Chicken (or turkey) & ginger on spinach:

Chicken (or turkey) & ginger on spinach:

Prep:           2 mins.

Cooking:      15 mins.

Course:        Main

Serves:         2

Rating:         3:  Moderate

This is a steam/stir-fry dish.       The steam/stir-fry is a bit of a cheat (well, there’s a surprise), in that you let the poultry cook in its own steam whilst you get on with something else (probably down the pub or trying to get your wicked way with the opposite-sex) before you do the stir-fry bit.  Clever, eh?    

However, it’s actually a good way of saving a bit of energy, as while the pan is turned off but hot, using the accumulated heat inside the lidded pan, it’s not costing you any money in gas/electric/coal/wood/peat/horse dung…

Find for two people:

  • 2 chicken breasts or Turkey breast fillets or slices
  • 2” (5cm) fresh ginger root, peeled & finely grated
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 fresh carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Half a conventional red/yellow/orange pepper (a bell pepper/capsicum)
  • Packet of fresh baby spinach leaves – or even freshly picked new crop spinach cadged from your neighbour’s allotment (remember always to be around the allotment when there is a glut of anything fresh – you can do them a favour by using it – saves it going to waste)
  • A knob of butter
  • Frying pan with lid
  • Colander
  • Saucepan

Method:

  • Peel the red onion, cutting, not chopping, into rustic sized bits, peel and slice the carrots into half inch (15mm) long chunks as this is a chunky-type dish.
  • Throw those into a hot frying pan (with lid, but don’t use the lid yet……) with some olive/groundnut/vegetable/sunflower oil and turn down the heat to a gentle warming. Let the contents fry, but not aggressively, for about ten minutes or so.  They must not burn.  You are ensuring that the carrots will be cooked and the onions nice’n’soft.
  • Wash the spinach leaves in the colander and let them drain.
  • Cut up the chicken/turkey breast into big chunks (a size just about manageable to eat with a fork – according to size of mouth), cutting the pepper into long thin strips.
  • Cut/peel the outer skin from the root ginger and grate most of it finely. Some ginger can be sliced into thin slices, and then cut the slices into very thin strips, like the pepper (Julienne).
  • Peel the garlic (see Tricks’n’Tips for the easy way…).
  • Throw all this into the pan and stir around for a mo. Turn up the heat and fry the chicken/turkey until just starting to show signs of browning.  Don’t allow the garlic to start to burn at all – it turns bitter.
  • Put in a quarter of a cup of boiling water from the kettle, bring to the boil and put on the lid. Turn off the heat.
  • Let it sit there and cook whilst you do something more interesting for a while (20 mins +, or on your return from the pub).
  • When you get around to thinking about cooking again, put strong heat under the frying pan until the water has just boiled away, turning it down to a medium heat for the stir-fry stage.
  • Stir-fry the meat mixture in the frying pan for a few minutes and, at the same time, pop a knob of butter into another saucepan and put onto a gentle heat (yes, you can do ‘do-it-at-the-same-time’ cooking).
  • Put the baby spinach leaves into the saucepan and stir them about a bit. Yes, they will all fit – spinach just vanishes like the pound in your wallet as it wilts.                                                                               Put more in, you’ll need it.  Come on….  
  • You’ll see that it just reduces down to a lovely lush, dark green veg… oooooh, wonderful. The buttery liquid produced in the spinach saucepan (give the spinach a good squeeeeeeeze) should be drained into the meat mixture and stirred in.  Ready to plate up?
  • So, put a dollop of the lovely spinach in the middle of the plate and serve the meat mixture onto it, allowing it to spill over onto one side of the plate so that the spinach bed is still quite visible. Just for prettiness.

Now, just you make sure that you do the washing up straight after you’ve finished the eatin’ of it.  Yes?

Beetroot & Ginger Relish:

Beetroot & Ginger Relish:

This recipe uses pre-cooked beetroot.

The Balsamic vinegar adds depth and sweetness.  Fills about 3 x 1lb jars.

Find:

  • 1kg Beetroot, pre-cooked and in those plastic packets/bags
  • 1kg onion, chopped
  • 2 tbs capers, chopped
  • 5 small (UK) cloves of garlic, according to taste.  Go on…. use more!
  • 2 apples, cored & diced
  • 1tbsp Olive Oil
  • 100g Golden Castor Sugar
  • 50g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
  • 50ml Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 pinch (at least) ground cinnamon
  • 2 pinch (at least) ground cloves
  • 100ml Balsamic Vinegar

Method

  • Coarsely grate/dice the onions, apple and chop the cooked beetroot, keeping it separate.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan and gently sweat the onion & apple for around 20+ minutes before adding all of the remaining ingredients except the chopped beetroot
  • Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, adding the chopped beetroot when the mixture is at boiling point.
  • Stir well until back to boiling point.
  • Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 2 hours, stirring quite often – don’t abandon it and piss off down t’pub………
  • After 2 hours, the relish/chutney should be very thick, perhaps resembling pickled red cabbage, but without too much liquid content. If it is too liquid, leave it to simmer on a very low heat  with the lid off until it is as you want it – it won’t hurt at all so long as you don’t allow it to burn (so you STILL can’t piss off down t’pub!).
  • Spoon into sterilized jars, top with a paper preserving disc and seal.
  • It needs to mature/season/improve/fester for 6 months. Definitely a top shelf chutney.
  • Should keep well for several months (even a couple of years) in a dark cupboard. Once opened, store in the fridge.
  • Make it in November one year and use it for Xmas the following year, as it perks up tired turkey a treat when it has matured!