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There is always something happening in supermarkets -
new products, product demonstrations, shelves reorganised
so you can't find anything. Not always interesting, quite
often boring and sometimes a chore but just occasionally something
catches your eye, something is interesting . . .
Turkey in a Salad?
Looking around the supermarket at this time of year you can't
help but be struck by all the wonderful fresh produce that
is on the shelves. These days there is fresh produce
all the year round because of the wonders of modern transport
and refrigeration but it just does not taste quite the same
as the fresh produce that does not have far to travel.
Now is the time to take advantage of all the British produce
that is available as the seasons will soon change. It does
not take too much imagination as to what you can do with fresh
veg to enjoy it, often simple dishes and simple cooking being
the best. With this in mind, rather than say any more, a Phil
Vickery video might inspire you to enjoy some of the fresh
British produce that is available . . . and watch out for
the tip about mustard!
Simple and easy to prepare is the key to this recipe, so
everyone can feel good about preparing and serving this dish.
British turkey breast steaks or breast fillets
1 Iceberg lettuce
4 tbsp honey roast peanuts, finely chopped
4 small, ripe tomatoes, diced
½ large cucumber, deseeded with a teaspoon, diced
4 hardboiled eggs, diced
4 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
2 large carrots, peeled, diced
4 tbsp chives, chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp safflower or sunflower oil
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 pinch caster sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
fry the turkey breast steaks or sliced breast fillet in
a little oil for about 3 minutes on each side and lightly
browned. Set aside to rest.
chop the Iceberg lettuce and put into a serving bowl.
the peanuts, tomatoes and cucumber, along with the diced
eggs, shallots, carrots and chives. Mix well.
the cooked and cooled turkey, add to the bowl and chill
in the fridge.
make the dressing by placing all the ingredients into a
bowl and whisking together. After a couple of minutes, the
mustard will emulsify the oil and vinegar and you will end
up with a thickish dressing.
over the chilled salad and toss well.
the seasoning and allow the flavours to infuse for 5 minutes
you are going to eat at a later time then add the dressing
at the last moment.
can use leftover meat from a roast instead of cooking fresh
turkey. You will need about 250g of chopped turkey breast
and/or leg meat for this recipe.
Editorial note: This site is not paid to
promote any of the products or places featured in this newsletter.
THE GOOD LIFE IN SPAIN
Spanish tostada is one of Spains most famous breakfasts.
It may get overtaken in the popularity stakes especially during
the winter months by churros con chocolate (deep
fried pancake mix dipped in thick hot chocolate) but for the
rest of the year the humble tostada is favoured by most Spaniards
as their preferred quick breakfast in the mornings.
Walk into any Spanish tapas bar before lunchtime and you
can order "tostada de tomate", this is the most
popular version consisting of a French stick cut in half then
half again lengthways, toasted then spread with tomato frito.
The traditional and most satisfying way to enjoy a tostada
is to drizzle a healthy amount of the customary olive oil
over the toast before sprinkling with salt. For the braver
and for those enjoy a generous amount of garlic you can request
a tostada de tomate "con ajo", this puts a whole
different (and very potent) twist on your toast with the addition
of raw garlic cloves being rubbed to within an inch of their
life over the toast before the tomato salsa is spread on top,
a nice combination but maybe not if your on your way to the
next board meeting!
Tostada, similar to pizza is open to all kinds of ideas and
toppings so it is always a tasty experience to deviate from
the normal version to experiment with something different
or perhaps a little more bold in the flavour department. Plain
old vine ripened tomatoes, sliced and sprinkled with crushed
black peppercorns work a treat as does thinly sliced Serrano
ham or you could try devilled mushrooms, sherried kidneys,
spinach, Manchego cheese, sobrasada, chorizo or lightly fried
pancetta. The key is variation and with tostada's being so
versatile you can choose almost any topping you like which,
made either hot or cold makes for a hearty, not to mention
healthy Spanish breakfast.
For tapas and if you are going to serve tostada as a starter
immediately, cut the French stick into cross sections to make
"mini tostadas" with a selection of contrasting
ingredients and toppings you can create a display of real
Spanish flavour and present something both colourful and delicious
for the whole family or the guests at your next tapas party.
French stick for toasting
Frito for spreading or rub fresh tomato over toast
For rubbing over the toast (according to taste)
To enhance flavour (sea salt/Maldon salt works best)
recipe was sent to me (along with hundreds of others) by a
lady called Shirley Cline, who lived in San Francisco. Shirley
was passionate about cooking and food and it was a great pleasure
to have communicated with her for a few years. Sadly she passed
away in 2004 and there were no more emails with her wonderful
and varied recipes. If you search the site for her name you
will find a wonderful selection of recipes.
3 1/3 pounds onions
1/4 lb Taleggo (a soft, mild creamy cheese that in some
ways resembles Brie)**
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 quarts beef broth
Sufficient slices of toasted day old bread to make up
two layers in your soup pot
Freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano
the onions and slice them, though not too finely.
Heat the butter in a casserole and sauté the onions
for about an hour, letting them wilt and then adding a
bit of boiling broth to keep them from browning as they
cook. By the end of an hour the onions should have fallen
apart, at this point add the remaining broth.
Let the soup sit for an hour and put it through a strainer
(or blend it).
Spread the cheese evenly over the slices of toasted bread
and heat them gently in the oven to melt the cheese.
Line your soup pot with a first layer of bread, pour half
the soup over it, put down the second layer of bread and
the remaining soup, and dust the surface with a goodly
layer of freshly grated Grana Padana or Parmigiano.
Increase the heat of the oven to about 300F° and heat
the soup through for 15 minutes before serving it.
**If you cannot find the cheese above, you can
use Brie or Gruyere (or Swiss). They are all good.
SCHOOLS TAUGHT DOMESTIC SCIENCE
8 ozs Digestive biscuits
2 ozs Raisins
3 ozs Butter
2 tbsps Syrup
1 tbsp Cocoa (heaped and not drinking chocolate)
5 ozs Chocolate (at least 75 % cocoa solids)
an eight inch sponge tine with foil and slightly grease
biscuits and place in a bowl.
a saucepan melt together the butter, syrup and cocoa.
on to the biscuit crumbs and mix thoroughly.
the mixture into the tin.
the chocolate in a basin over a pan of hot water (not
boiling), adding a small knob of butter.
the melted chocolate to coat the mixture.
to cool and then turn out and cut into squares or triangles.
MIXING BOWL . . . RANDOM BITS AND PIECES
food poisoning cases occur from harmful bacteria in the foods
we eat. To understand how to control bacteria we must first
understand what bacteria require for growth or to multiply.
are asexual and multiply by a process called 'binary division'.
This means that under the right conditions they will split
into two. For this process to take place they require:
37ºC (98.6ºF) which is our body temperature
: if all of the above is in place, bacteria will multiply
every 20 minutes.
that they do not require oxygen to survive, in fact many pathogens
thrive in air tight conditions, i.e. clostridium botulinum,
so if not properly sterilised, bottled vegetables, canned
goods etc can also be source of pathogens. Great care must
be taken when producing home made bottled goods, preserves
etc. In ideal conditions, a single bacteria can multiply in
24 hours to:
remember we are never talking about a single bacteria, but
millions! With 3 million of them fitting on a pinhead!
should make you think twice about eating that food you left
standing on the stove overnight !
by understanding their requirements to multiply, we can look
at how to control or destroy them. Basically if we remove
one of their requirements we are on our way to control them,
if we remove more than one we are on our way to destroying
them. Lets look at this in detail . . .
most important of the bacteria requirements is the warmth
or temperature they require. If we control our temperatures
in the kitchen we can control the bacteria growth or destroy
bacteria in food
The temperature that freezers should be running at. Freezing
does not destroy bacteria, pathogens or their toxins
and spores. In a freezer bacteria are merely in a state
of suspended animation or a hibernation state. They will
not multiply, but nor will they die.
to 4ºC (32º to 39ºF):
The temperature that refrigerators/chillers should be running
at. Chilling food does not destroy bacteria, pathogens or
their toxins and spores. In a chiller bacteria merely slow
down their rate of reproduction to a virtual stop, they
will however continue to multiply, all be it very slowly
Most bacteria will start to die at this temperature
The internal temperature of foods should reach this to ensure
any bacteria has been destroyed. To achieve this solid foods
such as roast meats and steaks need to be thoroughly cooked
until the juices run clear (no signs of blood). Liquid style
foods such as sauces, soups and stews etc should be brought
to a boil (while stirring) and simmered for a minimum of
reheat foods more than once or the bacteria in the food
will not only multiply as the food is cooled down and stored,
but they will also become heat resistant. Bacteria are capable
of producing spores; this heat resistant shell will resist
the most ardent cooking temperatures and food poisoning
is the temperature zone at which bacteria will multiply: 5ºC
to 65ºC (32ºF to 149ºF). When food is held within this zone,
bacteria will multiply and could end up being a problem and
cause food poisoning. To ensure this doesn't happen:
a chilly bin with you when shopping to place ant chilled
or frozen foods in to transport home.
your shopping so that any other chores are completed first:
checking your mail box, clothes shopping, coffee or lunch,
visiting friends etc . . . always go straight home after
chilled and frozen foods away as soon as you arrive home.
fresh meats or fish in the refrigerator until just before
you need it and ensure it is covered (to stop flies etc
landing on it)
you go on a picnic or have a bbq, ensure the food is kept
in a chilly bin with ice to keep it chilled.
foods in a sealed covered container, slowly in the refrigerator,
DO NOT leave defrosting on the kitchen bench overnight.
foods in the refrigerator
all raw meats below cooked foods (preferably on the bottom
all raw meats in sealed containers (both of these points
will prevent any blood dripping onto foods below
all raw meats and fish separately; do not mix poultry and
beef for example in the same container.
all fruit and vegetables, dairy products and foods that
require no further cooking away from all raw meats and fish
clean your refrigerator as needed (at least once a week)
bacteria on work surfaces (benches, knives etc)
towels are PUBLIC ENEMY No. 1!! The moment a tea-towel is
used for drying dishes etc it is 'unclean'. Further use of
it will only help spread bacteria.
of heat: the best method to control and destroy bacteria is
the application of heat, however the following points must
heat is far more effective than dry heat; it destroys the
pathogens far quicker
in excess of 70ºC must be used; however above 80ºC is preferred
and will be safer
disinfecting and sanitising with hot water is far more effective
and quicker than using chemicals (and cheaper!)
are many commercial and retail chemicals available to banish
bacteria from your work surfaces. They all no doubt do what
they claim they will, but using water at the correct temperature
will do the job not only better, but also quicker and cheaper.
Common chemicals used for cleaning are:
unless they have an anti-bacterial agent are used to remove
grease and dirt, by forming an emulsion between them and
used to reduce the levels of bacteria to a safe level
will eliminate most bacteria
you do decide to use chemicals remember these points:
only in the manufacturer's recommended amounts
only in the manufacturer's recommended water temperature
(too cold or too hot can render the chemical useless)
only as per the manufacturer's instructions: most require
being left on the surface for an hour or so to be effective
will require being rinsed off after being left on the surface
for required amount of time or they will contaminate your
far the most effective method of destroying bacteria is cleaning
with water at the correct temperature, especially as it will
clean and disinfect or sanitise at the same time. Cancelling
the need for purchasing and using chemicals.
temperature must be as hot as possible
(176ºF) for disinfecting
(212ºF) for sanitising
by washing work benches, etc with soap and water (at boiling
point) will not only remove all dirt and grease but will destroy
EFFICIENT, CHEAP AND GOOD FOR THE ENVIROMENT Which has got
to be good for all of us!!
hand washing is an important step in eliminating food poisoning
cases. Hands should be washed in as hot as water as the hands
can stand, with soap and a nail brush. They should be dried
with paper towels, roller towels or hot air blower.
should you wash your hands?
touching your hair
touching any part of your face
blowing your nose
visiting the bathroom
handling raw meats and fish
handling chemicals (cleaning agents etc)
between changing tasks: between handling raw meats and cutting
cooked meats, between handling raw fish and cutting fruits
and veg etc
All equipment for these tasks should also be thoroughly
contamination: "The contamination of safe foods from
unsafe foods via a vehicle". By following all of the
above should eliminate the possibility of contaminating your
nice fresh, clean foods with bacteria from unsafe foods and
minimise your chances of getting food poisoning.
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