Turkey Melon aka Melon de Dinde -from the archives-

Why on earth do we cook turkey at Christmas to dismiss it the rest of the time? It doesn't make sense to struggle with something which we are totally unfamiliar with,  to serve on one of the most important family meal of the year.

Turkey Melon aka Melon de Dinde
Granted, a Turkey is rather a large bird, perfect for an occasion may be less so on a evry basis. However well cooked, it is moist and succulent. We only need a recipe which allows us to make the most of this lean meat. 
That's when food bloggers come to the rescue. Personally, I think that a blog-post should at least engage and inspire. One which did exactly that, is David Lebovitz' Melon de Dinde. But the little tease bought his melon at the market.
After much hesitation, I recreated the recipe from his photographs. It seemed like a good idea at the time to do a step by step video. Please, click on the pink square to get it started.

If you are wondering about the tricky step, all you need to do is to cup your hands under the meat and to rotate it round, it does end up in a ball.
Turkey Melon
Serves 4 to 6 (or in our case, 3.5 satiated people)
Quick reminder of the ingredients you will need
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of grained mustard (any other mustard will do as long as it's smooth, you might want to try honey mustard, however Dijon willnot as it would be too strong).
  • 6 slices of turkey, tenderised them (with a meat hammer) if you can
  • About 8 bacon slices, the alternative is to use rashers in which case you will need less)
  • Salt, pepper, 2 tsp tarragon (optional an alternative is thyme)
  • 8 to 10 shallots peeled and left whole
  • 1 peppers, diced
  • a good glug of vegetable oil (about 2 tablespoons) or butter (10gr) if you prefer
  • half a pot of cream (about 200g)
and baking paper or cling film

Cooking Method:
Heat the oil in a casserole or large saucepan,(on medium heat) add the shallots and the diced pepper until slightly coloured.
Increase the heat, Add the turkey melon and brown it slightly all around, it should take 5 minutes, don't let it go too crispy.
Reduce the heat to low, season and add the herb, cover and simmer for  30 minutes.
Get the turkey melon and the vegetables out, keep them warm in the oven  while you finish the sauce. Turn the heat up add the cream, stirring all the time (about 5 minutes), lower the heat and return the shallots, peppers to the sauce.
Cut the melon, to serve the choice is yours, mine was spaghetti but rice or spinach would be good accompaniments too.
Turkey melon is delicious hot and it is equally good served cold too, a great idea for picnics. 

Cooking Guinea Fowl for Christmas FRENCH CHRISTMAS IN A BOX

 This year, I won't be going to France for Christmas and like many of you, it's going to be hard, not to see my loved ones. There was also the question of what to do for Christmas dinner? that's when Taste of France stepped in and offered us a French Christmas in a box.

The 'French Christmas in a Box' is a DIY recipe kits centred around using high-quality seasonal French produce to make impressive dishes. The meal kits promised to, 'Transform a dark December evening into a festive soirée for two in under an hour' 

My verdict:
Was it easy to prepare?
Not really, but only because there were many elements to the meal. Although all the ingredients to cook a three course meal for two and the step-by-step recipe guide were in the box, there was still a lot to do. Cooking took much longer than an hour.
Is it worth it?
Definitely, the starter of Pork Rillettes topped with pickle quince, and a side Pear Carpaccio with Roquefort and walnuts topping was dish I would not have done normally. The combinaison is divine.
The main a Guinea Fowl Supreme on Chestnut Puree with Candied Chestnuts, tought me how to cook game. And that is easy, so my recommendation is think Guinea Fowl if there is only a few of you around the table this Christmas.
The dessert was an Apple and Almond Galette, probably the less sucessful of the three but still a nice third course served with a Crémand de Loire.
Value for money
No doubt, there are 3 options -vegetarian, meat, fish- for £32 including 2 bottles of wine. Cheaper than a restaurant, same quality of produce and fun too.
Happy 25th December 2020 which ever way you celebrate.


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