And a Merry Christmas to All!
Now, I know I said the Stuffing recipe was going to be the last pre-Christmas post, and originally, I WAS going to post this on Christmas Day, but then I got to thinking that some advance notice of a recipe idea for Monday might lessen the frazzle levels of some households out there.
Christmas lunch is traditionally a big celebration – of food, family and friends – but it takes a lot of work to pull it all together at the right time so that everything is piping hot and cooked to perfection. So the last thing any hostess (or host!) needs is to have to do it all again the next day.
Cue a rousing John Williams superhero refrain, for this is where I swoop in and save the day with my Turkey Encore (which could work equally well if you’re having something other than turkey on the 25th) – a little Deja Food dish that can be rustled up super fast on Boxing Day.
As with most Deja Food, it’s more assembly instructions than strict recipe quantities – go with whatever vegetables you have to hand from the previous day, with one or two fresh items thrown in to perk up the overall taste. It comes together really quickly, with all the taste and flavours of a full roast meal, but with a fraction of the time and effort. I love this so much, sometimes I specifically cook vegetables the day before I want to serve this, for that true Deja Food taste (cooked the same day just doesn’t taste the same) and use turkey mince.
A selection of cooked vegetables, e.g.
boiled diced swede
fresh cranberries (dried is fine also)
1tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
cooked turkey and a little stock (or 500g turkey mince)
- Measure out equal quantities of the cooked vegetables (I use a large mug), celery and stuffing, keeping them separate from each other.
- Chop them so that they are all approximately the same size. I usually halve or quarter the sprouts, halve the parsnip slices and leave the diced swede as is.
- Use the same measure for the fresh cranberries. If using dried cranberries, use about 1/3 of the quantity.
- Gently stir-fry each of the vegetables separately in a little vegetable oil. You want them to be warmed through and to pick up a little caramelisation as well – which adds such a wonderful flavour and is why Bubble and Squeak is such a favourite. The sweet parsnips and nutty sprouts are especially lovely with this ‘just-caught char’.
- NB The secret to keeping the visual appeal of this dish is to re-cook each vegetable gently, tip them into the one dish to keep warm – a roasting tin with a foil ‘lid’ is excellent. Keep it in a medium (140°C/120°C Fan) oven between batches of vegetables. Toss everything together only right at the end. Keep a light touch.
- Cook the fresh cranberries: in a dry pan, toss them gently over medium heat until they pop. Add to the rest of the vegetables. If using dried cranberries, add directly to the vegetables.
- Stir-fry the celery. You want it to soften slightly, but still retain a little crunch. Cook the onions until softened. Add both to the rest of the vegetables.
- Cube the stuffing and stir-fry gently until crunchy on the outside.
- The turkey. If you’re using cooked turkey, heat the pan and then add cubed meat, the herbs and the stock at the same time. The stock will boil and the resulting steam will both heat the meat and keep it moist. If you’re using turkey mince, then heat 2 tbs vegetable oil in the pan and add the turkey mince. Sprinkle the herbs, season with salt and pepper and stir briskly. There is sufficient moisture in the raw mince, so no additional stock is necessary. Continue cooking the mince until the moisture has evaporated and the meat has started to brown in places NB ‘no longer pink’ is NOT the same as ‘started to brown’ – you want the pan to be dry of liquid and to be able to see brown patches on the cooked meat. Add to the rest of the ingredients.
- Tumble together and enjoy at once.
 If you’ve never roasted chestnuts before, the easiest and best way to go about this is to follow the great how-to instructional video from Chef John of Foodwishes.com HERE.