Donal Skehan
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  • Best experience of the day- a traditional herbal bath with herbs picked from the mountain and steeped in boiling water! It is used to soak the muscles after a hard day in the rice paddies! Nothing like taking a bath with a big group of strangers watching! :) #DonalVietnam
  • This little girl is eating sticky rice cooked in a bamboo shoot! The rice is stuffed into the hollow shoot and sealed with a banana leaf, then boiled until tender... Then the whole rice filled bamboo shoot is grilled over an open fire- it results in a chewy sweet rice cylinder with the most incredible texture! Really special! #DonalVietnam
  • The colourful and detailed clothing the women of the Red Dao tribe wear can take up to a year to embroider by hand... #DonalVietnam
  • Incredible day spent learning from and cooking with the Red Dao tribe in North West Vietnam- their are 5 different tribes in this area and each has their own language and distinctive traditional clothing... #DonalVietnam
  • View from my breakfast table! Stayed in Sa Pa last night high in the mountains, 1500 meters above sea level... Off to spend the day with a local Red Dao family to learn more about their traditions... #DonalVietnam
  • Have just eaten from this fairly intimating platter of mystery meat! You choose what you want from pig tongue, liver, heart and blood sausage and it gets boiled up and served with a fiery hot dipping sauce with chilli, meat broth, fish sauce and spring onions. Also interesting they eat it with potato noodles rather than rice noodles, in broth and mint... Swallow the fear, get in there and eat like the locals do! #DonalVietnam
  • Chicken for sale at Bac Ha market- incredible experience, like nothing else, have whiplash from everything I have to look at! #DonalVietnam
  • Flower Hmong tribe at Bac Ha market this morning selling fresh vegetables and sugar cane... #DonalVietnam
  • Great meal this evening! Finally in Sapa after the longest bus ride ever today 8am-11.30pm! Up early tomorrow morning to film at Bac Ha Market... #DonalVietnam
  • BBQ pork and pumpkin greens at the most rocking little restaurant in Sapa! #DonalVietnam
  • Wok fried lunch today! Lots of greens including Morning Glory or water spinach stir fried with pork fat and fish sauce... #DonalVietnam
  • Rice fields on the way up to Sapa... #DonalVietnam
  • We had a bit of an audience for filming earlier- Vietnamese kids in the hills of Sapa! #DonalVietnam
  • Breakfast in Vietnam! Beef Pho- deep broth with noodles, herbs and thin slices of beef! Bloomin delish! #DonalVietnam
  • These lovely ladies cooked us dinner this evening- just left Hanoi and on our way up towards Sapa! #DonalVietnam
  • First meal after 36 hours traveling: Lau ga! A big dig in soup with noodles, tofu, veggies, herbs and eh... chicken feet! :) 🍗 #DonalVietnam
  • A little vlog from London feat. @mycupcakeaddiction plus HUGE NEWS: My youtube channel just hit 100K SUBSCRIBERS! Huge thanks for all the support- link in my profile! X
  • Truffled goats cheese with honey and almonds @copitatapas for lunch today- life just got better! 🍴
  • Peanut butter snicker squares from filming yesterday with @mycupcakeaddiction! Coming up on my youtube channel very soon! :)
  • My mom's creamy white wine chicken on the blog today! Great mid week meal! :)
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Turkey Tom Ka Gai

Tom Ka Gai is a Thai soup which is traditionally made of coconut milk, galanghal, lemongrass and ginger.  This is my twist on it using turkey instead of chicken.

Serves 2
250g of cooked turkey
100g of rice noodles
400ml of coconut milk
350ml of chicken stock
Juice of 1 lime
1 large thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 red chilli, finely chopped
6 spring onions, finely sliced
1 stalk of lemongrass, finely chopped
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 teaspoon of soft brown sugar
Handful of fresh coriander leaves

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

Pour the stock and coconut milk into a medium sized pot and bring to a steady simmer.

Add in the lime leaves, ginger, chilli, brown sugar and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add in the cooked turkey and stir through until heated through.

Divide the noodles amongst four bowls, pour in the hot soup and garnish with springs onions and coriander.

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Mega Turkey and Brie, Cranberry Chutney, Grilled Sambos

TurkeySandwich

You can’t beat a grilled cheese sandwich, except at Christmas! Make this with leftover turkey, brie and cranberry relish and you will have on your hands the ultimate leftover sandwich!

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Boned and Rolled Maple and Orange Glazed Turkey with Apple and Smoked Bacon Stuffing

Not your traditional Turkey but an absolute must for any of those with a fear of carving. By removing the bones and rolling the meat with the stuffing, it becomes easy to slice. Your butcher will happily bone and roll the turkey for you, just be sure to bring the prepared stuffing with you and they can pop it in for you, tie it up tight and send you home with a perfect little packet.  I love the combination of maple, orange, smoked bacon and apple, but you can easily adapt this with your own favourite flavours.

Serves 8-10
4.5kg boned and rolled Turkey
50g of soft butter
75ml of maple syrup
Juice of one orange
Sea salt and ground black pepper

For the stuffing:
30g of butter
150g of smoked streaky bacon
1 medium onion, finely chopped
250g of breadcrumbs
400g of cooking apples, peeled cored and chopped into small cubes
Zest of one orange

To prepare the stuffing melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium high heat and when it begins to foam add in the streaky bacon and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add in the onions and fry for a further 4-6 minutes until soft.

Add in the apple and fry for a further 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir through the bread crumbs. orange zest and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Allow to cool before covering and storing in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

Once you’ve brought your stuffing down to the butcher and he has stuffed and rolled the turkey, place it in a large roasting tray and rub with the butter. Season generously with sea salt and ground black pepper.

Preheat the oven to 190˚C.
Roast the turkey until a meat thermometer reads 150˚F for approximately 2 1/2 hours. If the skin is looking too brown, just cover with tin foil.
Whisk together the orange juice and maple syrup and pour a little over the bird every now and then to baste.

Save half the mix to add to the gravy.
Remove the turkey from the oven and brush with maple syrup and place back in the oven until a meat thermometer reads 160˚F about 20 minutes more.
Place the bird on a chopping board with deep grooves and cover with tin foil.

Scrape the juices from the bottom of the roasting tin into a small sauce pan along with the remaining maple syrup and orange juice and bring to a steady simmer until it reduces a little.

Sliced up the bird and serve with the hot gravy.

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Move over ham- It’s Turkey Time!

One of the things I have learned in my discovery of food so far is that, people who are passionate about good quality ingredients are more than enthusiastic about expressing this passion and filling you up with information.  Gerry McEvoy, who runs his farm of 800 free range bronze turkey’s is absolutely no different.  We were introduced via the magic of twitter last week when I tweeted asking whether anyone knew of a turkey farmer.  Within a matter of hours the meeting was set and the following day I was all set to head up to the farm to see all those turkeys!

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