Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas leftovers

First published Canberra Times December 21 2011
What to do with the mountain of food left overs from Christmas Day is always tricky, especially when the ravenous appetites have been sated by the excesses of the last few days.  No one wants to hear the words ‘turkey’ or ‘ham’ ever again.

I usually freeze what I can or gradually use them in dishes that are cleverly disguised as something else. You might be surprised when a few tasty sauces or dressings are added how appetites can return. 

Both of these dishes are a complete meal in themselves, alleviating the time spent in the kitchen. The risotto is served warm, although it can be prepared in advance and reheated in the microwave oven. Risotto ingredients are generally on hand found in the pantry.

Turkey, Apple and Potato Salad
Photo by Steve Shanahan
Quantity serves 4

4 shallots
2 tbsp vegetable oil
750g baby or chat potatoes
1 red apple
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 zucchini, thickly sliced
400g cooked turkey meat
2 tbsp chopped parsley
cracked black pepper
½ cup roasted pine nuts or walnuts

½ cup whole egg mayonnaise
3 tspn Dijon mustard
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice

Slice the green part of the shallots into long thin strips. Chop the white parts of the shallots and set aside. Heat the oil in a shallow frying pan and fry the sliced green part of the shallots until they are crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes, or until just tender when pierced with a pointy knife. Drain and allow to cool, then cut in halves or quarters.

Cut the unpeeled apple into thin wedges and immediately toss with lemon juice to prevent discolouring.
Boil or microwave the zucchini until tender, then drain and refresh in cold water.

For the dressing, stir the ingredients together in a small bowl, then season to taste.

Photos by Steve Shanahan
Cut the leftover cooked turkey meat into thin strips and put in a large bowl. Add the potato, white sliced shallot, apple, zucchini, parsley, nuts and pepper and drizzle the dressing over the top and gently toss until well combined. Serve topped with the crispy fried shallot.

Pea and Ham Risotto
Quantity serves 4.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 celery stick, chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
75g sliced ham, coarsely chopped
1 ½ cups frozen peas
¾ cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken stock
60g butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
¼ cup grated Parmesan
shaved Parmesan for serving

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the celery, parsley and some freshly ground black pepper and cook, stirring, over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes to soften the celery. Add the ham and stir well. Add the peas and half the wine, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.

Put the stock, remaining wine and 3 cups of water in a separate pan and keep at simmering point.

Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and stir until softened. Add the rice and stir well. Gradually stir in the hot stock mixture, ½ cup at a time, making sure the liquid has been absorbed before adding more. Stir constantly over low heat with a wooden spoon, until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is creamy and tender. This will probably take about 25 minutes. Season to taste.

Add the pea mixture and grated Parmesan to the rice and serve with Parmesan shavings and black pepper.