MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all. How have you all been getting on? It has certainly been a different, quieter Christmas for many of us here in the UK and indeed the world. With the last minute tier changes, we, like most people, ended up having Christmas just the four of us. Naturally we would not have opted for quite so big a Turkey had we known we would just be four of us, but that said there is so much we can do with leftover turkey that it really didn’t matter that there is a lot to get through.
In addition, we also have a spiced gammon – one of my absolute favourite Christmas treats. So in short, we are well stocked for quite some time, the trick is to think of new and inventive ways to use up all the leftovers. I cooked the gammon with stock ingredients and made sure not to throw them away. This combined with a fabulous turkey stock and vegetables for that, created both the beginnings of a broth, as well as a lot of soft delicious onions, garlic, leeks, carrots, celery, dried red chillies. Last night I blitzed all these vegetables with a little stock and added a splash of lemon juice to create a delicious soup, which appeared creamy and yet had no cream. It was delicious and it made enough for two meals.
Today, the family were craving a noodle broth so I created a fragrant spiced broth with shredded turkey, which definitely hit the spot. To be fair you can add whatever leftover meat or veg you ate at Christmas – lamb, goose, chicken, ham, it will work with it all.
I realise that perhaps not all the ingredients I have added everyone will have as their store cupboard staple, but follow this recipe loosely to create your own version. For me I always have a stash of Sichuan peppercorns and throwing these into a broth gives an addictive zing to the dish. I also added some black and white whole peppercorns, which I roughly smashed, alongside the Sichuan peppercorns, in a pestle and mortar.
Drizzled on top is my chilli oil, which I think I will do as a separate blog post with step by step instructions as it is so good that you will want to make it time and time again as it really elevates any Asian dish. Chilli oil in China is as ubiquitous as tomato ketchup is in the US and for me the former always packs a greater punch.
To make a meat stock you simply need the carcass of whichever meat you used at Christmas. Cover it with water and add an onion, leek, garlic (chopped in half), celery, bay leaves, black and white peppercorns, a couple of dried chillies, star anise. Simmer gently, on a low heat, for a couple of hours. Then remove the bones, but keep the vegetables and strain the stock. The vegetables can be used in a broth or blended to make the soup described above.
Turkey Noodle Broth
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 thumb size piece of ginger, finely grated or finely chopped, skin removed with the back of a tsp
2 lemongrass, outer skin removed and both ends and then finely chopped
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
1 tsp white peppercorns, crushed
1 green chilli, roughly chopped
leftover turkey, roughly chopped (i didn’t actually weigh home much we put in, but use your discretion)
7 brown mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 handfuls of finely sliced cabbage
turkey stock (again didn’t measure this but enough for over bowlfuls of broth)
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp Chinkiang Vinegar
salt to taste
4 nests of noodles of your choice -boil these in a separate pan according to packet
crispy shallots, to serve
coriander, to serve
enoki mushrooms, to serve
chilli oil, to serve
- Heat the oil in a deep pan and then add the onion, garlic, ginger and the crushed Sichuan peppercorns, black and white peppercorns. Move this around the pan for a minute and then add the chilli.
- Add the leftover turkey and mushrooms and move around the pan for a couple of minutes and then add the turkey stock to cover.
- Simmer gently and then add the carrots and cabbage.
- In another deep pan boil some water and add the noodles – 1 nest per person – and simmer for a few minutes (according to packet), then strain and keep to one side.
- Returning to the main pot add the soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, fish sauce and check the balance of the broth. Add more soy sauce if required. Simmer for 7 minutes, so that the carrots have softened.
- In deep bowls, first add the noodles and then ladle on the broth.
- Add some enoki mushrooms to the top of each bowl – once submerged slightly they will soften and are perfect to eat like this. Add some fresh coriander, crispy shallots, chilli oil or Sriracha of your choice.
- If I had some lime I would also add a splash of lime on top before eating.
A couple of other ideas for leftovers is:
How have YOU been using up your leftovers? Leave a comment below so that we can all see.