Spicy orange turkey with rice

We had some oranges that needed using up, so I decided to combine them with some turkey and spices then serve them with rice to make a meal that we could eat with the chopsticks we bought in Taiwan and hadn’t used yet. It was so tasty that I decided to make it again at the weekend, and this time I took photos for the blog. So here’s my recipe for spicy orange turkey with rice.

Ingredients (serves 2)

Olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 spring onions
400 g turkey breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces (you can also use chicken – the supermarket I went to only had turkey left)
2 oranges
2 carrots
About 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1-2 tsp powdered ginger
About 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Basmati rice, prepared according to the package instructions

Method

1. Heat some olive oil in a pan. While it’s heating, chop the spring onion then, once the olive oil is hot, fry the spring onion and some dried chilli flakes in it for about 1 minute.

Spring onion, garlic and chilli frying
Spring onion, garlic and chilli frying

2. Add the turkey (or chicken) to the frying pan and fry, stirring occasionally, until it’s starting to go brown. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

... add the turkey and season
… add the turkey and season

3. While the meat is frying, cut the oranges into thin, shortish slices, then add the sliced carrots to the frying pan and fry for a further 1-2 minutes. We still had purple carrots so I used them because they look pretty.

4. Peel the oranges and roughly chop them, making sure to keep as much of the juice as possible. Add the oranges and their juice to the frying pan and stir everything together

Oranges waiting to go in
Oranges waiting to go in

5. Add powdered ginger to the frying pan (I used quite a lot but you can use less) and roughly half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

6. Serve with Basmati rice, prepared according to the instructions on the packet (the rice should have been cooking while you did the above steps)

Dinner time!
Dinner time!

That’s it. Easy peasy! Also, check out my pretty chopsticks 😀

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Friday letters

Good morning! I do hope it is a good morning where you are. It’s pretty cold here – I switched to my winter jacket this morning – but it’s not raining at least, which makes a nice change.
Normally this little introduction bit before my Friday letters would be where I talk about my week, but quite honestly I have nothing to say! I have worked, I have cleaned the flat and I have bought a turkey for Christmas dinner day, which is taking place tomorrow. That’s about all. Jan is taking me out for a meal tonight though – he suggested it to make up for seeing pretty much nothing of me last week, so that’s nice. And now on with the letters!

Friday letters

Dear Deutsche Bahn. I know it’s getting cold outside now, but there’s really no need to turn the inside of your trains into ovens!

Dear nails. Stop bloody breaking all the time! I find it unfair that I’ve managed not to bite you for over a year but half of you still look as though I had chewed you to death.

Dear turkey. I’m pretty sure I say this every year but… please defrost in time!

Dear pay day. Hurry up! I need to get on with buying Christmas presents.

Dear people in my life. Speaking of Christmas presents, why are so many of you so difficult to shop for?!

That’s all for today. I don’t even have any links to share with you this week, but Charlotte does, so check out her Friday links post instead. have a great weekend, everyone.

Turkey and Coconut Milk Risotto

I made a risotto for tea last night that came out pretty well, so I thought I’d share it with you. Unfortunately, I have no photos of the actual cooking process because it wasn’t until I sat down to eat it that I thought “Wow, this is good. I should share it on my blog!”. I did take a picture of the end product though, so at least can see how it looked once it was finished! 😀

Bevchen’s Turkey and Coconut Milk Risotto

 

My risotto
My risotto

Ingredients (This amount served 2 of us)

About 20-30 g butter
Olive oil, for frying
150 g risotto rice
Around 350 ml chicken stock
Around 500 g bite-sized pieces of turkey breast
One tin of coconut milk
One red onion
A handful of green beans (the long ones… Prinzessbohnen in German), roughly chopped
Two garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
Dried chilli flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
Pine nuts (optional), for decoration

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and use it to sautee the red onion
  2. At the same time, heat some olive oil in a frying pan and use that to fry the garlic
  3. Add the rice to the saucepan with the onion and stir until coated with butter, then add about 100 ml of the chicken stock and stir. Wait until all the stock is absorbed before adding another 100 ml. Continue like this until you’ve used all the stock.
  4. Meanwhile, stir some ginger into the pan with the garlic then add the turkey and fry until almost cooked through. Close to the end of the cooking time, add the beans
  5. Once all the stock is soaked up, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in some chilli flakes and black pepper, then pour in the coconut milk and return to a low heat to warm through
  6. Ad the chicken mixture to the rice/coconut milk pan and stir everything together, then give the mixture a tate to see if any more seasoning is needed. I added extra chilli flakes and black pepper. The chicken stock provided enough salt, in my opinion, but you could add extra salt if you like
  7. Dish the risotto out into bowls and sprinkle pine nuts on top to decorate (and because they taste gooood!)

Voila! A simple yet healthy (ish) meal!
It would probably taste even better if it had fresh ginger and chillis in, but as it was a “what can I make with the things I currently have in the flat?” meal and I hadn’t been shopping, I had neither of those things to work with.

Whole green beans in a carton.
These are like the type of beans I mean, except mine were thinner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Message sending failed”

failedYesterday afternoon, I was following the Newcastle v Swansea match on the BBCs Premier League live service. I thought it was going to end in a draw, but about a minute before full time Swansea scored. Meh! I immediately sent Jan a text, thinking he might like to know. As usual, minutes after I sent the message my phone beeped – I have delivery reports switched on. I checked the message, expecting it to read “Delivered”, as it always does. Instead, I was confronted with the following: “Jan Mob. Message failed.” That has never happened before. If the recipients phone is off, my phone doesn’t beep and I receive a message saying “Pending”. Once they switch their phone back on, the phone beeps and the “Pending” message changes to “Delivered”. I tried again. Beep beep. “Message failed”. I went and fetched the house phone to call him… “The person you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later,” said a female voice – first in German, then in English. Hmm, odd. But he’d told me the night before that he might be allowed to go to the beach. Perhaps he was somewhere with no reception. I went to distract myself by reading some blogs.

unavailable_iconHalf an hour later, I could stand it no more. I dialled his number from out house phone. “The person you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later.” I went into the kitchen and plugged in the hoover. Another half an hour, another attempt. “The person you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later.” I made a cup of tea, ate a packet of Monster Munch and tried not to worry. For half an hour, then I tried again. It was 7:30 pm by this time, 8:30 in Turkey (he told me the night before that they’re an hour ahead). Even if he had been to the beach, surely he couldn’t still be there? Again “The person you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later.” It occurred to me that if anything had happened, I wouldn’t find out until a member of his family thought to contact me. In emergencies, the authorities call your next of kin. Parents… siblings… wives. Not girlfriends. I pushed that thought out of my mind and resolved to try again later.

After each failed attempt, I tried to force myself to wait longer before dialling again, thinking up different things to distract me each time. I washed dishes, played Freecell on the computer, ate a small tub of icecream sitting on the floor in front of the radiator, got out the playing cards and had a game of Patience (sorry, but no it’s not called Solitaire… that’s a game with marbles!).

Half an hour ago, I sent another text message, asking how he was and whether he’d been allowed to go to the beach. It failed.
I know he’s probably fine and the issue is with his phone. If anything had happened I’d have heard by now, right? But still… aargh! I cannot wait to have him back here where I can keep an eye on him (at least while I’m not at work). One more sleep…

*Update* I have now spoken to the boyfriend via Facebook. His phone has been blocked for security reasons (pesumably because he went over a cost limit, leading them to think it was stolen), but he is fine. Good job I managed not to worry too much!

“Interesting news”

May You Live in Interesting TimesThis afternoon, just as I was thinking about stopping work and lunch, my mobile phone rang. My initial reaction was confusion. Who could be calling me? Hardly anyone calls me, and especially not while I’m at work. Then, on taking the phone out of my bag and seeing my boyfriend’s name on the screen, I started to worry. Jan does occasionally call me during the day, but he’s currently in Turkey, where he’s supposed to be watching presentations and such. I wasn’t expecting to hear from him until tonight – his presentation was supposed to be today and he usually calls to tell me how it went.

I answered the phone, and his first words were “I have interesting news.” Turns out he’d had a stomach ache on the flight over, on Monday it got so bad that he went to see a doctor, and he was calling my yesterday from the hospital where he was about to have his appendix removed. This is what my boyfriend calls interesting news?!

worried square
worried square (Photo: cathredfern)

Knowing that 1) He had a good translator with him who was taking care of all the insurance-related stuff and 2) The appendix hadn’t ruptured and only a small cut would be needed did nothing to alleviate my worry. He was still in hospital. In Turkey. And I had absolutely no way of knowing what was going on. He promised to call me again as soon as he could after the operation, then hung up so he could phone his mum. It’s a good job I didn’t have much work to do in the afternoon because my concentration level was roughly zero!

At 2 p.m. I received a text message:

Appendix is out. Went well. Gonna get some sleep now. I love you.

Panic over. Or at least reduced. I still wish he wasn’t in Turkey though.

Showing the Germans how it’s done

So, my Christmas dinner went well again. There was way too much food, of course. That’s the whole point in Christmas dinner, isn’t it? Actually, we seem to have ended up with more leftovers than usual, although I didn’t think I had made more food. Perhaps people weren’t as hungry this time?
Anyway, here’s what we ate:

Food, glorious food
Food, glorious food

For the starter, aubergine rounds and very garlicky tomato bruschetta (delicious!).
Then came the main course. You probably can’t tell what everything is from the photo, so here’s a list:

  • Turkey (obviously…)
  • Bread sauce (home made)
  • Spicy sausage meat stuffing
  • Bread stuffing with herbs (not pictured – it eventually went were the aubergines or on here – made by my friend K)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Roast potatoes
  • Broccoli (yuck! That one was for the others…)
  • Carrots
  • Honey-roasted parsnips
  • Pigs in blankets – made with Bratwurst!
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Gravy
  • And home made lemonade to drink (plus some passion fruit flavoured sparkling wine that I picked up purely because the label had a picture of a multi-cultured lizard that I thought was cute)

Here’s a picture of just the turkey. It was perfectly cooked – even if I do say so myself, which I kind of have to since there’s nobody else here to say it for me. Not too dry, but not undercooked either (every year I am paranoid about poisoning everyone!).

I swear it's not the same turkey as in my last post...Turkey 2010

Desert was an apple and raisin crumble with Amaretto, again made by K. By this stage in the proceedings, I had forgotten all about cameras, so there are no photos of it. Never mind, I’m sure you all know what crumble looks like. And for the record, it was delicious!

I’m knackered now (didn’t get to bed til around midnight!), but it was worth it. And at least I don’t need to worry about what to cook for the rest of the week. Turkey with everything it is!! Here’s how I’m making tonight’s tea…

Leftovers

Turkey time!

Today is the day of my annual Christmas dinner, otherwise known as showing the Germans how it’s done in the UK (and that British cooking is not actually terrible, honest) day. Except this year there will also be a Scot joining us, and she already knows how it’s done. So she’ll just have to join the ranks of the showers (that’s ones who show, not appliance that squirts water at you) rather than the showees.

Here’s my 2010 turkey for you (it seems I took no photos last year). For obvious reasons, I can’t show you this year’s outcome yet (it’s only just gone in the oven).

TurkeyI haven’t poisoned anyone yet. Let’s hope this year isn’t the first time 😉