Stuffing (no pork)

fnar fnar. etc.

My stuffing was especially successful this year, even stuffing unfriendly mother wanted the recipe.  I am trying to remember it and preserve it for re-use.  As with most of my savoury things, it’s a little random so.. you know.. caveat coquus. Or some other latin bastardisation.

No Pork Stuffing for Poultry

2 x onion bagels, whizzed to crumbs (any breadcrumbs will do)

10 dried apricots, whizzed or chopped (soak them for 10 mins in boiling water if they’re a bit hard)

10 dates, whizzed or chopped  (soak them for 10 mins in boiling water if they’re a bit hard)

2 x eggs

zest of one unwaxed lemon

3 x large anchovies, or maybe 5-6 of they tincey ones

c. 75g butter

1 x large onion, chopped small or whizzed

4 x garlic cloves chopped small or whizzed

about 5 knuckle scrapings worth of ground nutmeg (maybe a level teaspoon?)

salt and pepper, generous amount


The anchovies and butter are to replace the flavour and fattiness that the traditional pork mince gives to the stuffing, to keep the breast lovely and moist while the legs cook.

  1. Fry up the chopped onion and garlic in butter until they’re golden brown.
  2. Turn off the heat. Pop the rest of the butter and the anchovies in and let it all melt in together. This will cool the mix down enough that it doesn’t start cooking the eggs when you mix them together, and deglaze the pan a little to take as much flavour out as possible.
  3. Mix together the breadcrumbs, apricots, dates, nutmeg, lemon, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  4. Mix the eggs in the large bowl
  5. Once the butter is all melted in the pan, mix the anchovies in til they’re all mushed, and mix in with the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Add a little water if it’s too dry.
  7. Stuff between the bird’s skin and breast etc

If you don’t have or don’t want to use dates or apricots, you can just sub either in totally, 20 total.

Recipes often call for you to stab the turkey leg in lots of places and stuff the holes with pancetta or bacon etc. This year’s experiment was to make one hole in the top of the drumstick, and use a finger to (carefully) separate the skin, then pour a melted butter and anchoving goo mix into the created pocket, then stuffed the hole with rosemary.  It worked pretty well and required less faff.

I forgot to take photos. It looked great.


Lemon Meringue XTREEM ginger MAX Pie

I had been fancying lemon meringue pie for some time, like this..

lemon (yum!) meringue (yum!) pie (urrr.. pastry..) *repeat*

Working with the following constants, what has been deemed ‘Best Lemon Meringue Pie Ever’ and also ‘How Pie SHOULD Be’ was created.

  1. Lemony goop is delicious
  2. Meringue is delicious
  3. The crispy outside of Meringue is the best bit
  4. Pastry is a bit bum
  5. Shortbread however, is yum!
  6. ..ginger and lemons is nice yes

Combining this here ginger shortbread recipe and this here lemon meringue pie recipe, I give you..

Teeny Tiny Lemon Meringue Pie(s) with Ginger Shortbread base

I will swap you a bunny for a pie

I made roughly half of each mix, which makes twelve teeny tiny pies, although it actually made eleven because I made the shortbread a little thick. It _would_ make twelve though.

Differenty bits and ordering changes to the recipes

I added a little more crystallised ginger and added no dried ginger to the shortbread, as the fresher taste and chewy texture of the root ginger was what I was after. I made up the shortbread mixture and smudged a blob flat then shaped it into each little fairy cake case. Leave the case in the tray when you are doing this or it will try and turn into an origami swan. Of course it’s also important to try not to muck about with the shortbread too much or it will go greasy and heavy. Bake the shortbread as per the recipe, and start the lemon filling cooking towards the end of the cooking time – or the shortbread could be baked in advance.

Cooking the little pies for longer than stated (probably about 35-40 mins) will ensure a more crispy and meringuey outer, also making sure the meringue has lots of spikes on to go crispy.

Ignore the nonsense about leaving the pie to cool before cutting it and that – eating the pie when fresh from the oven, with the hot centre and warm outer is all kinds of awesome. They are great the next day as well, when the base becomes crispier and not all soggy like evil pastry can.

Win MAX.

Flapjacks Are Great and Everyone Says So.

By almost popular request, my flapjack methodology in handy step by step format.. Go forth and oatify.

1. try to recall if you have all the following in the house

150g golden syrup. other sugars can be used in a pinch.
100g butter or margarine. Butter is nicer.
225g jumbo oats or some boring muesli that needs PIMPIN’ (other types of oats will work too, but you’ll get a different texture)
c.175g various dried fruits, nuts and seeds. Whatever takes your fancy.
a deepish baking tray, or silicone cake/bread tin

2. Turn on your oven – about 170 degrees centigrade. Ask goggle for conversions.

3.  Put a medium sized saucepan on your scales and zero it.  Weigh your syrup and margarine/butter into it. Any other way is craziness.

Simmer it until it’s all melty and a bit bubbly. Turn off heat.

Stop! I have no golden syrup!  [ on err goto #eek1 ]

4.  weigh out your fruit/nuts/seeds. Chop em up a bit if they’re a bit big. Chuck them in the pan

5.  weigh out your oats.  either take a big handful out and whizz them in a blender till they’re like flour, or just put a stick blender in the bowl and whizz them a little bit so some of them go floury. This helps them stick together and get that more solid cakey texture.  Don’t do this if you want to make oaty cluster type thingies. You’ll ideally have caramelised the sugar mixture if that were the case though so never mind.

6. mix everything together. if you haven’t got a silicone cake tin or something like that, then line whatever you’re using with greaseproof paper.  Just use something that lets you put the mixture in to about 1.5-2cm deep. Or deeper. It doesn’t matter that much. If you do make it deeper, then turn the heat to maybe 150-160 and leave it in for a bit longer.

7. Put it in the oven for about 25 mins, until it goes golden brown.  Take it out, and resist poking/cutting/removing from tray until it is fully cooled. This is sometimes hard. Use the forsh.

8. Once cooled, tip it out of the tray and chop it into little squares.  The original recipe had it in 20 pieces with each piece being 126 kcal or something, and this one has more oats and fruit. Just so you know. Don’t blow 500 calories a day and blame me.

[ eek1:

Oh well, don’t panic.  You can substitute honey or even sugar, you just need to make sure it’s melted.  I sometimes use a mixture.

If you’re using sugar, add a couple of teaspoons of water and simmer it for a while with the margarine until all the crystals are melted. It’s all sugar, right?