a certain degree. Why do you need to wear a bindi? It's a mark of religious significance in the Hindu faith. You wear one as a fashion statement, you're a twat. Yoga is a great way to improve flexibility and can lead to a generally improved sense of well-being, but if you subscribe to the pseudo-mystical bullshit that accompanies it, you're a twat and you can stick your chakra up your kundalini . If you have ginger hair and wear dreadlocks, not only do you look like a twat, you probably act like a twat (go on, off you fuck. Those gaudily coloured fucking balls won't juggle themselves, you fucking waster) and almost certainly smell like an unhygienic twat.

The question, though, is when does the sharing and enjoying of other cultures become misappropriation? I've mentioned the fusion and adaption (or bastardisation if you prefer) of certain cuisines in previous posts (notably this one) and if it tastes good, do it. I mean it's not like you're taking something of deep cultural significance and shitting on it. You're not dropping off the kids at the pool in a font for example, it's only food. Besides, a lot of the time you can't make a truly authentic meal according to the recipe because the ingredients have never been seen within 100 miles of your town. You know, like that Yottam Ottolenghi recipe for veal that he insists only tastes authentic if you use the pickled foreskins of virgin aardvarks in the sauce. Thing is, whilst using lime juice instead of tamarind paste might not give the same authentic flavour you get from a street vendor in Kuala Lumpur, it will still taste great so do it!, Fuck authenticity, it's dinner. Even more importantly, where would the cuisines of the old world be without integrating the things grought over from the newly discovered Americas - things like chilli, tomato, potato - 500 years ago?

This dish is more of a double-reverse cultural assimilation/misappropriation though. In the UK, vindaloo curries are generally renowned as the hottest of the dishes in your regular curry house (apart from the notoriously legendary phaal). There is a potato element (the "aloo") in a lot of versions. In my experience, however, they tend to have sacrificed all the delicate flavour you expect in a curry to produce something that is merely "hot", mainly so that pissed dickheads can show their mates how tough they are at 4am after a skinful. A UK curry house vindaloo is not usually a great option for a curry. But, is this a culturally accurate version of vindaloo? Is it bollocks! It shares its name with the original vindaloo, but little else. This is the second occasion of cultural (mis)appropriation for the vindaloo.

Your typical UK restaurant vindaloo
 (apparently, anyway. These curries all look the same)
Image taken from http://www.foodsofengland.co.uk/vindaloo.htm

The dish in this entry is a more authentic version of vindaloo, a curry originating from Goa during the time it was under Portuguese control. Its name does not come from the Hindi or Urdu word for potato, "aloo", but from the Portuguese for wine and garlic, carne de vinha d'alhos (literally "meat in garlic and wine") as this was a way of helping preserve meat, mainly pork, for long trips at sea. This Portuguese dish evolved further in the colony to use locally produced vinegar and spices to make this dish and the name became "vindaloo". So here's the first cultural appropriation of vindaloo and it's an example of a western idea being assimilated into eastern cuisine.

Anyway, onto the recipe in hand. Christmas has been and gone. In the sweary household we alternate year-on-year between turkey and goose for Christmas dinner. This year it was goose, but what the fuck to do with the leftovers? It had to be yet another curry.The problem with reheating roast meat still exists, but this is overcome by using vinegar to cut through the vaguely wet doggy smell and the inherent fattiness of the meat.

As I noted in the title, this also works for other birds, so is a great way to use leftover roast chicken

TIMING
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp vegetable oil (eg rapeseed)
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp ground tumeric
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
3 green cardamom
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4-500g cold roast goose (or chicken!) meat, no skin, chopped into 2cm chunks
200 ml white wine vinegar
400 ml water
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp garam masala

 More spices than you can shake a stick at!
(From top left, 11 o'clock: fennel seeds, cloves, paprika, cardmom, onion seeds, tumeric, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, cumin, chilli flakes, coriander, salt, pepper and a bay leaf in the middle)

RECIPE
Heat the oil in a heavy pan, add the onion and fry gently for a good 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and ginger and fry for another 5 minutes

Throw in the spices (except the garam masala) and fry gently for another 5 minutes to allow the flavour to develop.

Add the green pepper and tomatoes, mix and allow to stew for 10 minutes to soften the peppers.

Throw in the goose meat, gently stir then pour in the tomato puree, vinegar and water.

Stir well and leave to stew for 30 minutes, stirring in the garam masala at around the 25 minute mark.

A panful of joy

Fill yer boots!
I don't actually know why you'd want to fill your boots with anything other than your feet, so it's a ridiculous phrase

Serve with rice or an Indian-style bread like naan.

NOTES
Only pretentious foodie wankers like me end up with leftover roast goose. This is why I need to stress that this dish works just as well with chicken but you could also use roast duck if you have any, as unlikely as that may be. I think I have also tried something similar to this with leftover roast pork so that would also work

I have tried a phaal curry on a couple of occasions. Once was an attempt at a prank, the other time was as a bet. The prank failed as I ate the curry without any problem and I also won the bet because I ate the curry without any problem. I did find, however, that on at least one of theses times I did need to spend most of the next day within close reach of a flushing toilet.

The use of vinegar means it's kind of a pickled curry. This is not the same as pickling your knees, and you're using vinegar rather than cheese. What the fuck am I on about? I refer you to the wonderful song below from the late Ivor Cutler on the subject:


This has some similarities to the recipe I posted for Hyderbadi chicken, which also uses vinegar.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Spicy tomato and pepper soup

Recently on the children's TV channel Cbeebies they started showing a new version of the classic 60s/70s animation The Clangers. It was pretty faithful to the original, even down to using the same traditional stop-motion animation technique over modern CGI. If you don't know what it's about, it centres on the adventures of a group of mouse-like things, the Clangers, that live on a planet in the middle of space. It's got a definite whiff of the psychedelics about it as, in addition to the Clangers there is also an iron chicken, flying cow things and a Soup Dragon. Not that I'm implying that there was consumption of any mind-altering substances on or around the set of the original series but, yes,  a Soup Dragon. A Dragon that makes and sells fucking soup. Furthermore, the Soup Dragon (or SD) is a lone parent with a baby or, a little Soup Dragon. An LSD, if you will. As I say, I don't mean to imply anything. Anyway, if the good old Soup Dragon produced something like the soup from this recipe, I can see why the Clangers were happy and well fed (they are quite portly, see below).

A Clanger and the Soup Dragon
It's kind of like Breaking Bad for toddlers
Image taken from https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC59ACN_the-soup-dragons-secret?guid=858f9ee6-89d0-4f96-9433-6d65ab0e9d32

I've really got into making soup recently. It's just so fucking easy, it tastes great and it saves shitloads of cash. You make a pan full of soup and it costs maybe a couple of pounds, then take a big portion to work the next day when it saves you three or four quid that you might pay in buying a sandwich. Then you take it the next day, and the next... Nothing can beat that first taste of your freshly made soup of a Sunday night you use to check if it's any good. Thing is, it's a good job if it does taste great because you're going to be eating it for lunch for the next three or four days. I admit it does get a bit boring by Wednesday. It shows you really can get too much of a good thing.

Thing about soup, though, is, what's not to like? Warming (usually, gazpacho is on my to-do list come next summer), tasty and filling. As I said in a previous entry, it is the ultimate comfort food, though usually in the UK that equates to something you open a tin to heat up or a sachet of dried gunk you add boiling water to. Tomato soup from Heinz is advertised as being the comfort food of winter. So much so that some twat they have on the advert is looking forward to the end of summer and welcoming the dark, damp, cold winter evenings so she can enjoy the tomato soup.Talk about over-egging the pudding. That's like looking forward to sleeping on the wet patch after sex, for fuck's sake. It hardly fits the image they peddle as being wholesome, either, as it's made by the megatonne in some fuck-off huge factory in Wigan and it contains, amongst its ingredients, modified cornflour, milk proteins, acidity regulator and herb and spice extracts. Just like mother used to make. Not that I have anything against industrial-sounding ingredients in prepared food. People whine about "chemicals" in their food, but food is actually nothing but chemicals, whether it comes from a wanky, organic delicatessen or from a huge factory. No, the problem I have is marketing this shit as something "wholesome" to give it the veneer of being made in an earthenware pot by some buxom farmer's wife when it's actually produced in a massive stainless steel vat in an industrial plant the size of an aircraft hangar somewhere.

While I really, really object to food fads and that kind of bollocks, tinned soups are rightly gaining a bit of a reputation for being very high in salt and sugar. Tinned tomato soup especially tends to be incredibly sweet and quite sickly. But, if you make your own, you know what's in it and it won't be as cloying.

TIMING
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 60 minutes

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium red onions, roughly chopped
1 stick of celery, roughtly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 red chillies, chopped
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
700g fresh tomatoes
½ tsp dried mixed herbs
2 vegetable stock cubes
1 tbsp tomato puree
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 litre water
2 tsp sugar

RECIPE
Heat the oil in a good-sized pan and throw in the onions.

Gently cook these for a good 10 minutes then add the garlic, carrot and celery

Keep these cooking for another 10 or so minutes, so it gets soft but not brown, and add the peppers and chilli and cook for another 5 minutes

Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well

Heat to a gently boil, turn down the heat and leave to gently simmer for 30 minutes.

Blend to smooth with a hand blender

It's a pan full of soup.
Not much to add, really

Serve with bread. Makes a great lunch or, I suppose, if you're into that sort of thing, a starter. A panful this size would make a good four to six hearty lunch portions.

NOTES
Pretty much all of my soup recipes are like this: onions, celery, carrot, other vegetables. Stew, blend, done. You can use any old crap you have in the fridge or vegetable rack, season it and there's your soup. You can put anything in it, tinker with the flavour with a few spices and other stuff and Bob's your uncle. I've done lots of different soups and they all tasted pretty good.

I'd be doing a disservice to pop culture and the very ethos of this blog if I didn't do a call-back to the Soup Dragon and post this piece of early nineties Madchester scene by the band of the same name


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Fish Head Curry

As any regular readers may have realised, I have a tendency to hark back to the 70s and 80s of UK TV, and this is yet another occasion. It might be hard to believe in this post-Brexit, "No Nanny State tells me what the fuck to do!" world, but back in the day, they used to show adverts made by the government. Public information films were made to advise people that doing certain things were a generally a stupid fucking idea to have thought about doing in the first place. They had ads about making sure you didn't leave your TV plugged in overnight because it could cause a fire. They had ads saying you should be able to swim. Then there was a different class of ads for kids. Many of them were about how to cross the road safely. We had the Tufty Club, which isn't a euphemism for a lady's private parts (well, not originally, at least); there was a pre-Darth Vader Dave Prowse as the Green Cross Man.

It wasn't all about crossing the road, though. By far the most memorable public information films for kids were the "Charley says...." adverts. For readers that don't know these, they were shit cartoons and featured a poorly drawn small boy (not to be confused with Badly Drawn Boy or the Viz character he took his name from) and his pet cat, Charley, about to do some stupid shit, until the cat meowed his apparently incomprehensible advice that was then interpreted by the small boy. The Charley ads included warnings to kids not to play with matches; not to bugger off without telling mummy where you're going; and even not to pull on table cloths in case you pull hot tea all over yourself. When the boy did the right thing, as prompted by the cat, the mother rewarded the boy and Charley. The boy received an apple (thanks a lot Mum, This is the 70s, they do sell chocolate, you know, you tight-fisted, joy-sucking bitch) and Charley got given a whole fish, which he proceeded to eat very noisily, as you can see from the video



So, what the fuck does this have to do with your recipe, you might be asking. Well, the point is, Charley eats the fish but leaves the skeleton, including the tail and, most relevant, the head untouched. This is a load of bollocks, since any self-respecting cat would relish the head of the fish as one of the best parts. The head might usually be only regarded as fit to make fish stock in the West, but go East and they are far more food-savvy and a lot less food-squeamish.

This is a dish that originates in the culinary melting pot of Singapore. Now, I know I have a tendency to take the piss out of Rick Stein for twatting on about when he first ate yak meat risotto in a Mongolian yurt, or how the best aubergine he ever tasted was this one time in Paris after it had been fermenting up a poodle's arse for a fortnight, but I'm going to do the same thing. No, not stick an aubergine up my arse (well, not right now, anyway, as it's more of a butternut squash kind of day), but reminisce about the time I ate fish head curry in a hawker centre in Singapore. I mean, yes, the curry was amazing, as food in Singapore generally is, but eating a fish head was an adventure in itself. Picking away at the meat around the neck and the cheeks, and the joy of discovering another little morsel here and there as you dissect it. Besides this, it's not every day you eat something that is looking back at you.

Recently I had bought a whole salmon which I cut into steaks and froze, including the head. I decided to reproduce the culinary experience of a fish head curry in the comfort of my own home. Now, as you may have gathered, Mrs Sweary is not actually that adventurous when it comes to food, bless her. She'd not touch a fish head with a pair of barge poles being used as chopsticks (she can't use chopsticks, anyway). Therefore I included some salmon steaks in the curry as well for her. In fact you could make this with just fish steaks, and do away with the head. You'd still have a great fish curry, but then you'd be missing out on the visual effect of eating something with eyes and a mouth gaping at you, and the fun and satisfaction of dissecting the tasty meat out from the rest of the head.

TIMING
Preparation:  20 minutes
Cooking: 60 minutes

INGREDIENTS
Curry paste
5 small shallots, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
3 red chillies (eg birds eye), topped and chopped
a thumb-sized piece of ginger, roughly chopped
1 small piece of fresh tumeric (around the size the tip of you little finger), roughly chopped
half a stalk of lemon grass, sliced

Spice paste ingredients
Clockwise from top: shallots, garlic, ginger, tumeric, lemon grass, red chilli

Dry spices

3 tsp ground coriander
3 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp fenugreek
sick of cinnamon (around 5cm)
1 whole star anise
3 cloves
3 whole green cardamom
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp salt

Other ingredients
2 tsp oil
200g okra, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
200g small (or 1 medium) aubergines sliced into 2cm pieces
200g cherry tomatoes, whole, washed and stems removed
20 curry leaves
400ml water
200ml coconut milk
1 tbsp tamarind paste, diluted in a couple of tbsp water and sieved to remove seeds
1 salmon head, plus two or three other salmon fillets

It's a salmon jigsaw!

Vegetables

RECIPE

Combine all the spice paste ingredients in a food processor and blend until they are a fairly smooth paste.

Add the oil to a heavy-based pan then add the dry spices.

Fry them for a minute then add the curry leaves for 2 minutes before adding the spice paste.

Fry for five minutes, stirring to prevent the mixture catching on the pan bottom.

Add the coconut milk, tamarind paste and water

Gently bring to the boil and add the vegetables.

Simmer gently for 5 minutes then place the fish into the liquid.

Allow to gently simmer for 20-30 minutes

Serve with plain boiled rice

Keep an eye on my dinner would you?

NOTES
Salmon is probably about the only fish you can easily get hold of in my locale that has a big enough head to make a meal of, compared to something like a kingfish or a large snapper that are more common in the far east. See the notes to get some alternatives.

On the other hand, while I enjoyed this dish, salmon didn't work as well as a more neutrally flavoured fish probably would. You could do away with the idea of the fish head and do the same recipe with a whole seabass or red snapper. It may also work with a more traditional cold water fish like cod, but I haven't tried it.

I used fresh tumeric and curry leaves which may be a little difficult to get hold of. Use a teaspoon of ground tumeric and perhaps a bay leaf as an alternative. Likewise, for tamarind paste, replace it with the juice of half a lime to give a similar sour flavour. You could also use red onion instead of shallots.

An interesting fact about the "Charley says..." adverts, which I only discovered in writing up this recipe, is that the cat was voiced by the late, great Kenny Everett

It would be remiss of me if, having mentioned the "Charley says.." adverts, I didn't post this:

The Prodigy
Putting the "E" in Charley

The range of UK public information films produced by the UK government is actually quite staggering and an archive of them, from 1946 to 2006, can be found here




Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Double Ska Jamaican Chicken burgers with pineapple salsa

While looking for ideas for recipes to try, I chanced upon one for Reggae Reggae burgers. The Reggae Reggae brand originated on Dragon's Den in the UK when Levi Roots strummed a guitar in his pitch and got some rich fucker to buy his sauce (ooer, sounds a bit rude). The brand is now a corporate behemoth incorporating not just the original sauce, but various other table sauces, spice mixes and other products up to and including pasties and even soft drinks. I'm sure Levi Roots did start off with family recipes, but sold out faster than a Tory MP with a... Actually, no need to qualify that, he sold out faster than a Tory MP because that's what they fucking do. Then again, Dragon's Den is, by its very nature, all about selling out, so good on him.

He used the unique selling point, or USP, of his Jamaican culinary heritage and home-cooked, family recipes to create his brand. It's not as if he's an American who's voice is the auditory equivalent of having your head pushed into a bucket of wallpaper paste, nor is he some wanky, angry TV chef who's face is plastered across a range ready-made sauces which they wouldn't actually touch with a bargepole topped with a Michelin star. Of course, not all USPs are created equal. Take mine for example. I'd probably go on Dragon's Den, force-feed the dragons a bowlful of chilli that would have them shitting napalm for the next week and I'd probably end up going home empty handed having subsequently called them a bunch of twats.

I've done a recipe for burgers previously, of the beef variety, which is the origin of the hamburger. You can get chicken burgers at your local corporate fastfood joint, but they do tend to be breadcrumbed and deep-fried so, in my humble but profane fucking opinion, aren't actually "burgers". Burgers, for me, should be made of minced or ground meat. Flavour them how you like, but they need to be, for all intents and purposes, a reconstituted steak 

So, I wanted to do something that had a Caribbean feel, I love burgers (as I've made clear before) and thought chicken burgers just don't get enough coverage. Now, chicken is basically pretty bland on its own so you need to give it lots of flavour. A bit of ginger, lime juice and chilli add just enough tropical character to justify me ripping off Levi Roots' Reggae Reggae brand to call mine Double Ska. And because of that, why not have a bit of ska before we start (like you need a reason to play a great bit of Prince Buster)?

One step beyond.
RIP Prince Buster
TIMING
Preparation: 60 minutes (including roasting the pepper and leaving it to cool)
Cooking time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS
Pineapple salsa
1 small yellow pepper
Half a small, fresh pineapple, cored, peeled and the flesh diced
3 or 4 spring onions, trimmed, cleaned and finely sliced
Juice of  ½ a lime
1 tbsp rum
½ tsp ground allspice

Burgers
Half a medium red onion, finely chopped
1 medium to large garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
500g skinless chicken thighs, boned (or bought boneless)
half a thumb's size of fresh root ginger, finely chopped
Juice of ½ a lime
pinch of dried thyme
1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 egg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve
Basic green salad or a few washed lettuce leaves, shredded.
Bread buns

RECIPE
For the salsa
Wash the pepper and place in an oven at 200°C for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and place in a plastic bag and seal until cool.

Remove the pepper and peel off the skin.

Core and dice the pepper.

Mix the chopped pepper with the pineapple and spring onion in a bowl.

Add the allspice, rum, and lime juice.

Mix well and chill until you need it.

Pineapple salsa

For the burgers
Heat the oil in a pan and gently sauté the onion and garlic for 5-10 minutes, until the onion is soft and near-transparent.

Add the ginger and carry on gently frying for another 5 minutes.

Allow to cool.

Trim any stringy, white bits from the chicken and cut it into smallish chunks.

Throw the chicken, the cooled onion, garlic and ginger, plus the other ingredients into a food processor and blend for a minute or so, occasionally stopping to scrape any larger pieces of the mixture back into the bowl.

Form the chicken mix into patties. This amount of mixture will make around 4 and (as I stated in my post for hamburgers earlier) I use a burger press to make evenly sized patties, but I'm one of those people.

Cook in a little oil in a frying pan of griddle pan. They take around 5-7 minutes per side. Ensure they are cooked through.


 Urban griller
Chicken burgers. They are difficult to keep in shape

Serve in a toasted bun with salad and a dollop of the salsa and a side order of chips/wedges (sweet potato wedges work especially well).

NOTES
I do call these Double Ska burgers and I realise that I've only posted one ska track, so here's the second one, a little more recent. Listen to this as you read the rest of this post.

Skank while you cookPrince Buster and Suggs on Jools Holland doing Madness and Enjoy Yourself

The burgers can be quite soft and break up easily so it's worth putting them between sheets of clingfilm or grease-proof paper and leaving them in the fridge for an hour or more to help them keep their shape when cooking.

I de-seeded the chilli in the burgers because you want the burgers to have only a mild kick. On the other hand, you could leave the chilli out if you're effetely inclined.

I didn't put chilli in the salsa, but you could if you wanted a bit more heat. I appreciate that this salsa is similar to the pineapple sambal I posted previously, but the flavours are very different in flavour and definitely characteristic of the respective cuisines they come from.

Like in a lot of Caribbean food, the best chillies to use are Scotch bonnets which have a fantastic and distinctive fruity flavour.


Scotch bonnet
No, I don't see the resemblance either


Finally, given the ska theme, it would be remiss of me not to give a plug to a band called Skaface, a 10 piece ska band from the coastal English town of Blackpool. My pal Colin is their drummer and they are ace, so, if you get a chance, go and see them.


Thursday, 8 December 2016

Leftover symphonies 3: Turkey jalfrezi

I've already stated how much I despise cold leftover roast meat. The way in which the delicately tender slices have turned into sheets of greasy polythene really gets on my tits, so any recipe that makes it more palatable is a great thing. If this is a proper hearty, dinner-sized meal, all the better (as opposed to a soup, for example).

In the UK, the granddaddy of roast meat is the pteranodon-sized Christmas offering, the roast turkey. Tradition dictates that you need to buy the biggest fuck-off turkey you can find or the biggest turkey that will actually fit into your oven, whichever is smallest. How this tradition arose I have no idea. I mean, it's not as if it's biblical, is it? The domestic turkey is native to North America and wouldn't be seen east of the Atlantic for 1500 years after the birth of Jesus. Besides which, the gifts mentioned were gold, frankincense and myrrh, not gold, frankincense and a fucking ginormous turkey.


Just your average family turkey for Christmas
You'll get a cracking curry from this


However the tradition started, it means there is enough leftover meat for at least a full week of meals for the average sized family. The cold leftovers themselves become part of the Christmas holiday tradition. There's using it as a sandwich filling for the Boxing Day buffet. Then there are other options that work as recipes. Cold turkey makes a pretty good Chinese-style hot and sour soup (recipe to follow, at some point) or turkey and sweetcorn soup for example. The turkey curry, however, is another part of post-Christmas rituals and I have had some truly fucking diabolical versions in my youth. The sort of curry I have nightmares about, where the turkey is thrown in with fried onions and a random selection of spices, or worse, generic "curry powder", and fuck all else.

The thing is, reheated roast meat really needs to be prepared properly. Turkey, especially, tends to be pretty dry, so that's something to consider, and then there's the awful, vaguely wet dog aroma that dry, poorly stored cold roast meat develops. It doesn't matter how much garam masala you use if it's still got the all the culinary qualities of licking the arse of a Lhasa Apso (it's a Dougal dog from Magic Roundabout, see picture below) that's just been fetching a stick from Lake Windermere. However, this version of turkey curry does work and does the meat justice, mainly due to the acidic lemon that cuts through the moist canine character of reheated roast meat.

Dougal, the only Lhasa Apso worth mentioning
The scent of Christmas past.

One last thing, this curry should have a decent chilli kick to it. Picture the scene: you've been cooped up in the house for a few days; plied with too much rich food, chocolate and booze; bored to death by the shit programming on TV. You've still got a mountain of cooked turkey to get through and you need something to really give your guts, your tastebuds, indeed your very soul, a defibrillating shock to get you back to something like a normal routine again. A pallet-cleansing, tangy, hot curry is just that shock. Just don't forget to shout "CLEAR!" as you use the toilet next day.

TIMING
Preparation: 5-10 minutes (not counting the time to roast the turkey first time around, obviously)
Cooking: 15-20 minutes

INGREDIENTS
300g leftover roast turkey meat, shredded
3 small onions, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red or orange pepper, cut into 2 cm squares
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 whole bay leaf
4 red or green chillies, finely chopped
4 med/ 6-8 small tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1 tbsp tomato puree
juice of 1 lemon
50 ml water
2 tsp garam masala

RECIPE
Heat the oil in a pan and add the spices to gently fry for a minute or so.

Add the onions and garlic and fry until soft, around 5-10 minutes. Add the pepper and and fry for a further few minutes.

Pour in the water along with the rest of the ingredients, except the turkey. Mix well and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Gently stir in the turkey to heat through.

A panful of leftover joy

Finally, pep up the flavour with the garam masala and serve.

Like many curries, this works with plain rice, or something a little more fancy like a pilau like my lemon flavoured version  or this Indian egg fried rice, with or without a South Asian bread, like naan.

NOTES
One of the other beauties of this recipe is how fucking quick this is to cook. I'll probably go into this a bit further in a subsequent recipe entry, but my worst habit in cooking is how slow I am, mainly as a result of being really anal about how I chop vegetables. I can't help it, I cook like I'm making love (no, not anal): with care and attention to detail. However, even I could bang this out in about half an hour.

This recipe would work pretty well with leftover roast chicken.

It's not the most appealing looking dish as you can see, but what can you expect from leftovers? It tastes fucking great, and that's all that matters.

Jalfrezi is one of my favourite curries in UK curry houses. The local curry house version bears almost no resemblance to this recipe. On the other hand, research tells me this is a more authentic version of jalfrezi since it is supposed to be a really dry curry.

I have a recipe waiting to be written up for roast turkey with various trimmings, but I reckon that may be better posted in the run up to Christmas.

I made it through this whole blog without once taking the piss out of a famous TV chef. I really am slipping.