This week’s food news | And a recipe for Turkey Twizzlers | 19th March 2010

Marco Pierre White teams up with Bernard Matthews

This week MPW signed a deal with Bernard Matthews to promote their turkeys. The once Michelin-starred chef declared: “Ever since I was a boy I’ve been an admirer of turkey and particularly Bernard Matthews.” It’s the sort of sentence you have to read twice. The move has inevitably caused huge controversy in the food community, though frankly I think any reaction beyond a hearty chortle is probably an over-reaction. I made some turkey twizzlers to celebrate the latest saga in the increasingly barmy life of the great chef. You can read about my efforts at the bottom of this post.

Kitchen worker at public school attempts to poison the soup

A member of staff at Stowe School in Bucks was arrested after allegedly attempting to poison the soup. Parents were emailed by headmaster Anthony Wallersteiner on Tuesday to be informed of the incident. Dr. Wallersteiner assured concerned parents that no pupils had been harmed after one of the kitchen staff detected the pungent smell of bleach coming from a batch of carrot and coriander soup. Insert joke about school food here.

Other food news this week:

* Ban on fishing for the critically endangered bluefin tuna is rejected.

* Cinema food comes under fire for being so unhealthy. This is hardly going to curb the obesity epidemic, argues Lucy Jones.

* Gordon Brown kills two birds with one stone and does his canvassing over tea. What would you serve him? Would you be employing the Stowe cook to make his brew?

My favourite blog posts:

The Aga - friend or foe?

An entertaining and enlightening debate on the AGA between Oliver Thring and Ms Marmite Lover

They make good noises

Revere are a band making some very special music. You can read their blog here.

My favourite recipe:

The perfect dish for this interim between winter and full-on spring from Food Stories.

Funniest video:

The perils of eating greasy food whilst playing Wii:

Recipe | Turkey twizzlers

It seemed only right to mark MPW’s new partnership with Bernard Matthews by attempting to create a batch of their infamous turkey twizzlers. They weren’t half bad, though they had an odd, spongey texture. Having, I don’t think, ever eaten one myself, I had to rely on my brother’s descriptive ability to reproduce them. He said these came quite close. Unfortunately I’d run out of dextrose and stabilisers so I had to make do without.

Makes quite a lot of twizzlers. Too many if anything.

500g turkey mince

50g breadcrumbs

An egg

1 teaspoon English mustard powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 crushed garlic clove

1 teaspoon sugar

Flour, egg, breadcrumbs

Salt, pepper, vegetable oil

You will also need a selection of spoons.

– Put the turkey mince, breadcrumbs, egg, spices, herbs and garlic into a blender. Season with salt, pepper and sugar and whizz until a sort of uniform mush is formed. Kind of like this:

Hungry yet?

– Take a very small handful and roll into a long, thin, snake-like, shape. It’s like playdough, only less fun, and doesn’t taste as good. Coat the strip in flour, dip in beaten egg and then coat in breadcrumbs. This is the fun bit now. Carefully twist the twizzler around the handle of a spoon. Actually it’s not that fun. It’s a bit of a faff. But it’s all in the name of honouring Marco and that is the most important thing.

– Once you’ve fashioned an array of twizzlers and have stopped cursing the day Bernard Matthews was born, pop them on a tray or similar device and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes to ‘set’. Once set, remove the meaty coils from their shaping devices. They should look like this:

The removal from the spoon demands a deft yet assertive push

Heat a centimetre of vegetable oil over a medium high heat. Once nice and hot add the twizzlers. That said, if you’re going for the authentic, greasy school dinner then I recommend adding them when the oil isn’t quite hot enough. Fry for 2 minutes, turn, and fry for another couple of minutes. Drain on kitchen paper and serve.


Filed under News, Recipes

11 responses to “This week’s food news | And a recipe for Turkey Twizzlers | 19th March 2010

  1. This is a lovely and useful round-up. Your Twizzlers recipe is amazing: never in the field of human endeavour did so much effort go into something so dubious.

  2. Nibbles

    Lapping up this delicious irony. 🙂

  3. Your take of twizzlers is very tempting 🙂 As for the breadcrumbs, did you use panko?

  4. I enjoyed the Aga-related arguments on the Guardian too! Loving your weekly updates, James!

  5. Pingback: Recipe | Turkey schnitzel « James Ramsden

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  8. Hi James, love your site,
    Would it be ok if I did a video recipe attempt at this? I’ll probably tweak it a little bit – perhaps chuck some cranberry in there for an Xmas touch….but the concept of the spoon bending looks too good to turn down!


  9. Hi James,
    Jamie Oliver suggested I gave them a try which brought me to this recipe…the video link is below and I’ve mentioned you and your site in it. I added sage, cinnamon and cranberry. Turned out good….apologies for the elf outfit.

    Cheers dude – maybe we could do a video together one day?

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