All your hard work and hours of preparation have come to an end as Boxing Day arrives and you are left with a fridge full of turkey dinner leftovers. The last thing you want to be thinking about is cooking… again! So here are some ideas on how to use up those leftovers, give yourself a chance to rest, and enjoy what is left of the holidays.
First of all, go outside for a walk, skate the lake, or ski a few runs. You need to build your appetite again and you will be surprised how the thought of turkey, yes again, makes your taste buds go crazy!
Kids love turkey so, by all means, cut some in thin slices and freeze it. Make a note that turkey sandwiches are going out for school lunches in the New Year. Smear the bread with leftover cranberry sauce or, in my house, what we call “turkey jam”. Leftover veggies are great in a frittata for breakfast or even better pureed in hummus. Serve with veggie sticks and crackers. Stuffing… is there ever leftover stuffing? As a caterer, I say little to none. It always appears to be the favourite item on the menu. If there are leftovers, toss it in with some pasta and sprinkle with cheese. You may have a fabulous dish to bounce back on!
I find myself craving greens and spice after the richness of Christmas. The following recipe is from Nigella Lawson, a cookbook author and mother whom I admire.
Bang bang Turkey (serves four to six)*
For the bang bang sauce
2 tbsp groundnut oil
2 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp Chinese chili bean sauce
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
11/2 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
2 tbsp water
For the salad
1 medium head iceberg, finely shredded
20g (3/4 oz) (a small bunch) fresh cilantro, chopped
20g (3/4 oz) (a small bunch) fresh mint, chopped
200-275g (7-93/4 oz) cold shredded turkey
125g (41/2 oz) cucumber
1 spring onion
• To make the bang bang sauce, pour the oils into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients, stirring or whisking to make a smooth, thickly runny paste. That’s it.
• Made in advance, the sauce will keep in a jam jar in the fridge for at least a week.
• For the salad, arrange the shredded lettuce over the base of a large flat plate, then sprinkle the chopped coriander and mint over the top. Drizzle four to five tablespoons of bang bang sauce over the lettuce and herbs and, in a smallish bowl, add four tablespoons to the turkey strips, turning them in the sauce until they are well-coated.
• Arrange the coated turkey strips in a rough line down the middle of the salad, and then just peel and de-seed the cucumber and julienne into fine strips. Cut each spring onion across into three, and finely slice into lengths, then sprinkle both over the bang bang turkey. Drizzle with a tablespoon or so more sauce and your exertions are over.
*Recipe copyright from Nigella Lawson.
Lara McCormack is one of the owners of From Scratch – A Mountain Kitchen in Fairmont Hot Springs where one can savour great seasonal food, sip from a selection of beverages and enjoy gorgeous views.