Turkey and Potato Bake – The Last of the Turkey

On the 3rd day of Christmas…

Turkey & Potato Bake

Here’s a recipe that continues to use up any remaining turkey and other leftover Christmas ingredients including potatoes, cream, cranberries and cheese.

If you still have turkey leftover it can be frozen, especially useful if you’re sick of poultry based dinners by now. The dark meat is particularly good for curries and I’ll be posting some more turkey related recipes over the next 9 days.

The Food Waste Diaries

6 days into Christmas and the turkey battle ensued  but we were finally down to the last couple of portions of the 5kg turkey. Other ingredients left over from Christmas day included half a bag of potatoes and a pot of double cream. Being a big fan of dauphinoise potatoes I decided to use this as a base for the final turkey throw down.

First of all my sous-chef (aka Mr Foodwaste) par-boiled 4 potatoes for 10 mins and left to cool. Whilst they were boiling I fried up an onion for a couple of minutes in a large saucepan before adding the last pieces of turkey. After a couple of minutes I added a good glug of white wine (a half open bottle that shock-horror, we’d somehow failed to finish). This was simmered at a high heat until it had reduced slightly before the leftover cream was added (I probably had about 200ml left). I…

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Too Much Turkey?

On the 1st day of Christmas….

Too much turkey…?’

Christmas is a glorious time of overindulging, over-feasting and overbuying. It’s the perfect time for me, with an overstocked fridge, to fully get into festive recipe invention mode. So, over the 12 days of Christmas I’ll be sharing some of my favourite Yuletide leftover recipes with you to help you clear out the fridges and recuse your Christmas food waste.

The Food Waste Diaries

This is only the second Christmas where I’ve been in charge of the shopping and the cooking and the first time it’s at my house. I’m really keen to make it extra special but  I also want to make sure that no food gets wasted.

To make things more difficult, it’s only a small gathering of three people but I still want a full turkey with all the trimmings. I couldn’t bring myself to resort to a turkey crown which would be much more suitable for a small gathering, it just wouldn’t be Christmas for me without a big bird stuffed on the table.

The smallest turkey I could find says it serves 6-8, and even with my gluttonous family, we won’t manage to scoff all 5kg down in one sitting, so it’s a good job that one of my favourite things about Christmas is the turkey left-over concoctions. I…

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Turkey and Potato Bake – The Last of the Turkey

6 days into Christmas and the turkey battle ensued  but we were finally down to the last couple of portions of the 5kg turkey. Other ingredients left over from Christmas day included half a bag of potatoes and a pot of double cream. Being a big fan of dauphinoise potatoes I decided to use this as a base for the final turkey throw down.

First of all my sous-chef (aka Mr Foodwaste) par-boiled 4 potatoes for 10 mins and left to cool. Whilst they were boiling I fried up an onion for a couple of minutes in a large saucepan before adding the last pieces of turkey. After a couple of minutes I added a good glug of white wine (a half open bottle that shock-horror, we’d somehow failed to finish). This was simmered at a high heat until it had reduced slightly before the leftover cream was added (I probably had about 200ml left). I also added in some chicken stock to ensure all that all the turkey mix was covered and to slightly thin out the creaminess. For a bit of extra flavour I threw in some leftover thyme.

After bringing the mixture to a boil and simmering for 5 or so minutes I added the leftover cranberries and simmered for a further 5 minutes before seasoning to taste. The sauce was incredibly rich and the cranberries quite bitter so I was a little concerned about how the dish would turn out.

Using a large casserole dish I thinly sliced potatoes and layered on the bottom of the dish before adding a layer of the turkey mix. I continued the layering until all the turkey mix was used up, finishing with a layer of potatoes. For extra creamy goodness I’d recommend saving some of the liquid from the turkey mix and pouring over the bake which will then filter down through all the layers.

For an extra bit of fatness I topped the bake with a few small slices of camembert cheese before placing in  the oven (200c) for 40 minutes by which point the bake had turned a beautiful golden brown.

The oven baking seemed to have taken away some off the richness from the initial mix and the bitterness of the cranberries had reduced as well. All in all the dish was a very calorific winner, so much of a winner that Mr. Foodwaste couldn’t wait to tuck in, leaving me with a picture of a half eaten dish.

photo

Turkey Soup – Asian Style

I mentioned in my Too Much Turkey? post that I’d received some beautiful Japanese ramen bowls as a gift from a very kind sister. So with left-over turkey and some new bowls to use a, turkey ramen seemed like a must make.

The best thing about making this was that I didn’t even need to pop to the shops as christmas leftovers and store cupboard items granted me all the ingredients needed.

My boyfriend has decided to get in on the whole food waste thing and he had made a delicious stock from the turkey bones the previous day. To make stock, simply chuck all the turkey (or any meat bones) in a large sauce-pan with a carrot, onion and a couple of celery sticks (the veg is fine-cut into big chunks, and there’s no need to peel the carrot). Top with water, bring to boil, pop on a lid and simmer for a few hours, skim off any scum that collects on the top of the pan during the process. Once the liquid has reduced by about a third, sieve into a container or another pan and hey presto homemade stock.

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Now I didn’t follow a recipe for the ramen but I cook a lot of Asian style food where the base commonly contains ginger, garlic and chilli, all of which I had in stock. Heating a tbsp of olive-oil in a large saucepan I fried the garlic, chilli and ginger up for a couple of minutes, before adding the leftover turkey. This is a great recipe for getting rid of some of the darker, tougher meat as it adds more flavour and the turkey softens slightly as it flakes up in the soup.

After about 3-4 minutes I added in the pre-prepared turkey stock and gradually brought to the boil. I’m never sure on how much simmering time to allow but as my stock was already marvelously rich and the turkey already cooked, I figured 20 minutes of a low simmer would be plenty of time to allow the flavours of chilli and garlic to infuse into the stick.

Normally in an Asian soup I’d add in vegetables such as bean sprouts and Pak choi but my Christmas leftovers consisted of baby carrots and fine green beans so in they went.

I chopped the chantry carrots into lengthways slices and added into the simmering stock for 5 minutes before adding the fine green beans in  for the last two minutes. The final step of the stock was to add in a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce and a dash of white wine vinegar to taste.

Whilst the stock was simmering I separately boiled  and de-shelled two eggs (medium/hard-boiled – about 6-7 mins) and some fine egg noodles which were tossed in soy sauce before being added to the soup. The outcome was an absolute delicious and refreshing soup which made me forget I was eating turkey for the 4th day in a row.

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If you fancy recreating a similar soup yourself, it will work well with most leftover meats, especially chicken and pork. If you don’t have the bones or the time available to make your own stock, shop bought stock will do just fine. Also any vegetables can be added, whatever’s left over in your fridge, just adjust the cooking time for however many minutes that particular veg takes to cook.

The ingredients I used in my ramen can be found here for inspiration but why not get soupy and go create your own.

 Ingredients

1 x tbsp vegetable oil

1 x clove of garlic

2 x chillies

1x tsp grated ginger

1 x onion

2 x handfuls of cooked turkey

750ml turkey stock

Handful baby carrots

Handful green beans

2 x blocks of fine egg noodles

2 x eggs

Soy sauce

White wine vinegar

Too Much Turkey?

This is only the second Christmas where I’ve been in charge of the shopping and the cooking and the first time it’s at my house. I’m really keen to make it extra special but  I also want to make sure that no food gets wasted.

To make things more difficult, it’s only a small gathering of three people but I still wanted a full turkey with all the trimmings. I couldn’t bring myself to resort to a turkey crown which would be much more suitable for a small gathering, it just wouldn’t be Christmas for me without a big bird stuffed on the table.

The smallest turkey I could find says it serves 6-8, and even with my gluttonous family, we won’t manage to scoff all 5kg down in one sitting, so it’s a good job that one of my favourite things about Christmas is the turkey left-over concoctions. I used to love sitting down to turkey butties on Christmas evening, already stuffed from lunch, the whole family would always manage to find room for a turkey sandwich in front of the TV, the final indulgence of the most indulgent day of the year.

Christmas is all about tradition and Boxing day tradition at my parents normally involved a trip to the football match. Lunch before we headed off would be simple cold cuts of turkey with some oven chips. Now this might not sound like a gastronomical delight but as a child it was probably my favourite meal of the festive period. The best thing for mum was that having slaved over the oven for the entirety of the previous day, no cooking was involved.

The other child-hood dish I remember that rose out of the turkey remnants was a turkey curry for dad. Mum used to freeze all the dark meat and then a week or so later dad would be in for a treat. The best thing about a curry is if you’re feeling extra lazy you don’t even have to cook it from scratch. There’s no shame in picking up a jar of already made curry sauce for a quick evening meal.

I’ve become a bit more adventurous with left-overs in recent years, boxing day now normally involves a salad; something a bit lighter to give the stomach a rest after the big day. An all round pleaser from recent times has been Jamie Oliver’s Asian inspired turkey salad. A quick simple and palette refreshing salad that not only makes use of the left-over turkey, but also other festive ingredients such as clementines, pomegranates and nuts.

This year, keeping with the festive spirit, we’re going for more of a Waldorf based salad using up turkey, cranberries and walnuts, but the salad munching possibilities are endless. The mantra really is “anything goes”.

In terms of the remaining turkey, I’m definitely going to follow in mum’s tradition and get a curry on the go, the spices in a curry make a nice change to the other flavours ingested over Christmas. We also received some lovely Japanese Ramen bowls for Christmas so I’m hoping to come up with a turkey ramen inspired recipe that I’ll keep you posted on.

There are thousands of recipes that call for left over turkey;  casseroles, pasta bakes and soups can all be created from left-overs. A few simple dishes that you can cook up, keep in the fridge/freezer and keep the family fed over the festive break.  It’s also not just the turkey that can be re-used, left over vegetables can be frozen, turned into soups or rostis.

Nigel Slater, recently had a great programme on BBC where he used all leftovers imaginable to create a wide variety of dishes including bubble & squeak patties and a delicious sounding perky turkey salad. I also saw a fantastic post from Recycle for Greater Manchester that spent the twelve days of Christmas using up all the leftovers.

There’s so many resources available, on-line, on TV and in print that there really is no excuse for food waste over Christmas and in my opinion you never really can have too much turkey.

So get cooking and it would be great to hear about any left-over concoctions of your own.