Turn­ing left­overs into treats

Those ex­tra-large Christ­mas tur­keys can take you all the way into the New Year with a bit of imag­i­na­tion and cran­berry rel­ish fes­tive­feasts

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODEATING - TONY JACK­MAN

SO THIS is Christ­mas, and what have you got? An­other year over, a new one about to be­gin, John Len­non play­ing on the new ipod, and ev­ery­where you look the rem­nants of that Christ­mas lunch.

The thing is, you can’t cook half a turkey and tur­keys don’t gen­er­ally come in sizes smaller than XXL. And each of those breasts con­tains an ex­tra­or­di­nary amount of meat, so, un­less you were cook­ing Christ­mas lunch for all the pres­i­dent’s wives, there’ll prob­a­bly be plenty left over. But I have a so­lu­tion for that, if you’d care to read on.

You could, of course, just keep it in the fridge, bring it out at sup­per time and nib­ble the rem­nants with mus­tard or cran­berry sauce. But there are more in­ven­tive ways of deal­ing with the dis­cards. Some, in­clud­ing Antony Wor­rall Thomp­son, ad­vise cut­ting up the bits of turkey and stir­ring them into a pasta sauce. Dunno about you, but that does not sound ap­peal­ing to me.

I did like Clarissa Dick­son Wright’s idea for pot­ted turkey, which is a very English thing and easy to make, so I came up with my own ver­sion. To go with it, I made a cran­berry rel­ish.

Pot­ted turkey also makes an ex­cel­lent New Year’s Eve snack, be­cause it goes with bread and off­sets some of the al­co­holic good time you are likely to be hav­ing on the night. Be­tween Christ­mas and New Year, in fact, is a good time to check the bar­gain bin sec­tion of your su­per­mar­ket for marked-down gammon and smoked turkey, to bring out on New Year’s Eve.

Slices of cooked gammon or turkey can be placed on crack­ers. Top the turkey with a blob of red ap­ple jelly and a dab of whipped cream and gar­nish with chives.

Top the gammon with a tiny blob of mus­tard and a sliver of pre­served fig.

Then there’s the sweet left­overs at Christ­mas time. Christ­mas pud­ding. Christ­mas cake. My favourite way to deal with ei­ther of these is to turn them into a tri­fle. In the case of Christ­mas pud­ding, bear in mind that it has al­ready been cooked, so all you need to do is use it as the base for a tri­fle and build it up from there. With Christ­mas cake, though, you need to moisten it with brandy or a liqueur, or both, be­fore as­sem­bling the rest of the tri­fle.

POT­TED TURKEY

(Serves 6) 500g leftover turkey meat, both white and dark 150g but­ter and an­other 100g 2T le­mon juice 3T whisky Grat­ing of nut­meg ½ tea­spoon smoked pa­prika Cut turkey into small pieces and place in blender. Add the re­main­ing ingredients, in­clud­ing 150g of the but­ter, cut into pieces. Blend un­til com­bined but still fairly coarse. Pack into ramekins and pat down. Re­frig­er­ate for 30 min­utes. Melt re­main­ing but­ter and spoon over the top. Re­frig­er­ate again. Serve with cran­berry rel­ish and toast wedges.

CRAN­BERRY REL­ISH

100g dried cran­ber­ries 3T su­gar 3T bal­samic vine­gar ½ small red onion, finely chopped 1t mus­tard Sim­mer onions

in

a

small saucepan, add re­main­ing ingredients, sim­mer for five min­utes and leave to cool.

CHRIST­MAS CAKE TRI­FLE

400g leftover Christ­mas cake 1T Frangelico or other liqueur or whisky or brandy per serv­ing 250ml cream, whipped 500ml cus­tard or brandy cus­tard 5 fresh cher­ries per serv­ing Cut the cake into small pieces and place in the bot­tom of six glass dessert bowls. Driz­zle over one ta­ble­spoon of liquor per glass, more if you like. Pour over the cus­tard and leave to set for a while in the fridge while you whip the cream. Spoon over the cream and serve with fresh cher­ries set on top in­clud­ing their stalks. These can be picked up by their stalks and dipped in the cream, to eat be­fore plung­ing into the rest of the tri­fle. So it’s al­most two desserts in one.

PIC­TURES: TONY JACK­MAN

DE­LI­CIOUS: Use leftover Christ­mas cake as a base for a deca­dent tri­fle.

SPIC­ING UP THE DIS­CARDS: Cran­berry rel­ish turns ex­cess turkey into a feast.

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