More and more recently, I’m finding we’re becoming a two-dinner family. The boys are both busy with college, and both have a part-time job, so it’s often just Mr E and I for dinner. If we’re dining a deux, I’m a bit prone to just grill salmon or bake chicken and serve it with rice and veggies, so I was delighted for a bit of inspiration in the form of these lovely little mini roasts. This one is pistachio and orange crusted lamb and it was so delicious, and it felt so decadent eating it midweek too – like a stay at home date night!
Last week, I was invited to London to join a few fellow foodies at an event hosted by lovely actor/food writer Fay Ripley and Simply Beef & Lamb. You might have seen adverts on the TV recently about midweek mini roasts, and Fay brought us all together to challenge us to create a fast mini roast that we would serve to our families.
I was sent this recipe recently by Bacofoil, who have teamed up with Dean Edwards to create a series of really nice, easy family recipes. And although I don’t generally share things like this, I actually think this is a really great dish. It’s super healthy, nice and easy to do and I love the idea of mixing the sweet and spicy flavours together with something like couscous that can be a bit bland if you’re not careful.
I’m really lucky because I get sent quite a few cookbooks. I’ll be honest though – a lot of them are a bit, well, samey. Every now and again one takes me by surprise because it’s just SO exciting and SO different.
I’ve written before about the fact that as a nation we’re not massive turkey eaters. Christmas, yes, but the rest of the year? I’ll be honest, when I was given this challenge and popped to the shop, I was surprised to find packs of turkey breast there on the shelves – right next to the chicken. Have you ever seen them? Thought not.
So anyhoo, the lovely chaps at Lean on Turkey, supporting our fantastic British turkey farmers, set me a little challenge: create a turkey dish for a family of four, NOT a roast dinner, for under a tenner. I thought instantly of my new best friend, Ras el Hanout.
About Ras el Hanout
Ras el Hanout is a North African spice blend that I first came across in Morocco, where it was being made into a paste with oil and lemon juice and rubbed onto fish before it was grilled. It has a a wonderful warmth and rich flavour and is a blend of all sorts of spices: black pepper, cumin, coriander, clove, cinnamon, turmeric.. all sorts of lovely stuff. There’s a hint of chilli in there but nothing too fiery.
For the Moroccan style turkey
You will need:
1 large red onion
1 pack turkey breast fillets
Ras el Hanout spice blend
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
For the couscous:
300ml chicken or turkey stock (cube is fine)
Large handful of chopped herbs
Firstly, slice the red onion and fry in a couple of tablespoons of rapeseed oil until starting to soften.
Slice the turkey, place it in a bowl and sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of the Ras el Hanout spice blend. Mix well.
Add the turkey breast to the pan and fry until the meat is opaque.
Then, add in the chopped tomatoes, plus another half tin of water. Sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of sugar, stir, then turn down the heat and allow to just simmer for about 15 minutes. Season to taste.
While the turkey is simmering, make your couscous:
Place the couscous in a bowl and add in a couple of slices of lemon peel (I just peeled it off with a vegetable peeler).
Pour over the boiling stock and cover the bowl with a plate.
When you’re ready to serve, fluff up the couscous with a fork, squeeze over half the lemon and stir in a big handful of chopped herbs (we used coriander and mint).
Serve with steamed Tenderstem broccoli.
For more information on the Lean on Turkey campaign, head to leanonturkey.co.uk
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