Archive for November 2007

Spiced Turkey Stuffed with Cranberries, Raisins, Garbanzos, Black Olives and Feta

November 30, 2007

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This was the trial run for Christmas – we can now rest assured that this recipe (adapted from typical Chiclayano home cooking) is scrumptious enough to serve up to family and friends with the utmost confidence.  The three and a half kilo turkey we procured was far from enormous, but as there’s two of us it has lasted all week.  This has been just great as the flavours mature with time and become even more delicious… 

You will need: 

1 Organic turkey – 3 ½ kilos (if your turkey weighs more or less, adjust the other ingredients accordingly)
Olive oil for basting
8 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon each of: aji amarillo, aji panca (if you can’t get South American condiments you can substitute paprika), cumin, salt and pepper
6 or 7 cloves of garlic – crushed
3 cans of garbanzos – drained
200 grams of mixed raisins and cranberries
100 grams of dried, salted black olives
1 packet feta – diced 

Total cooking time: 2½ hours

Marinading time: 24 hours 

Marinade the turkey in cider vinegar, crushed garlic, pepper, salt, aji amarillo, aji panca and cumin for 24 hours.  Pierce the turkey and rub the marinade well into the skin. Turn the oven to 220ºF, and cook in a large roasting dish, covered with foil for one hour and a half. 

Mix the garbanzos, raisins, cranberries, olives and feta in a large bowl.  Remove the turkey from the oven and stuff with the mixture.  Baste generously with olive oil. Turn the temperature down to 180ºF. Put the turkey back in, with the foil removed, and cook for a further hour. 

Enjoy this as a meal in itself.  In Peru, on Christmas Eve, it’s served with wonderful, homemade cinnamon-infused hot chocolate.  The spicy, sweet, savoury and salty flavours are an adventure for your palate.  I just love it, and we’ll definitely be preparing this wonderful meal at Tito’s brother Arturo’s place in Barcelona this Christmas (less than a month away now!).

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The Chinese Experience Shock

November 20, 2007

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There are a few reasons for the sparse entries of late, most of which have passed.  My 30th birthday caused considerable distraction, as did visitors from the States and a 3-week long case of the dreaded lurgy.  Furthermore serious harassment (talcum powder and toilet paper all over our cooking implements, for example) from our crazy housemate Captain K has monumentally distracted from my desire to be in the kitchen.  We are hoping he’ll be out soon, but in the meantime, we are enjoying restaurants more than ever before! At Chinese Experience (Shaftesbury Avenue – closest tube Leicester Square) the staff greet you with the kind of beaming smile so rare to find in Chinatown.  They’ll sweep you pleasantly through to seating that is a little cafeteria-like, but try not to let that put you off.  There is a special menu that is currently (still!) 50% off before 4.30pm Mon-Fri – this means that the gorgeous selection of Dim Sum is a total steal at £1.30 – £3.20 per dish of 2-4 pieces.  Pictured above is the devastating Prawn Chung Fun (white, slimy bliss featuring lovely big prawns) and the unrivalled Peking Ravioli in Chilli Sauce (a hot, sweet, fresh fusion taste – I always insist on ordering one portion entirely for myself).  I also highly recommend the Pan fried sweet potato cakes, order these for dessert after you’ve finished the main course and they will come promptly – hot, sticky and crispy-skinned to the table.  Top Tip: If you turn the teapot lid upside down they’ll bring you a steaming fresh pot of Jasmine tea too.  Just don’t do what I did and dodge out to the ladies leaving the husband to pay – he pocketed the much-coveted 20% off card (good anytime – though understandably not in conjunction with the lunch deal) that came with the bill!