Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Pot-Roast Turkey Legs

Aside from cheese, chocolate, Marmite, Shreddies, Grape Nuts, wild mushrooms, cold-weather vegetables and chestnuts, the food I miss most from the UK is wild game birds like duck, pheasant, quail and partridge. Cooking them was simple: pot-roast with lentils and root vegetables until tender and delicious. Especially as the weather turns cooler, I start to crave those autumn treats... but there is no shooting season here, and the only remnant of introduced hunting are the feral foxes.

I was walking through the poultry aisle at the supermarket when I saw a pack of turkey drumsticks. Aside from the occasional replacement for schnitzel or the ubiquitous Christmas roast, I've never really cooked with turkey. It suddenly occurred to me that the dark, gamy legs might substitute perfectly for the game birds I'd been missing. I whacked them in a casserole with a few of the usual accompaniments: carrots, potatoes, brown lentils, bay leaves and a bit of stock, and pot-roasted them for a couple of hours.

What a success! They came out deliciously tender, falling off the bone, and had something of that umami rich flavour that chicken never quite manages. A leg each was more than sufficient so from a pack of six we got three meals between us. Very tasty and easy: just substitute a leg per quail or a couple of legs per pheasant in any usual game bird recipe.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Kale and Apple Salad

One thing I'll say about no frost here is that it makes kale a premium, exotic ingredient. Instead of being a huge prickly vegetable so tough you either need to boil it or feed it to a pig, it's packed up like salad and is so tender you can eat it raw. A rather tasty way of doing so is to combine it with some mandolined apple and a handful of chopped dried fruits and nuts (e.g. raisins and almonds, as we did) and dressed simply with lemon juice and olive oil.

You still have to shred it finely, and it takes more of a chew than lettuce, but it's pretty filling, especially with a couple of boiled potatoes to give the sharp salad a contrast. If you want a bit more protein, feel free to shave over some feta, goats' cheese, or even parmesan.