Friday, November 25, 2016

The Leftover Issue

What to do with those scores of leftovers? Not surprisingly Wednesday's New York Times Food section came out with its' leftover issues. After all, it guided home chefs through the prepping and cooking their Thanksgiving meal. It should be no different the day after. There are some innovative dishes to try with what's left of your holiday  bounty.

If you're tired of tetrazzini or turkey sandwiches you may want to read  Samin Nosrat's contribution to the Food section.Chef Nosrat not only cooks but writes a popular blog. She spices up the usually bland meat with a dazzling array of spices and ideas. Turkey is an excellent canvas because it easily absorbs other flavors which only accentuate its mild gaminess.If you're looking for a light leftover then think the Vietnamese chicken noodle soup pho ga .It' a clear broth zested up with star anise, ginger, and fish sauce.It does require turkey broth but if you don't have it  then sub in chicken broth.There's also brown sugar and fish sauce.If you don't have or can't find the last mix up soy sauce with hoisin and use that.The soup also has yellow onion too for flavor and texture. The onions and ginger can either be charred over an open flame or broiled on a foil-lined baking sheet. Pho ga is a fun soup because eaters can customize it from a platter of add-ins such as mung beans, cilantro, Thai basil, limes, and jalapenos. It can be fragrantly herbal or zingy with fire. It's also a comforting noodle soup thanks to also having rice vermicelli added, perfect on a cold November night.

Chef Nosrat also gives us turkey mole verde and turkey tikka marsala. The first is a nod to Mexican cooking and is a great way of combining light and dark meat.It's not the typical mole recipe that requires cocoa  but a green one made up of  tomatillos, chard  romaine leaves, jalapeno,cilantro, and oregano. Again it does require turkey stock but chicken can do nicely here.It also has an interesting paste made from pumpkin and sesame.It can be served with steamed white rice or corn tortillas.For an entirely different spin Chef Nosrat gives us turkey tikka masala.It's marinating four cups of the bird in a bright  and spicy bath of garam masala, coriander ,cumin, paprika and turmeric blended with crushed garlic and plain yogurt.The masala  calls for ghee or clarified butter but you can also use a neutral tasting oil such as vegetable or olive.This is made separately with tomatoes and serrano peppers as the marinated turkey is broiled  until it blackens in spots. This  usually takes five to six minutes..Before combining the meat and masala, the masala has to be pureed for a smoother texture, The turkey is then added to this and simmered for five to ten minutes, with an occasional stir until it's done. Garnish with cilantro and serve with steamed basmati rice.

Don't  let that turkey languish in the fridge.Use it in fun and spicy recipes that will accentuate its' gamey , sweet mildness. It is the perfect canvas for all sorts of flavors and techniques.

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