Thursday, 31 July 2008

Recipe of the week: hot toddy

I've made a lot of these this week.

Hot Toddy
1 nip whisky
1 nip lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
200ml boiling water

Mix honey with boiling water and stir well to dissolve. Add lemon juice first, then whisky, and stir again. Taste, and add more honey if you like it sweeter. Serve with a side of sudafed or codral to taste...

Notes:A nip is 30ml, or 1 1/2 tablespoons.

This is a highly variable recipe. This week I've mostly been using dark rum, with a tiny dash of clove cordial. I also use Irish whisky - do not waste the single malt! Green ginger wine isn't bad, either, and brandy is classic.

The reason for adding the spirits last is to let the liquid cool a little, so less alcohol escapes. Alcohol is an excellent cough suppressant, and this can really help you get to sleep at times when it might be hard. A lot of alcohol is very bad for sleep, of course, but a little is no problem. The wowsers have caused this to be dropped from the repertoire of officially approved treatments for colds, but sod that. It works well. Don't drink 17 of them. Duh.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

No more Starbucks!

Hurrah! All four of the Starbucks outlets in Canberra are closing! They are part of the 61 out of 84 outlets that are closing down in Australia. I like to think that this a triumph of good taste. Although given the general standard of coffee in Canberra, perhaps not so much. Now if only Gloria Jean's would follow suit - their coffee is even worse, and the beans ludicrously expensive to boot. And that's not even considering some other reasons that I dislike them.

I'm sorry for the folks who have lost their jobs, though, and especially for the people who were so nice as to provide a spot for the local Bookcrossing group. Maybe they could try opening a cafe? I hear there are going to be a few places available soon.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Corned Beef and all that jazz

Corned beef with mash, cabbage, and parsley sauce - a British classic, and actually pretty tasty with it. Especially when you add some hot mustard. But what was I thinking again? This requires at least one pan per component. And the bloke is sick, so who's going to clean up? And there are lots of one pot recipes for corned beef and cabbage. Why am I not doing one of those? I must be daft.

This week I have rehearsals Sun, Tues & Thurs, and a yoga class on Monday. I need quick reheatable food, and this should mostly fit the bill. The potato, cabbage and sauce can last one more meal, and there's still plenty of corned beef for sandwiches. Perhaps a pasta on Wednesday will help vary things, and bought soup and cheese toasties are always an option. And there's baked beans left over from last week.

So anyway, I went ahead with the four pot dinner, and took a photo even though it's not the most photogenic of meals. One of the pots is for a simple potato mash with some turnip in it. Recipe: boil in lightly salted water for 20 minutes, drain, mash, add butter or milk to taste. More detailed recipes for the rest follow:

Corned Beef in Beer
1.5 kg piece of corned beef
1 jug beer
1 onion
6 cloves
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns

Rinse corned beef and put in slow cooker or large saucepan. Cover with beer, add onion and spices. Cook on slow cooker's high setting, or at a very slow simmer for 4-5 hours.

Light Parsley Sauce

1 cup chicken stock
1 cup non-fat milk
1 onion
2 bay leaves
1 bunch parsley, leaves chopped finely, stems saved
2 tablespoons cornflour
Combine milk and chicken stock, add onion, bay leaf and the parsley stems. Bring to a simmer, then turn off heat and leave to infuse for an hour or two. To make the sauce, strain the cool milk and stock mixture into a saucepan, and stir in the cornflour, mixing well. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. When the sauce thickens, add the chopped parsley.

Note: if the milk isn't cool, mix up the cornflour in a 1/4 cup of water first, to avoid lumps. I invented this sauce when we were more determinedly trying to lose weight, and I like it rather better than the usual bechamel in this context. Adding some lemon zest is a nice option.

Saute Cabbage

1/4 cabbage, shredded, rinsed well
1 onion, sliced
1 apple, peeled & sliced
1 tablespoon of light oil
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Fry onion in oil until lightly golden. Add caraway seeds, apple and cabbage. There should still be some water clinging to the cabbage; if not add 1/4 cup or so. Add the vinegar. Let this cook down for 5-20 minutes depending on how well done you like it. I prefer it quite soft with the corned beef.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Internet Salmagundi III

Yes, I've made another random list of stuff that I found and liked.

What if cookbooks were like D&D manuals?

Why Germany lost the war - not seriously, just a funny picture.

This is a fun geography quiz. I get to level 10 or 11, because my African geography really sucks.

You know how I was thinking Obama was the better choice in the US elections, but these women for McCain make a lot of awfully good points... And Cindy is doing well in the vote for your favourite presidential spouse's cookie recipe! Because that's really important to global security.

Here's a useful idea: the Stupid Filter. Do you get comments on your blog that are just, well, really stupid. I don't, but I read a lot of scienceblogs, and the quacks and fundies are found there in force. Not sure if a post is stupid? Try this.

Speaking of scienceblogs, I found this at PZ Myer's place way back in June: a mostly un-depressing piece about cancer and the need to support cancer research.

It put me in mind of the classic xkcd - Science. It works, bitches. I love xkcd. If I were in Kansas I would probably vote for Sean Tevis, because he's also a fan.

Finally, what's your star sign? Maybe not what you think...

Thursday, 24 July 2008

What we ate this week

Just a quick outline of the menu.

On Sunday I was a bit tired after the Sydney trip, and a rehearsal. I made up a quick microwave risotto and some salad for dinner. The risotto flavours were good - swiss brown mushrooms, Poachers' Pantry smoked tomatoes and fetta. But I find that you do notice the poorer texture of the microwave version more, if you don't have parmesan cheese adding creaminess.

On Monday the bloke and I went to yoga class in Ainslie, and had burgers at Edgars for dinner. This was a disappointment. For $10, with a drink included, I guess it was not too bad a deal. But it was one of the worst burgers I've eaten in some time. The bread and salad and chips were OK, but the patty, supposedly Cajun in flavour, was plain nasty. I remember Edgars being generally quite nice; I wonder if they have a new cook? I still like Edgar's anyway. It's an unpretentious local pub at Ainslie shops; they stock James Squires beers, and do (or did) a decent line in pub grub. I'll have to try again and report back if that was an anomaly.

On Tuesday I had another rehearsal, and after a big lunch (to be written up for a column) I didn't feel like much dinner. I just ate a tomato sandwich on some nice sourdough bread from Dobinsons bakery in Civic. The bloke had ham and cheese toasties while I was out, I think. Wednesday was ham steaks, with green beans and reheated leftover risotto. Tonight it was baked beans on toast - home made baked beans and sourdough toast, not bad at all.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Baked Beans

I'm home on a Tuesday, and I'm making baked beans. No, I'm not sick again, but I have to go to work on Friday for a meeting. Since I work four days a week and not Friday, the easiest thing for me to do is to take a different day off than usual. As soon as I thought of that, today seemed perfect - what with being sick, and going to Sydney, things have got a bit out of control. I need to unpack, tidy up, shop, and do laundry, and write newspaper columns, and do the research for my writing. So far I've put on the laundry, cleaned out a shelf and put some stuff away, made the shopping list, and I'm all set to go out.

Baked beans can cook while I'm out. They don't need much attention, since I'm using the slow cooker. I made this recipe up on the spot, based on experience with any number of other versions I've made in the past, and what just happened to be in the house.

Recipe: Baked Beans with Ham
1 cup haricot or navy beans
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 onion
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
100g lean ham
brown sugar, salt, pepper to taste

Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water. Drain, and dump beans into slow cooker. Chop the onion finely, and the ham into small cubes. Mix in with beans, add tinned tomatoes, molasses, vinegar and mustard. Add about another tomato tin of water to make sure beans are well covered. Do NOT add salt.

Cook on slow setting for 6-8 hours. Stir occasionally if you're around, and add a little water if it seems to be drying out. When beans are soft enough for your taste, add salt, pepper and brown sugar to taste.

Adding salt earlier will tend to harden the beans. Use no-salt tomatoes if you can. I'd normally do double this amount, but I only had one cup of beans left in the pantry. A vegetarian modification is obvious: just leave out the ham. If you fancy Boston style baked beans, leave out the tomato, use more ham and onion, and add at least 4 tablespoons of brown sugar. I'll probably only use 1 tablespoon. A ham hock is traditional, but I had some regular ham that needed using up.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Sydney Shopping, Lunch, Beer & Brunch

We took Belinda & Michael to the airport on the weekend. They're off for a 3 month grand tour of the Baltic. Such a long trip - it's very odd to think that before they get back, Beth and I will have been to Tibet and back. Anyway, this seemed like a good opportunity to do some shopping, and we did it with great efficiency. We had planned to drive down Friday night, but everybody was too tired, so it got put off to Saturday.

In our lightning tour, we managed to get to Retrospec'd in Newtown, where I got 1940s swing pants in grey, and a red and white spotted blouse to go with it. It's going to be one of my costumes for the Searchlights and Sirens burlesque show - dinner & show $50; Fri 29th August, come and see! I'm singing and dancing. The bloke ordered some cool black & white swing dance shoes from them, which they didn't have in stock in the right size & colour, but will post. We also went to the rather fabulous (mostly menswear) Anton's, where the bloke bought two jackets and I got a top hat. I have no idea when I'm going to wear a top hat, but I'm sure I'll think of something. Add in a quick trawl round Galaxy and Abbey's, and we were done, all in a few hours. Phew!

We ate at three different places, and I was happy with them all. We grabbed a late and much needed quick lunch in the QVB basement. You may know that the place is full of rather expensive and dull cafes, but on the way out to the rest of the underground malls there's a place called "Malaysian Laksa House" with cheap but sound Malaysian & Indonesian fast food. You can get a beer there, even. I had a gado gado ($8.50), and the bloke had a beef rendang with rice ($7.50). Mine was better, I think. They used a lot of iceberg lettuce in the veggie salad, where cabbage is more traditional, but it worked well. Plenty of spicy peanut sauce, and lots of fresh crunchy veggies.

We had dinner at Red Oak, which is a wonderful boutique brewery. There's a casual bar there, and a more formally arranged dining room, all in the same large space. They like to use beer in the cooking - even the desserts. Each menu item is matched with a beer. I had three beers: starting with a crisp Kölsch style, I moved on to a honey ale with my tagliatelle with clams ($18), and a Belgium chocolate stout with my sticky date pudding and porter icecream ($12). Yes, a beer icecream! It was great. The honey ale is made with Tasmanian leatherwood, and has all the complex aromas without too much sweetness. The chocolate stout is infused with dark belgian chocolate, it's also got all the aromas without much sweetness. Amazing stuff.

I forget exactly what the bloke had to drink, but his lamb and oatmeal stout sausages and mash ($20) came with a porter, and his cheese tasting plate ($20) with four different beers (in very small glasses). It cost us $100 even for the two courses each, a salad, and several beers. We ordered from the cheap end of the main course menu, but they only go up to about $30, anyway. It seemed like very good value to me. The beer really is terrifically good there, and they have all the awards to prove it.

Brunch next morning was at Not Bread Alone, where we all met up with the bloke's Mum. It's in Crows Nest, and we chose it as a sort of half way point, convenient to neither party. It turned out to be a good choice. The coffee was good, the portions were generous, and everybody seemed happy with their choice. Belinda's ricotta hotcakes ($14.50) were very thick and fluffy, and came with bananas and a huge chunk of passionfruit butter. My French toast with rhubarb and maple syrup ($13.50) was made with two large slices of sourdough. Good stuff, a bit more eggy that I usually make it. The big breakfast and omelettes looked good, too. The service was fine to start with, but was rather on the slow side later, when we were ordering second rounds of coffee. We didn't get cranky with it: in some ways that just made it more relaxed. No pressure to eat and run. We ended up lingering just a little too long, and got back to Canberra half an hour late for rehearsal.

Oh, and we didn't see the pope. Good. More regrettably, we didn't see any of our Sydney friends either, but it was a very short flying visit. Next time...

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

My Cafe and Lyneham Pide Hut

The lack of cooking continues, but of course we still have to eat. The cauliflower & macaroni cheese did for two nights, and for two other nights we've had Turkish pide. The pide came about because we were having evening visitors. With me being rather out of commission, and Belinda madly packing for the three month grand tour, we asked Beth to bring the food. We supplied money, drinks, and dishwasher loading.

Beth bought our dinner at the Lyneham Pide Hut. It wasn't bad at all. I enjoyed the very fresh warm Turkish bread, and a good Cacik dip - that's Turkish tzatziki. The zucchini balls were nicely done, still crisp on the outside and cooked through. This matters - if you're a fan of these fritters you'll know that it's common to get them a bit raw in the middle.

We had four pides, two vego and two meat, and they were OK. The mushroom pide had the best filling, including some good black olives; the lamb and mixed vegetable were OK, but the pastrimali seemed slightly wrong. Not that it was off, just perhaps a tiny bit oxidised as if the meat had been sitting around uncovered too long. It's not the best pide ever - I prefer the pide from Dickson, which comes up fluffier and fatter and cheesier - but it's quite respectable. We fed six people dinner, and had to my estimate at least four more meals in leftovers, at a cost of $95 all up. Good value takeaway; we were happy with it.

In a separate event, I had afternoon tea at My Cafe in Manuka on Sunday. I wanted to write this up as a Find column, but it really wasn't good enough for that. I'm very taken by the concept of their lillipilli pikelets and wattlecino. Australian flavours are not used enough, and I was all set to encourage this with a column about "Aussie Arvo Tea" in the Canberra Times. If you have a podium, use it, I say!

Anyway, it wasn't so good. The service was fine, the menu is good, the buzz is good, and there are plenty of outdoor heaters. Belinda thought her French toast with banana and bacon was one of the better examples of its kind. And it's great that they serve breakfast until 5pm.

My wattlecino ($5.40) came in a mug, and was too weakly flavoured. I remember having it before, last year sometime, and it came in a cup, and that was fine. The lillipilli pikelets ($12ish) come in a big stack of six fat pikelets, and the mixed spicy apply berry flavour is good. They were a bit dry and tough around the edges, probably from reheating. I recalled that they had actual berry chunks in them, but these ones were even and devoid of fruit. Perhaps made with lillipilli jelly in the batter? It's served with a berry compote, and although it was winter this was served cold. An unfortunate choice - but even worse, some were still frozen in the middle. I can't in all conscience recommend it other than as a curiosity. Excellent idea, but needs work.

But hey, try it at home! To make wattlecino you need an espresso machine, and wattleseed. It's not cheap, but you could try variations like adding some to plunger coffee, or perhaps infusing in milk before straining it off to make hot chocolate. The seed is a bit gritty in texture to just add to milk as is. And if you can't find lillipillies, you can buy a jar of lillipilli conserve online. Sometimes the Essential Ingredient has them frozen, and quite a lot of gourmet food shops will have the preserve. I got some from a woman who makes her own, and sells it at the Bungendore market. Lillipillies are also known as riberries. Technically I think there's many varieties of lillipilli and the riberry is only one of them, but if you're food shopping rather than gardening that won't matter.


Sunday, 13 July 2008

A little catch up

I'm not dead yet. You'd think with all this loitering palely on the couch that I'd have plenty of time to blog, but somehow it hasn't worked. I have got an Internet Salmagundi on the back burner, but mostly I've been playing pattern matching games on shockwave and arcadetown.

Here's a couple of things that have happened that I meant to post earlier.

My Canberra Times connection is continuing. Although the regular reviewer who I was replacing is now back, I am still going to do a review now and then. The Wednesday Food & Wine section has gone larger and glossy, and there's a new Saturday food section in the back of Panorama. I'm now writing a column, called "The Find", for that section. It's about good things that can be eaten in the cafes and takeaways of the Canberra region. I've done porridge and pies so far. All suggestions gratefully received! What's your favourite cafe, and why?

In town, there's now two specialty tea shops in the Canberra Centre, now there's a T2 outlet upstairs in the older part near Socrates. And sadly, Zambrero didn't last in Civic. I'm not surprised, it always seemed to be empty. The one in Braddon opposite Debacle is still open, though.

I have added a new find to my blog list. I think I have a recipe for that... is another food blog written by a Canberran. Excellent! The more of us, the better. Welcome, Krissy!

I'm still not cooking much, though I am planning a macaroni & cauliflower cheese for tonight. I started making it on Friday, but had to go lie down after I got the pasta & cauli cooked, and I didn't get round to the white sauce part. If you are fond of both mac'n'cheese and cauliflower cheese, try this. The combo is even better, in my opinion. And you can reduce the fat (if that bothers you) by using skim milk & cornflour rather then whole milk and a roux. And then, smaller amounts of very tasty cheese is better than lots of mild cheese, and infusing the milk with onion & bay leaf will also help the flavour. I sometimes do half milk and and half chicken stock.

Monday, 7 July 2008

On the menu this week

As I mentioned, I haven't been well, so not fully together where it comes to doing the shopping and cooking. I saw the doc this morning, and it turns out that I've had a viral encephalitis, which sounds very scary, but is actually very common not serious, and definitely not at all the more famous kind of encephalitis.

So, lacking energy and brain, I've defrosted some chilli for the week. We can have it with baked potatoes and salads, tonight and one other day. We ate out on Saturday night for a Find column, and we'll eat out one more night for a review. And last night I made a simple arrabbiata pasta, which took about half an hour from start to finish.

An arrabbiata is nothing to do with Arabia; it's often got bacon in it, for one thing. The name means disturbed or angry, and it refers to the chilli content. My version is just one of those easy throw together kinds that you pretty much can't go wrong with. A vegetarian version is common, too, but I nearly always do a ham or bacon one.

Recipe: Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce
4 rashers shortcut bacon
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
2 long green chillies
6 roast tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
short pasta

Chop the rind and fat off the bacon, and fry that to render some fat out. Remove any solids from the pan, then add the chopped onion. Chop the lean bacon, and mince the garlic and chilli, and add that in to the pan when the onion is starting to turn golden. Fry all for a couple of minutes more, then add the skinned and chopped tomatoes, and the oregano and pepper. Simmer for 15-20 minutes - just while the pasta cooks is fine. Serve with pasta and a green salad or vegetable.

Makes enough for 4 servings. I use sambal oelek if I have no fresh chillies on hand, and of course a tin of diced tomatoes will do if you don't tend to have roast ones on hand. I kept this one fairly pure because I was using yummy Poachers Pantry smoked bacon and wanted that flavour to dominate, but otherwise a few more herbs and a splash of balsamic or wine won't hurt. Maybe some olives or mushrooms. Feel free to tweak it to taste.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Cairns Food Report

Well, I promised so I'd better get to it before I forget. This week has been a bit problematic for blogging - apart from writing for the paper, and trying to go back to work, I've also been unwell. Some kind of virus, probably - headaches & exhaustion. As I settle back into routine I should do better. Maybe even get another internet salmagundi up.

Anyway, four of us went to Cairns, and stayed in a small apartment in a resort complex. In between lounging about, soaking in the spa, lazing around and chilling out, we also managed a few activities and a few meals. On Sunday we went to Rusty's Markets in town, and spent up big on fruit. We came back to our resort apartment with pomelo, pineapple, passionfruit, custard apple, dragonfruit, bananas, starfruit, black sapote, pink papaya and limes, all very cheaply. We also bought a few cookies, a big bunch of flowers, and some shiny things - the Sunday market features some craft stalls, too. I picked up a freshwater pearl ring, little abalone shell earrings and some purple shell earrings for $5 a piece.

We had Sunday dinner with my family and a guest of theirs, at Tamarind restaurant. This place is in the casino downtown, but it's nevertheless tasteful. Lot of warm brown wood and bamboo decor, and a menu of modern Oz/Asian fusion. In typical Cairns fashion it's a little too air-conditioned, so I was very glad I had my purple pashmina (from Darjeeling, part of last year's Bhutan trip). The food and service were terrific; and I recommend it to anyone who wants a high end meal out in Cairns.

I had a tasting entree plate, a spatchcock with black rice, and a kaffir lime scented creme brulee. The mixed entree pla
te ($21) here has a coconut battered prawn, a vietnamese vegetable ricepaper roll, a scallop with nashi, lychee and watercress salad, and an oxtail consomm
é with enoki mushrooms. The consommé was wonderfully rich, with shreds of meat at the bottom; and was my favourite of the set. For a main course, I had the crispy skinned lemon glazed spatchcock with roasted chilli and coconut salad, and black rice ($34). Imagine if lemon chicken could be transmogrified from a cheap Chinese restaurant standard into excellence... I don't remember what everyone else had for mains, but the bloke had a braised Angus beef cheek red curry, which was a huge serving. We had some mixed asian greens, as well, beautifully crisp.

Desserts were a must for some of us, although the bloke was so full from his red curry that he even passed up the cheese plate. I went for the kaffir lime creme brulee with peanut wafers ($12), while some others picked the waiter's recommendation of the iced hazelnut and cassia souffle with frangelico cream. I was quite glad I didn't, as it was very rich. I didn't finish my brulee, either, but the sharp lime tang was very refreshing.

The next day we had lunch at Far Horizons, in Palm Cove, which is where the top photo comes from. The food was lovely, and the place has a great outlook through palm trees out to the beach, but the service was rather slow. I had a very good marinara pasta, and shared a papaya risotto dessert with Belinda. Mmmm, glorified rice pudding.

So we were off to a great start. We ate a lot of the fruit during the week. The black sapote, which is also called chocolate pudding fruit, was good with coffee blossom honey and greek yoghurt. It's not actually chocolatey in taste, it's the colour and texture that gives it the name. I especially love this coffee blossom honey, it's very dark and strong and waxy, and comes from Jaques coffee plantation up on the Atherton tableland. We didn't go there, my sister got it for me specially, so thanks, Gill!

We also ate at the German sausage shop in Kuranda, where we had lunch and pints of a light, refreshing Swiss honey beer, before browsing the markets and the aviary. I had an icecream from the famous tropical fruit icecream cart, but was not a little disappointed with the lumpy icy texture of the macadamia and tropical flavours that I tried. I'm sure it was better when I was there two years ago. Dolce & Gelato in town did a lot better at the tropical fruit flavours - their passionfruit and dragonfruit were really great, and so was the dark chocolate and jersey caramel.

The cafe in the Botanic Gardens was a lovely spot for lunch. Several of us tried their special seafood pie, which was fresh baked, piping hot with a creamy filling of scallops and prawns in mornay sauce. Sadly the pastry was underdone, and the coffee was weak - which seems to be normal in Cairns - but it's a nice place anyway; I'd go back. We also got excellent Thai takeaway from the Banana Leaf restaurant in the city. We had melt in the mouth grain fed steaks at the Bull Bar. Mostly we avoided the esplanade, as rather too backpacker-laden and overpriced, though we did try a couple of the cafes and found them, umm, unspecial. And with weak coffee.

But on our last night we took my sister's advice again for the Raw Prawn, which is on the esplanade, and although pricy it's also pretty good. I had a very pleasant cream soup, that was supposed to be a chowder, and a barramundi fillet with asparagus, guacamole and kipfler potatoes. But unfortunately I got a nasty headache and had to leave - so no dessert for me :( Maybe next time.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Green Chilli Turkey

Well, I'm back, but pretty busy with work, music, and other writing. There's a few changes coming up at the Canberra Times that I need to work on, and my singing teacher's got a studio concert on Friday. I haven't even got my Cairns report started yet. I'll do it on the weekend, honest, guv.

Meanwhile, we've been eating some good old sausage and mash, and this green chilli turkey. I got the recipe from a Frugal Gourmet book that I bought in the US, way back in 1990 or so. The hardest thing about it is actually finding a turkey hindquarter. Supermarkets seem not to stock them anymore, in favour of either those "marinated" boneless turkey thigh roasts, or turkey thigh chops or mince. I used a frozen "self-basting" one, that I found in a poultry place at Belco markets. Fresh ones require pre-ordering from specialist poultry shops, it seems. Anyway, it didn't taste noticeably chemical after its treatment, so that was OK, but I wouldn't like to try it with the marinated roasts.

This is another American "BBQ" recipe along the lines of the Carolina Pulled Pork - a very slow cooked meat, shredded. We had it one night with coleslaw and bread rolls, and another night with rice and broccoli. I'm not 100% happy with it - it's very tasty, but it looks quite unappetising, what with the greyish brownish greenish colour and the shreds. I might try the red chilli version sometime. And perhaps add tomatoes. Red always looks better, unless it's a traffic light.

Recipe: Green Chilli Turkey
8 long green chillies
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp oregano
1 scant tsp salt
300ml water
300ml chicken stock
1 turkey hindquarter
a dash of vegetable oil

Place everything except turkey, stock and oil in a blender and liquidise thoroughly. Skin the turkey and scrape off any obvious large bits of fat. Lightly brown the turkey in the oil.
Transfer to a pot for slow cooking. Pour over the stock and the green chilli liquid, and slow cook covered, on high for four hours.

Let cool, then shred the turkey meat - it will fall off the bone, and pull apart easily in your hands. Strain the liquid to make sure there's no bones left in it, then mix it back in with the turkey meat. Chill and defat it, if you want to, and just reheat when you want to eat it. The stock will gel.

Notes:Obviously, use more or less chilli to taste. I used the big long green ones, which are quite mild, and wish I'd used more. Also, you could slow cook on low for longer, it's pretty forgiving. Use a big heavy covered casserole in a 140C oven if you don't have a slow cooker. Then you could do the browning in the same pot, and save washing a frying pan.