Christmas Left Overs

Phew, well that’s Christmas over for another year – hopefully you enjoyed the festivities and had lots of cheerful help and support both in the kitchen and dining room. Now, for the best bit – using up the left overs in lots of delicious ways. I love to buy a whopping big turkey so we’ll hopefully have some leftovers after turkey sandwiches to make some of my favourite dishes of the whole year.
We’ll start with the turkey……

First strip off every scrap of meat and crispy skin from the turkey. Chop up the carcass as best you can. Make a fine pot of turkey stock by adding the giblets, neck, heart and gizzard but not the liver, that would make the stock bitter plus be a waste of a superb ingredient – it will make a rich and smooth, unctuous pot of turkey liver pâté.

One can make many, flavoursome turkey soups from Asian Pho to a nourishing Scandi broth. I’ve chosen Mexican flavours inspired by a trip to Oaxaca. If you still have some cold turkey or even leftover roast chicken or pork – you simply must try (how bossy am I….) turkey tonnata, a twist on the Italian veal tonnata served with a properly tasty mayo based sauce laced with tuna, anchovies and capers, which by the way makes a fantastic present to include in a hamper of sauces. If roast goose or duck was your Christmas day feast, there’s probably not much on the carcass but save all those little morsels to make a duck or goose broth include…..

Try this spicy Indian Brussels sprout recipe, delicious just served as an accompaniment but also a perfect base to add some diced cooked turkey or ham.

Left over cranberries keep well in the fridge or can be frozen but you can never have too many because they are delicious added to scones, muffins, pancakes and make a tasty plus a quick and easy apple and cranberry sauce or chutney, another handy edible gift.

If you have a surplus of tangerines or mandarins they are of course delicious in a fresh tasting salad or make them into marmalade. You probably won’t have time do that today but this could be therapeutic after Christmas exercise. I could go on and on but I’m running out of space. Some mincemeat make these utterly delicious scones and serve warm from the oven with left over brandy butter. Sublime.

Thank you to our readers. We wish you a Happy, Joyful and Peaceful Christmas and many blessings and lots of new exciting food adventures in 2017.

Turkey Liver Pâté with Sourdough Toasts and Red Onion Marmalade

Duck or goose can also be used in this boozy recipe

Serves 10-12 depending on how it is served.

225g (8oz) fresh organic turkey livers
2 tablespoons brandy
200-300g (8-12oz) butter (depending on how strong the livers are)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 large clove garlic, crushed
225g (8oz) butter, cubed
freshly ground pepper

clarified butter, to seal the top

Accompaniment: Crusty brown bread, sourdough toasts or croutes
Red Onion Marmalade

Wash the livers in cold water and remove any membrane or green tinged bits. Dry on kitchen paper.
Melt a little butter in a frying pan; when the butter foams add in the livers and cook over a gentle heat. Be careful not to overcook them or the outsides will get crusty; all trace of pink should be gone. Add the crushed garlic and thyme leaves to the pan, stir and then de-glaze the pan with brandy, allow to flame or reduce for 2-3 minutes. Scrape everything with a spatula into a food processor. Purée for a few seconds. Allow to cool.

Add the butter. Purée until smooth. Season carefully, taste and add more butter.

This pâté should taste fairly mild and be quite smooth in texture. Put into pots or into one large terrine. Tap on the worktop to knock out any air bubbles.

Spoon a little clarified butter over the top of the pâté to seal.
Serve with crusty brown bread, sourdough toasts or croutes. This pate will keep for 4 or 5 days in a refrigerator.

Watchpoint: It is essential to cover chicken liver pate with a layer of clarified or even just melted butter, otherwise the pâté will oxidize and taste bitter and turn grey in colour.

Duck or Goose Liver Pâté with Melba Toast

Substitute duck livers for chicken livers in the above recipe. You may need to increase the amount of butter used depending on the strength of the livers.

Sherry may be substituted for brandy and its really good.

To Serve
Fill the kilner jar with a handful of mixed salad leaves and fresh herbs. Serve with two slivers of toasted focaccia.

Chicken Liver Pâté with Pedro Ximenez Jelly
Soak 1 sheet of gelatine in cold water for 10 minutes, when soft discard the water. Warm 150ml (5fl oz) of Pedro Ximenez gently in a saucepan, add the gelatine and allow to melt. Cool, then spoon over the top of each ramekin of pâté.

Red Onion Marmalade

Makes 450ml (16fl.oz)

Red Onion Marmalade will keep for months and is especially delicious with pâtés and terrines of meat, game and poultry. Ordinary onions may also be used.

700g (1½ lb) white or red onions
110g (4oz) butter
1½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
155g (5½oz) castor sugar
7 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons cassis
250ml (scant ½pint) full bodied red wine

Peel and slice the onions thinly. Heat the butter in a sauté pan until it becomes a rich nut brown (beurre noisette) – this will give the onions a delicious flavour but be careful not to let it burn. Toss in the onions and sugar, add the salt and freshly ground pepper and stir well. Cover and cook for 30 minutes over a gentle heat, keeping an eye on the onions and stirring from time to time with a wooden spatula. Add the sherry vinegar, red wine and cassis. Cook for a further 30 minutes uncovered, stirring regularly. This onion jam must cook very gently (but don’t let it reduce too much). When it is cold, skim off any butter which rises to the top and discard.
Pour into sterilized jars as for jam.

Turkey Stock

Keep your turkey carcass to make a stock, which may be used as the basis of a delicious soup or in St. Stephen’s Day Pie.

1 turkey carcass
Turkey giblets, ie. heart, gizzard, neck
8-10 pints (4.5-5.6 L) approx. water
2 onions, cut in quarters
2 leeks, split in two
2 sticks celery, cut in half
2 carrots, cut in half
A few parsley stalks
6 peppercorns
No salt

Break up the carcass as much as possible. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and skim off any scum or fat. Simmer for 4-5 hours, then strain and remove any remaining fat. If you need a stronger flavour, boil down the liquid in an open pan to reduce by one-half the volume. Do not add salt.
Note: Stock will keep for several days in the fridge. If you want to keep it for longer, boil it up again for 5-6 minutes, allow it to get cold and refrigerate again or freeze.
If you have a ham bone, it could also be used in the stock for extra flavour.

Turkey, Orzo, Pea and Spring Onion Broth

This broth can be the basis of a flavoursome light soup to use up delicious morsels of cooked poultry.

Serves 6

1 litre (1 ¾ pints) well-flavoured turkey, chicken or pheasant stock
pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
50g (2oz) orzo pasta
2 tender stalks celery, finely sliced at an angle
150 – 175g (5 – 6 oz) shredded cooked turkey, chicken or pheasant
110g (4oz) frozen peas
4 – 6 spring onions, sliced at an angle
lots of fresh coriander and/or fresh mint

Bring the stock to the boil; add the orzo, celery and chilli flakes. Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the pasta is just cooked, add the peas and shredded turkey. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, correct the seasoning. Ladle into soup bowls, sprinkle with lots of spring onion and fresh coriander and/or mint.

Brussel Sprout Masala

It was quite a surprise to discover Brussel sprouts in South India. Somehow I associated them with these islands. This masala version which I learned at the Bangala converts even those who refuse to even taste Brussel sprouts.

Serves 4-6

450g (1lb) Brussel sprouts, cut in quarters if large
1.2L (2 pints) water
3 teaspoons salt

50 ml (2 fl oz) vegetable oil
100g (3½ oz) onion, peeled and finely chopped
½ teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder, mild (Kashmiri if available)
125ml (4fl.oz) fresh tomato puree
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Bring 1.2L (2 pints) water with 3 teaspoons salt to a boil in a saucepan.
Add the brussel sprouts and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain in a colander and refresh in cold water.

Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, slide in the onion and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, turmeric and chilli powder. Stir and add the fresh tomato puree. Reduce the heat to low, continue to cook, stir and scrape to ensure that nothing sticks to the bottom.
Continue to cook until the oil separates around the edge, add the drained sprouts to the masala. Stir, and cook for a minute or two. Taste and correct seasoning.

Garnish with lots of fresh coriander leaves and serve.

Turkey ‘Tonnata’

A super tasty way to enjoy leftover turkey, add a little grated raw Brussels sprout to the salad for extra deliciousness.

Serves 8

The sauce may be used for cooked chicken, veal and pickled ox tongue also.

2 lbs (900 g) cooked turkey

Tonnata sauce

4 rounded tablespoons home-made mayonnaise
85g (3oz) canned tuna in oil and 2 tablespoons of the oil
2 anchovies
1 rounded tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon lemon juice
green salad
sprigs of flat parsley

16 – 24 black olives
16 anchovies
24 capers
salt and freshly ground black pepper

First make the sauce. Put the mayonnaise into a food processor with the tuna, oil, anchovies, capers, lemon juice and freshly ground pepper, whizz until smooth and then put into a bowl.
Drain the capers on kitchen paper. Deep fry in hot oil for a few seconds. They will split and open out into crispy flowers. Spread on kitchen paper. Slice the turkey as thinly as possible then season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Put a little green salad on each plate. Arrange a few slices of turkey on top of the leaves. Drizzle generously with the tonnata sauce, garnish with anchovies, a few olives, crispy capers and sprigs of flat parsley.

Cranberry Bread and Butter Pudding

Bread and Butter Pudding is a most irresistible way of using up both leftover white bread and cranberries at Christmas. This is a particularly delicious recipe which can also be cooked and served in cappuccino cups.

Serves 6-8

12 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed
2 ozs (55g) butter, preferably unsalted
½ teaspoon freshly-grated cinnamon or nutmeg
7 ozs (200g) cranberries or a mixture of cranberries and sultanas
16 fl ozs (475ml) cream
8 fl ozs (225ml) milk
4 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
6 ozs (170g) sugar
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon sugar for sprinkling on top of the pudding

Garnish
Softly-whipped cream
1 x 8 inches (20.5cm) square pottery or china dish

Butter the bread and arrange 4 slices, buttered side down, in one layer in the buttered dish. Sprinkle the bread with half the nutmeg and half the cranberries, arrange another layer of bread, buttered side down, over the cranberries, and sprinkle the remaining spice and cranberries on top. Cover the raisins with the remaining bread, buttered side down.
In a bowl whisk together the cream, milk, eggs, vanilla essence, sugar and a pinch of salt. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve over the bread. Sprinkle the sugar over the top and let the mixture stand, covered loosely, at room temperature for at least 1 hour or chill overnight.
Bake in a bain-marie – the water should be half way up the sides of the baking dish. Bake the pudding in the middle of a preheated oven, 180°C/350°F/regulo 4, for 1 hour approx. or until the top is crisp and golden. Serve the pudding warm with some softly-whipped cream.

Note: This Bread and Butter Pudding reheats perfectly.

Tangerine Salad with Cinnamon and Orange Water Blossom

This is a classic dessert usually made with oranges in Moroccan restaurants. The combination is a perfect palate cleanser after a rich tagine or cous cous but also a welcome after a Christmas feasting.

Serves 6

10 tangerines, clementines or madarins
4 teaspoons orange blossom water
4-6 teaspoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
3-4 sprigs fresh mint

Peel the fruit and remove the pith with a sharp knife. Slice across the equator, flick out the pips and arrange the rounds, slightly overlapping on a circular plate. Dot with cinnamon and caster sugar and drizzle with orange blossom water. Chill well before serving with shredded fresh mint or mint sprigs sprinkled over the top.

Christmas Mincemeat Swirls with Brandy Butter

Just love these mincemeat swirls – a super way to use up leftover mincemeat and brandy butter. Most delicious served warm.

Makes 18-20 scones

900g (2lb/8 cups) plain white flour
175g (6oz) butter
3 free-range eggs
pinch of salt
50g (2 oz) castor sugar
3 heaped teaspoons baking powder
450ml (15floz) approx. milk to mix
400-450 g (14 oz-16 oz) Ballymaloe mincemeat or vegetarian and gluten free mincemeat

Glaze
Egg Wash (see below)

110 g (4 oz) flaked almonds
110 g (4 oz) demerara sugar for sprinkling on top of the scones

Brandy Butter, see recipe

1-2 baking trays lined with parchment

First preheat the oven to 250°C/475°F/Gas Mark 9.

Sieve all the dry ingredients together in a large wide bowl. Cut the butter into cubes, toss in the flour and rub in the butter. Make a well in the centre. Whisk the eggs with the milk, add to the dry ingredients and mix to a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board. Don’t knead but roll gently into a rectangle about ¾ inch (2 cm) thick. Spread the mincemeat over the surface to within a half inch of the edge. Roll from the long side. Cut into 1½ inch (3cm) pieces. Arrange on a baking tray, allowing a little space for the swirls to spread. Brush the cut side with egg wash. Sprinkle each one with flaked almonds and dip in granulated sugar. Bake in a hot oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool on a wire rack.
Serve warm with a dollop of homemade brandy butter on top.

Egg Wash
Whisk 1 egg with a pinch of salt. This is brushed over the scones and pastry to help them to brown in the oven.