A delicious Christmas dinner for one
If you’re spending Christmas on your own this year there’s no reason not to treat yourself. It’s easy to run up a simple and delicious meal without spending a fortune or spending hours in the kitchen. What I’d suggest is a starter of smoked trout (cheaper than smoked salmon), a main course of turkey (you can buy perfectly good frozen roasties and a few sprouts to go with it) and some mince pies or a mini Christmas pudding with double cream (much cheaper than brandy butter or fashionable and expensive mascarpone)
This recipe is also useful for any meat-eater in a household full of vegetarians.
Time: about 10 minutes
Cost: about £2 - though you do have to buy the montilla, obviously
1 large turkey escalope
1 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
A chunk of butter (about 20g)
1 small glass (about 75ml) medium dry Montilla* or medium sherry
A pinch of dried thyme (optional)
A squeeze of lemon juice or Jif lemon
Salt and pepper
Place the escalope on a sheet of greaseproof paper or clingfilm, place another sheet of paper over the top then bash the escalope with a rolling pin or an empty wine bottle to make it thinner (obviously don’t bash too hard if you’re using a bottle). Put the flour in a shallow bowl, season with salt and pepper and dip the escalope into the flour covering both sides thoroughly.
Heat a frying pan over a moderate heat then add the oil. Once it’s hot chuck in half the butter which should foam up as it melts. Immediately it’s melted lay the escalope in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes each side until it’s lightly browned. Pour in the Montilla and thyme if using and let it bubble up for a few seconds then remove the escalope from the pan. Let the sauce bubble away for another minute or so until it has reduced by about half then add the remaining butter and a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed and pour the sauce over the escalope.
* Montilla is a sherry-style drink from Spain which is made outside the officially recognised area for sherry and is consequently quite a bit cheaper. One of the wine world’s great bargains.