Thursday, 29 December 2011

Leftover leftovers? Read on...

30th December - picture update, please ignore the dirty cooker!

Still picture free, hopefully the last post in this state, before an influx of beautifully shot, framed and focussed photographs. Well, one can hope. I'll still be taking them, so let's just go for non blurry and vaguely pretty.

Last post we looked at turkey leftovers and some easy recipes to use them up. Now despite having only bought an 8lb turkey, both leftover dishes, and the original Christmas roast and two days of sandwiches still left me with a carcass and some meat. What to do? Well, read on for starters

Turkey soup

For me, Christmas isn't Christmas without turkey soup. For years after she enjoyed making it I would cajole, sweet talk, and berate my mother into making it, mainly so that I could live off it for most of January. We would eke it out farther using red lentils, but this recipe (or guideline) doesn't add those, purely as I didn't have any. It also thickens it up beautifully if you want it to have a bit more oomph.

First off, take any leftover veg and pop them in your food processor (or even use a stick blender and a bowl) to puree. Set this aside.

Soften an onion, carrot and bay leaf in some hot oil in a big pan, Add in any leftover meat (really go to town and remove every scrap you can from the carcass), season, and add turkey stock - see below - and bring to a simmer. Cook until everything is soft, then add your pureed veg, and blitz with a stick blender until you reach a consistency you're happy with. Bring back to the boil and serve with fresh bread.

Turkey stock

Normally I make stock in a pan with 4 pints of water on the hob. Sometimes I just don't have the energy for even that. Christmas is one of those times. Just put your carcass in a slow cooker, fill it with water, and a small handful of peppercorns, pinch of salt, a bay leaf (or any herbs you have lying around) and an onion chopped into quarters, and a carrot broken into two. Leave on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10. The strain off the bones and there you have it, stock.

This stock is great in the risotto I talked about yesterday, and makes a great base for the turkey surprise pie, or the soup above. If you don't want to make any of those, then freeze it, and any leftover meat until you're ready to.  

Also, it's just worth bearing in mind the expense of a turkey - all in all, this will work out at around 24 portions of varying meals from an 8lb turkey. That's value for money in my book.

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