Merry Christmas – Turkey tips and leftover recipes

I would just like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas, and thank everyone who has visited my recipe blog over the last year.

I hope everyone has a happy Christmas, but also spare some thought for those less fortunate, please consider making a small donation to a charity.

I have some recipes included below that will help you make some delicious meals from your left over turkey, from curries to soups – lots of ideas to make your Christmas as delicious as possible.

20181216_170131

 

Christmas dinner tips

I always have a Prawn cocktail as a Christmas starter, as it is easy to prepare and quick to assemble before serving. The cocktail sauce is based upon a recipe created by my dad and just says “Christmas” to me.

Prawn cocktail

In terms of cooking your turkey, I have my own method and have a few tips for you. Preparation is everything, I always do my preparation on Christmas eve as Christmas day is always quite busy.

I make a mixture of butter, parsley, garlic and a seasoning, then carefully lift the skin off the bird at both ends by sliding my fingers between the meat and skin – taking care not to rip the skin. I then put as much of the butter mixture as I can under the skin to flavour and moisten the meat as it cooks.

My stuffing is a mixture of sausage meat, finely diced onion, parsley, sage, egg, breadcrumbs and seasoning – all well mixed together. I stuff the neck end of the bird and then use cocktail sticks or string to tie the neck closed.

In the main cavity I stuff the turkey with half a lemon, a bulb of garlic, a onion, a carrot, a bay leaf and a stick of celery. Once the Turkey is placed on the roasting tin I add some more onion, garlic, carrot, lemon, celery, a glass of white wine and some Christmas herbs (sage, parsley, rosemary and thyme) round the bird to help flavour it and its juices.

I then rub some more of the butter mixture on the outside of the turkey, then drizzle the turkey with generous seasoning, honey, then layer streaky bacon over the top. The turkey is then covered in a foil tent, which is kept on during most of the cooking time – remove it for the last 20-25 minutes, during which baste the turkey frequently.

In terms of cooking time, these are a guide – always check juices run clear (or use thermometer) before resting the turkey.

2.7kg – 3.6kg (6-8lbs)      2 ½ – 3 ¾ hrs
3.6kg – 4.5kg (8-10lbs)    3 ¼ – 3 ¾ hrs
4.5kg – 5.4kg (10-12lbs)  3 ¾ – 4 ¼ hrs

I find this method to be full proof, and guaranteed to give you flavoursome moist turkey meat.

For gravy, I collect the roasting juices and cook with a splash of white wine, a little red current jelly and a little cornflour to thicken it.

For sides, I par boil potatoes then roast them at a high temperature in duck fat with some rosemary. I also love honey glazed carrots and parsnips roasted in duck fat with a little thyme. Along with the mandatory pigs in blankets.

 

Leftovers

The recipes below are all suitable for making great tasting meals from leftover turkey, simply add the cooked turkey meat towards the end of cooking and heat it through thoroughly before serving. Personally I find strong Asian flavours to be a great accompaniment to leftover turkey.

Please email me at theferretchef@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Asian recipes

Madras Curry with Cucumber and mint Raita

Special Makhani with Pilau Rice

Makhani with Pilau Rice

Dhal Curry

Carrot and Coriander Curry

Lentil Curry

Korean Chilli noodles

Salad with Korean Chilli dressing

Chicken noodle soup

Stir Fried Chicken and Cashew Nuts

Sweet and Sour noodles

Prawn, Sweet Peppers and Cashew Nuts

Nasi Goreng

Mee Goreng

Indonesian Curry

Thai Red curry

Thai King Prawn Curry

Laksa

 

 

European recipes

Tomato Conchiglie with creamy béchamel and crispy cheese topping

Homemade Pizza

Linguine with Roasted tomato, Garlic and Romano Pepper sauce.

 

American recipes

Mexican Soup

Carne con Chile, Red Pepper Rice and Salsa

Enchiladas with tomato and guajillo chilli sauce.

 

Soups

Boil the turkey bones in a deep pan of water along with some carrots, onions, leeks, celery, bay leaf, peas, salt and some black peppercorns – boil for 20 minutes then cover and reduce to a simmer for at least 3-4 hours.

Make sure you use plenty of water relative to the turkey as the stock can be very strongly flavoured. For example I will be using just over 2L for a medium sized turkey.

Please check out my soups menu for recipe ideas, personally I think turkey stock is best used in tomato or vegetable based soups.

Soups menu

 

Once again have a very merry Christmas!

 

 

 

Soups

Menu Page for my soup recipes

Click on links below for recipes

Asian soups

Chicken noodle soup

Tomato egg flower soup

Laksa

Mussels in Laksa Broth

Mediterranean  soups

Char Grilled Pepper and Butternut Squash Soup

Pan Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup

My Ultimate Tomato Soup

Tomato soup

 

Mexican soups

Mexican Soup

Mexican Prawn and Crab Soup

Spiced Bean Soup

 

Scottish soups

White Cabbage Soup

Scottish Parsnip Soup

Carrot and Coriander Soup

 

 

 

Pan fried Tiger Prawns on a bed of Crab Linguine with Roasted tomato, Garlic and Romano Pepper sauce.

Pan fried Tiger prawns on a bed of crab linguine with roasted Jack Hawkins tomato, garlic and red Romano pepper sauce.

I came up with this recipe after watching a lot of Mediterranean cookery shows recently. My aim was to come up with a tomato based pasta sauce which had a different taste to my usual pasta sauce. I didn’t copy any particular recipe more like used techniques I saw in a variety of these shows showcasing local chefs making traditional local dishes.

I bought some nice large Jack Hawkins tomatoes and thought they would make an excellent base for the sauce. I decided to roast one along with some round tomatoes, garlic in its skin and a deseeded Romano red pepper – this is the base for the sauce and roasting them before cooking brings out their rich deep flavours. Once roasted and cooled I removed the skins from all three, as well as the core of the tomatoes, then blend them into a smooth sauce.

With the second Jack Hawkins tomato I used a blowtorch to blister then remove the skin, then removed the core and diced the tomato. I added the chopped tomato to a bowl along with some finely chopped parsley and basil. The purpose of this is to give both added flavour and texture to the dish.

I had some really nice Indonesian tiger prawns which I pan-fried in their shells with some olive oil until they were just cooked – its so important not to overcook prawns as they just become tough and chewy. I cooked them in the same pan that I then cooked the pasta sauce to get every last bit of flavour.

The sauce itself was made by frying the chopped herb/tomato mixture in a little olive oil along with a splash of white wine followed by the roasted sauce. The pasta was cooked until all dente, drained then finished off in the sauce so that it absorbed the delicate yet deep flavour. Some crab meat was added to the pan so that it was heated through by the steam from the sauce then carefully and gently mixed through the sauce with the back of a wooden spoon so that the chunks of crab meat stayed intact. The Pasta was then spooned into pasta bowls and the cooked prawns carefully placed interlocking on top.

I was really pleased with the results and can confidently say that this was not just restaurant standard but very good restaurant standard. I will be cooking this again for certain.

20180404_1802171400479543.jpg

Serves two people

Preparation 20-25 minutes, cooking time less than 15 minutes

 

Ingredients

200g dried Linguine – I used De Cecco, cooking times may vary  

2 Large Jack Hawkins tomatoes – use beef or other large varieties as alternative

4 cloves garlic – keep skin on

1 romano red pepper – remove seeds and stalk

3-4 round tomatoes

4 large Tiger prawns – devein in shell, keep head on. Trim legs and feelers with scissors

180g tinned white crab meat – drain before use

8-10 basil leafs

1-2 tbsp. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

100ml dry white wine – choose one which works with shellfish

2-3 tbsp. olive oil

Sea salt – generous pinch plus extra to taste

Black peppercorn mill

1 tsp brown sugar

 

Method: Start by roasting the red pepper, garlic, 1 jack Hawkins tomato and the round tomatoes in a hot oven (approx. 200°C) for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled remove the skins and the tomato core then add to a mini chopper/food processor and blitz until a smooth sauce is formed.

Remove skin from the second Jack Hawkins tomato, I used a blowtorch, however this could also be done by boiling the tomato in water for 3-4 minutes then placing in a bowl of cold water. Dice this tomato and add to a bowl along with the chopped herbs.

Cook the pasta as per packet instructions until all dente in well salted water. In a deep frying pan heat 2-3 tbsp. of olive oil until very hot, add the prawns and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side – the second they turn pink they are ready, don’t keep cooking them as the residual heat from shells will finish them. Set them aside on a plate ready to add to final dish, retain the oil in pan to cook the sauce.

Add the chopped tomato and herbs to the pan and fry over a medium high heat for 1-2 minutes then add the wine. Stir and fry for a further 2 minutes then pour in the roasted sauce, stir well until combined. Add a generous amount of black pepper, 1 tsp brown sugar and a generous pinch of salt then stir well until combined with the sauce. Add the cooked pasta, mix well then taste for seasoning, add extra if required. Carefully add the crab meat to the top of the pasta sauce and let the steam from the pasta heat the crab for 1-2 minutes then use the back of a spoon and gently mix the crab through the pasta, try to keep the crab chunks intact.

Spoon the pasta into pre-heated pasta bowls then place the cooked prawns interlocking on top. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Please give my blog a follow and view my other recipes via link below

Blog contents

 

 

 

 

Pan Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup

Pan roasted chillies, tomatoes, peppers and garlic along with the spices give this soup a very special deep flavour.

 The tomatoes, red peppers, orange pepper, red chilli and garlic are roasted in a dry pan until slightly charred to bring out the deep flavours. This is then added to a soup base of celery, carrot, white onion, red onion and bay leaf which has been softened in a little oil. Spices, herbs, seasoning and chicken stock are then added. After a simmer the bay leaf is removed then the soup is blended until smooth.

This may look like a simple soup but it has a depth of flavour that lifts it up to a new level.

20180213_182126214484112.jpg

Makes 4 large portions

Preparation time 15-20 minutes, cooking time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Pan roasted vegetables:

1 orange bell pepper – seeds and stalks removed, roughly chopped

1 red bell pepper – seeds and stalk removed, roughly chopped

6 cloves garlic – leave in skin

5 round tomatoes

2 red chillies

Method: Heat a deep wide frying pan and add the vegetables. Dry fry for around 8-10 minutes, tossing the pan occasionally, until the garlic is softened and char marks appear on the chillies, tomatoes and peppers. Remove the garlic and chillies on to a chopping board to cool, then remove the garlic skins (should peel easily) and the chilli stalk, return to pan to add to the soup base.

For soup base

2 sticks celery – sliced

1 white onion – diced

1 red onion – diced

4 medium sized carrots – peel, sliced

2 bay leaf

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

Handful fresh coriander (leaf and stalk)

10 basil leafs

2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1 and half dessert spoons brown sugar

1.5L chicken stock

1-2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp sea salt – plus extra to taste

Black peppercorns – for grinding

Method: Add 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil to a deep soup pan and heat to medium hot. Add the celery, carrot, onions and bay leaf and fry for 6-7 minutes until softened. Add the paprika, cumin, coriander and stir through the softened vegetables. Now add the pan roasted vegetables into the soup and stir through. Add the chicken stock then add the herbs (coriander, parsley and basil), bring pan to the boil for 2-3 minutes then reduce to a simmer. Add one and a half dessert spoons of brown sugar then add a teaspoon of salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Cover the pan, reduce heat to a gentle simmer for 25-30 minutes. Before serving use a stick blender to blend until smooth. After blending taste the soup and add more seasoning if required.

 

Please follow my blog and check out my other recipes

Blog contents

 

 

 

 

Tomato and Cucumber salad

A simple salad of tomatoes, red onions, romano peppers, herbs, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil

20180201_162036.jpg

Ingredients

3 plum tomatoes – sliced

2 small red onions – sliced

10cm cucumber – sliced

1 red romano pepper – diced

10 fresh basil leafs – bruised, chopped

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Juice of half a lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle of good quality olive oil

Method: layer the tomatoes, red onion, cucumber and romano peppers in a flat serving plate or casserole dish. Season with a little salt and pepper then add the herbs. Finish by drizzling a little olive oil over the salad, this will help bring out the flavours. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 1-2 hours before serving, during this time the flavours will intensify.

Lasagna

My version of this classic Italian dish.

Layers of rich smooth beef bolognese, creamy cheese bechamel separated by egg lasagna sheets topped with cheddar and Parmesan cheese.

For me a lasagna should have a rich smooth bolognese and this is achieved by making a paste from the flavour base of tomato paste, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, herbs and spices. The paste is fried to release its flavours like you would do to a curry paste. Mince is browned in a separate pan, drained then added to the paste. Passata, red wine, seasoning, a little sugar and a dash of Worcester sauce give the bolognese a wonderful deep rich flavour.

The bechamel should be nice and creamy and is made with flour, butter, milk, pinch of nutmeg, oregano, seasoning and some grated cheese.  Its important not to over season it as a lot of salt will come out of the added cheese.

Many people will say you must use fresh pasta, but I am a fan of good quality dried pasta – as are many of the worlds top chefs, who use it in their high end restaurants.

20171003_162821.jpg

Serves 3-4 people

Preparation time 40 minutes

Cooking time 35-40 minutes

You require a mini blender for this recipe

Ingredients

For the flavour base paste:

Three small white onions

Two sticks of celery

Two small carrots

Handful of fresh basil leafs

Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley leafs

Three quarters of a teaspoon of smoked paprika

Half a teaspoon of ground cumin

One and a half teaspoons of dried oregano

A teaspoon of salt

A teaspoon of ground black pepper

A tablespoon  of extra virgin olive oil

Two tablespoons of tomato paste

Four cloves of garlic

Use a mini blender or food processor to blend into a smooth paste

For the bolognese:

400g Good quality steak mince (10%% fat is best)

650-700g Passata

One glass of red wine

One desert spoon brown sugar

Generous dash of Worcester sauce

For the Bechamel sauce:

One heaped desert spoon of plain flour

approx 35g of butter

approx 500ml of semi skimmed milk

Pinch of fried oregano

Pinch of nutmeg

50g grated cheddar

10g grated Parmesan

To complete the dish:

A packet of dried lasagna sheets

Approx 125g grated cheddar cheese (medium is best)

Approx 25g grated Parmesan

Equipment required:

A mini blender/chopper

A deep non stick frying pan

A deep oven dish

A saucepan to make the bechamel

A colander to drain the browned mince

Get cooking!

  1. Start by browning the mince in the frying pan over a medium heat, once browned tip the mince into a colander to drain the mince of the excess fat. Set aside.
  2. Next add the paste to the pan and fry over a medium heat, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes. You want to cook the paste through to release all its wonderful flavours. If the paste sticks to the pan loosen with a little water rather than adding any extra oil.
  3. Tip the mince back in and stir well until the mince and paste are combined, fry for a further minute or so then add the passata, the red wine, a desert spoon of brown sugar and a generous dash of Worcester sauce. Stir well and heat through to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Now make the bechamel sauce. Start by melting the butter over a medium heat then add a heaped desert spoon of plain flour. Stir well to form a smooth paste then start adding the milk and as it heats the sauce will thicken. Once half the milk (approx 250ml) is added sprinkle in a pinch of oregano and nutmeg along with a little ground black pepper. Keep adding the milk and bringing it to a simmer until the sauce does not thicken any more. The sauce should be of the same consistency as a batter. Tip: is best to add a little at a time as it is easier to keep the sauce smooth. It is vital to keep stirring to keep the sauce smooth and to prevent the flour sticking to pan bottom and burning. If the sauce does become lumpy use a whisk to make it smooth again.
  5. Once the sauce is ready add 50g grated cheddar and 10g grated Parmesan and stir through the sauce until it has melted, this will give the sauce a creamy cheese taste, perfect to balance the rich bolognese.
  6. Pre heat your oven to 180॰c/170॰c fan assisted.
  7. Now to assemble the dish: layer the bottom of the dish with pasta sheets, cut them to size if required. Then spoon a generous layer of the bolognese (use approx half) over the pasta. Now add a layer of pasta sheets on top of the bolognese then spoon a generous layer of the bechamel sauce on top. Add a further layer of pasta, then spoon the rest of the bolognese on top before adding a layer of pasta sheets on top. Pour a generous layer of bechamel on top then sprinkle a good covering of grated cheddar and Parmesan on top.
  8. Add to the centre of the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes until the dish is bubbling and the cheese on top has turned golden. Remove from the oven, it is best to let the dish sit for at least 30 minutes before eating if you can wait that long!
  9. Serve and enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

20171003_162830.jpg

20171003_162808.jpg