Exotic Leftover Turkey

THE NEW COMFORT FOOD
The Christmas Turkey brings to life family gatherings. Such a warm and loving atmosphere of uncles, aunts and good friends. The turkey was enthusiastically embraced as a Christmas tradition and it was considered an “exotic bird”, especially by the upper crust in England during the 16th century. In 1950 turkeys became affordable for the middle class. By making a Thai turkey dish from leftovers may also be considered exotic – for now.
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LET’S EAT…SIMPLE.

leftover_turkey

Turkey Leftovers

I make my leftover Thai turkey every year now. First, I make sure I buy a large enough turkey so I can get about a pound (.46 kilos) of leftover, tasty turkey meat. I have two great meals from one turkey every year. Too tired to cook? Freeze leftover turkey and make this delicious, nutritious meal another day! Make it once and you will enjoy the tantalizing flavours with rich creamy coconut milk. Your family will love it!
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img_4370INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 medium carrots, trimmed and shredded
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons easy home-made  or jarred Thai Red Curry Paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 pound left over turkey, cubed or strips
3 tablespoons chopped Thai basil leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Cooked jasmine rice, accompaniment
Sprigs fresh cilantro, garnish
INSTRUCTIONS
1. In a large wok or saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
2. Add to the pan shallots, saute a few minutes
3. Add to the pan garlic and saute a few more minutes.
4. Add to the pan shallots, bell peppers, and carrots.

Easy Sliced Red Peppers

Easy Sliced Red Peppers

5. Stir-fry until soft (2 to 3 minutes).
6. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant (30 seconds to 1 minute).
7. Stirring, add the fish sauce and sugar, then add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
8. Simmer until thickened slightly (about 2 minutes).
9. Add the turkey, stirring  (about 5 minutes).
10. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and cilantro.
Serve over jasmine rice, garnished with cilantro sprigs.
Optional: Add more greens such as leftover peas, spinach, bok choy, celery or kale.

Red Thai Curry Chicken with Jasmine Rice

Red Thai Curry Turkey with Jasmine Rice

In Thailand, POPULAR dishes using red curry paste cooked in coconut milk and are added to meat such as chicken, beef, pork, duck or shrimp are fabulous.

ALTERNATIVE COOKING METHOD
If you are using raw chicken or turkey, you can use a Pressure Cooker to prepare your Thai Red Curry in about 30 minutes
didyouknow
DID YOU KNOW?  Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein and selenium and a good source of vitamin B6.  Selenium is involved in thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, immune function and DNA repair.  Turkey is also rich in vitamin B3, which helps to control insulin and blood sugar.

HAT2FOOD TIPS: If you don’t have fish sauce handy you can use anchovies. My mum always had fish paste in the frig. She bought it in a squeezable tube and kept it in the door of the frig. She would also keep anchovies in a small glass jar tucked away in the frig. They really come in handy. Hard boiled eggs with anchovies on toasted rye bread was a typical treat in our house.

SPECIAL FESTIVE COLOURS for your Exotic Leftover Turkey. Add green peppers for a MERRY CHRISTMAS and enjoy  the holidays with FESTIVE, ‘HEALTHY’ RED AND GREEN PEPPERS!
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Recipes from Tomatoland

Good Morning,  It’s quiet in Toronto this week. The traffic is thinner than usual.  There are more seats on the subway.   But by golly, there are a ton of tomatoes.  Tomatoes are so bountiful at this time of the year as well as beautifully ripe and flavourful. They are at the market.  They are growing on the backyard or even balcony vines(such as mine)!  We can take advantage of this and make dishes such as soups to enjoy now and freeze to enjoy throughout the winter. This is also a great time to make oven dried tomatoes and freeze the in those tiny mason jars. The flavours are amazing on your salads, sandwiches , pastas and pizzas throughout the winter. So delicious! And the health benefits are off the charts as well.

didyouknow     If you cook tomatoes more lycopene is released by the tomatoes. Lycopene is reported to protect against heart disease, prostate  and cervical cancer.  In addition, if you ingest tomatoes with oil then the lycopene is made more bio-available.  Your body will absorb four times as much of the lycopene.  This is another reason to avoid “fat-free” salad dressings.  Tomatoes are an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, and K as well as many other nutrients. One cup of tomatoes has only 27 calories.  Food chemists at the university of California found that organically grown tomatoes have significantly higher amounts of vitamin C than conventional tomatoes so it is worthwhile to buy them organic or grow your own.  This is not true for all vegetables for example organic bell peppers. Tomato paste and ketchup are two of the richest sources of lycopene in our North American diets.

We can enjoy the health benefits of  cooked tomatoes by utilizing  the following tomato soup recipe.  Please see my earlier tips on freezing soup. I experimented and developed this by trial and error over a 10 year period of time.  Next week I will post a recipe for broccoli soup and I like to combine this with the tomato soup to give a yin/yang appearance with contrasting colour and flavour.  Stay tuned…..

Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup Recipe

A lovely fresh, sweet tomato and red pepper soup. Red pepper and onion and lots of garlic cloves add immensely to the flavour.  Enjoy the fresh taste of tomato soup in the dead of winter with this freezer friendly Garden Fresh Tomato Soup Recipe.

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tomato-soup_ingredientsINGREDIENTS
2 pounds ( 1kg) ripe tomatoes
7 oz (200gm) cherry tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups water
1 cup red lentils
3 tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Garnish: pumpkin seeds/purple basil /avocado
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DIRECTIONS
1)  Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C)
2)  Place the olive oil in a baking dish or a large enameled cast iron soup pot on top of the stove and heat on high.
3)  Slice the tomatoes in 1/2 and place cut side down in container to sear the tomatoes.
4)  Cut the onions in quarters and place in dish.
5)  Quarter and de-seed the red pepper and place in the dish along with the garlic cloves and cherry tomatoes.
6)  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar.
7)  Place in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until juices run from the tomatoes.
8)  Remove the dish from the oven and transfer to a soup pot if it is not already in one.
9)  Add the lentils, stock, water, thyme, basil  and simmer for 30 minutes.
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10) Blend the soup in a food processor or blender or with a stick blender. My friends and I like a chunky texture to the soup. I puree part of the soup and combine the rest.  After I taste the soup I may add a teaspoon of salt. This will vary each time you make this soup. It depends on the flavour of your ingredients that day.
11)  Reheat your finished soup in the pot and serve.
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You can serve this soup cold on a hot day like a gazpacho in southern Spain.  I encourage you to enjoy this versatile freezer friendly soup hot on a cold winter’s day!

HAT2FOOD TIP:  No need to sieve the soup. It’s a waste. Tomato canneries do not take the seeds out, why should you. Use a drizzle of chilli-infused oil at the roasting stage ( Step #7 above).  Add a couple of cayenne chillis from your garden, or if you have them on hand. Before freezing your soup, you need to chill the soup.  Never put hot food directly into the freezer. To store your soup, I use freezer friendly mason jars. For good Freezer Tips, please click here. If you are taking this soup out from the freezer, you can use it as a base and add additional vegetables, beans or rice – in a pinch, if you are having a lot of guests that day – more than you expected!