Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Some quick ideas for using leftover turkey

Fed up of turkey sandwiches yet? We're probably coming to the limit of the time you can use leftover turkey but you're probably drowning in it, whilst not wanting to waste it. Of course, a good way to jazz up a turkey sandwich is to add some bacon, or some stuffing, or even some cheese - and toast the bread first to make it a turkey club sandwich. Yum!

Anyway, here are just a few things I make to use up what's left of the turkey. Thankfully, we don't have tons as we had a turkey crown but there is still way more meat on it than 4 people will ever eat in 10 meals, let alone one. If you are reheating the turkey in anyway, don't forget to make sure it's heated right through.

Coronation turkey - this is really quick and quite a flexible recipe. It goes really well in sandwiches but if you're bored of that, then use as a filling for jacket potatoes or just have with some green salad. Look away now if you don't like fruit with meat, this is not for you!

First, chop up some turkey meat into bite sized pieces. I don't weigh how much I've got, I just cut off enough to feed however many people are eating. Finely chop an onion and cook in 1-2tbsp oil for a couple of mins without browning it. Add some mild curry powder (about 1 tbsp) or some curry paste and cook for another minute, stirring. Then, add 1 tbsp tomato puree or ketchup, a hefty dash of lemon (or lime) juice, and about 125ml of chicken stock, from a cube or proper stock. The tomato is entirely optional, leave it out if you don't want the finished result to look quite orangey. Simmer this for about 10 mins until you have quite a thick sauce. In the meantime, chop up some dried apricots and add to the turkey. If you don't have them, use raisins or sultanas instead, or even some chopped fresh apple. Once the sauce is done, cool the sauce. If you're in a rush, run some cold water into your washing up bowl, plunge the pan into that and it will be cool in about 10 mins. Now add mayonnaise (low fat will be fine) and natural yogurt in roughly equal quantities. If you're making for 4, you'll probably need about 200-250ml of each but stir it into the cooled sauce and see if you like the consistency. Taste and season, pour over the turkey and fruit mix, stir in and serve. Add some flaked almonds if you really want and have some to hand.

Turkey tacos or fajitas - This is really quick and a nice way to serve up an informal meal with a bit of spice! First, slice up some turkey meat, some onion (red or white but red looks best), and 2-3 peppers of any sort (preferably a mixture of colours). You can also use sliced mushrooms, sliced baby sweetcorn or any leftover veg that you think might go. Heat some oil in a pan or wok and add the turkey, stirring for a few minutes, then add some chilli powder, ground coriander and ground cumin. Again, I tend to do this by eye, but usually about a teaspoon of each. Stir to cover the turkey and let the spices cook without burning, then add the veg. Cook for a few minutes until the veg are softened. Then heat tacos or some tortillas according to the instructions.  Put everything out on a table in dishes, adding some pots of other things you'd like to add - such as grated cheese, sour cream (though greek yogurt will do), perhaps some salsa or some guacamole. Everyone can help themselves and build their own fajita or taco.

Turkey and ham pie - brilliant if you have leftover gammon too but you can add any ham and again, you can adapt it to what you have left. It takes longer to make but it's quick to prepare, then you can relax whilst it bakes. Chop up as much turkey and ham leftovers as you want to use into bite sized pieces. Finely chop an onion and cook it in some butter for a few minutes, then add some sliced mushrooms and cook until  golden brown. Next, either make a white sauce (like Delia's all-in-one white sauce, which I use a lot) or if you have leftover cream, add that to the mushrooms and onions, bring to the boil and simmer gently until it thickens. Mix everything together - if you have other leftover veg, you could add that too - leeks, sweetcorn, carrots, broccoli are all good. Pour into a baking dish, and cover with pastry. If you have an oblong dish and ready rolled pastry sheets, it should be as simple as putting the pastry on top, sealing the edges and then making a small hole for the steam to escape in the middle. Brush with beaten egg then bake at 220C for about 20 minutes, then cook for a further 15-20 mins at 180C.

If you have any quick and easy yummy recipes for leftover turkey, add them in the comments below or blog about them and link away in the comments.

Either way, that turkey will be gone in no time!

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