18 November 2011

You get your Menu Plan all organised - and suddenly, it's Christmas!

Here's the state of this week's menu plan :

That is how much we've had to double-back on what we had planned to do (which was all very nice, but will now have to wait) in favour of working our way through a Foreman & Field Seasonal Gift box, which was very kindly supplied by Knorr.

Stuffed full of goodies!
For all that I was expecting to receive the gift box on Wednesday, I wasn't expecting it to weigh the same as a ten year old boy - nor be bigger than my available worktop!  That white, paper-wrapped lump on the right hand side was a Kelly Bronze Turkey.  The box basically contained everything for a Christmas dinner, plus everything for a Turkey curry on Boxing Day - following a recipe from Marco Pierre White, who is currently working on the "Best of British" campaign with Knorr.

I have been privileged to receive the box in return for cooking with the ingredients and blogging copiously about it.

Incredibly exciting, absolutely amazing and so much fun!

So, following a bit of radical re-evaluation, the week's menus now look like this :

Tues : Son - Pizza, Adults - King Prawn Frittata
Wed : Sausage Casserole
Thur : Scotch Broth with crusty bread
Fri : Fish in batter, hash browns (baked sweet potato for me), peas & baked beans
Sat : High Tea
Sun : Roast Turkey Christmas Dinner
Mon : Turkey Curry á la Marco Pierre White.

The Turkey theme is likely to run over into next week too, as I've plans for a Turkey Leftover Pie, plus soup using the Turkey stock I'll be making.  Well, it was an enormous Turkey - and I'm never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I'll be making it go as far as humanly possible!

Getting back to real life (well, it does seem somewhat surreal to have Christmas arrive suddenly like that!), hubby is the man responsible for Tuesday evening's King Prawn Frittata - and it was one of his truly top-knotch ideas.  Bless him, he's trying to think along the lines of "things that will be good for Jenny's Anti-inflammatory diet" (which Turkey isn't - sssshhh!) which (basically) means ruling out lots and lots of carbohydrates and odd things like raw tomatoes.  This Frittata was really - and I mean really - good.  I'll be blogging it very soon.

So difficult to make this look appetising!
Next on the list was the Sausage Casserole.  Now we've been making Sausage Casseroles for as long as we've been together, hubby and I - and probably even earlier than that.  However, this Sausage Casserole is an adaptation of a Hairy Bikers' recipe for their "Spicy Bean HotPot".  When I first saw it, I liked the spicing involved in it but wasn't keen on the hotpot top of sliced potatoes.  I figured that, if I included some sausages and some mushrooms, it might very easily pass for a spicy Sausage Casserole - and it did, quite beautifully too!  This one will be blogged very soon as well.

My version - hubby's isn't finished yet!
Now we come to tonight's Scotch Broth, which is another of hubby's ideas.  He's taken some details from my Scotch Broth recipe, but is doing his own take on the dish.  He's in the process of making it right now, as I type, so I can't give you any clues as to how it turned out just yet!

We're having fish on Friday for once, but purely co-incidentally, as we're trying feverishly to reduce the amount of things that are roosting in the freezer and make room for the Turkey!  This is the fish in batter that we should have had last Monday, but it got elbowed out of the way by something else.  Still, it'll be nice to have a plain old easy "after school" dinner for once.  I'll be making myself a baked Sweet Potato to have instead of the potato hash browns, and be having peas instead of the baked beans - which is something else that is oddly inflammatory.

From here on in, we're into the Knorr Seasonal Box!

Just how much does that Stilton make your mouth water?
Saturday's High Tea is going to be a tongue-tinglingly, tongue-tastic array of smoked salmon and salmon caviar done three ways (on blinis, as a mousse on pumpernickel and in pinwheels), along with some spectacular Colston Bassett Stilton with grapes, Fenland Celery and crackers.  We're also going to provide some tasters of other cheeses for son & heir who is still undecided as to whether he's a Stilton fan or not.

Dessert will be a lemon & raspberry tart with cream.  All of which is designed to form the type of buffet you might be lucky enough to be presented with on Christmas Day evening.

Is that a Turkey leg, I see peeping out?
Hubby has very generously offered to run the cooking of the "Christmas Day Dinner" on Sunday, which has relieved me of lots of worry as to how the heck I was going to do it.  Apparently I'll be allowed to sit and direct operations plus do whatever can be done sitting down.  It'll be a team effort - which Christmas Dinners often are, if you're lucky!

Monday's dinner will be the first after-Christmas Turkey Leftover Curry I've ever cooked.  Most leftover Turkey in my house, gets used up in copious amounts of sandwiches - so it'll be fun to see what can be done with Marco Pierre White's recipe!

I doubt very much that I'll be sticking to his recipe, as it really doesn't sound like our type of curry at all, as it contains both apple and banana.  Plus, the curry powder that has been supplied, although it smells beautifully fragrant, doesn't give the impression of having much chilli kick.  Hence, I'll be using the ingredients as a base and freestyling thereafter to try and tweak the curry towards more of a genuine curry, as opposed to a curry-flavoured Turkey stew.  Fingers crossed!

So, there you have it.  I doubt very much that I'll be doing any other incidental bits of cooking in the meantime, as I'll be too busy cooking and blogging about it!  As it is, I've had to wade through the backlog of blogs that were waiting to be done, while hubby took care of the cooking, so as to get up to date for the approaching Knorr blogs!  Don't, for a second, think I'm complaining - far from it - it's fun to be busy.  Cooking and writing about it is, after all, what I enjoy doing.


  1. How lovely! Roast turkey is a real treat and I'm not sure why it is that I only ever think to buy it at Christmas.

    I have to agree with you re the turkey curry though - I don't care how authentic or otherwise it is but I could not bring myself to use fruit in a curry with the exception of sultanas - and possibly dried apricots. Banana? No, no and thrice no!!!


  2. Seren, time and time again I've tried to include fruit in a curry - after the style of the Malay curry that you get from the takeaway. I think I will include it in the Turkey curry, but I'll produce a much more authentic-style base mix to begin with. It'll be an interesting experiment in using Marco Pierre-White's ingredients in different ways to the prescribed one!


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