Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday left-overs

On December 23rd, my husband and I braved the icy streets of our nearest market town to pick up our turkey and other Christmas feast groceries.  Although the pre-ordered turkey was the biggest size (14 pounds) that could fit into our (fairly small) oven, my husband panicked that it just wouldn't be big enough to feed the 10 of us sitting at the Christmas table.  (What is it about Christmas that makes us all wildly over-cater?)  So we bought a large ham, too.

On December 26th, I had the following left-overs in the refrigerator:  half a 14 pound turkey, two-thirds of large ham, nearly half of a large dish of sausage/walnut/apple/chestnut stuffing, a dish of cranberry relish, brussel sprouts, broccoli and carrots, and a vast tub of gravy.

First day of left-overs: 
Lunch:  turkey sandwiches, of course.  When I was a child, I enjoyed a small slice of turkey on a buttered roll.  Now that I am a larger, more gluttonous person, I realize that the proper turkey sandwich should be this:  a thin layer of mayonnaise, then several slices of turkey, then a generous smear of cranberry sauce, followed by an equally generous wodge of stuffing.  A handful of potato chips on the side. Delicious! 

Dinner:  a lentil soup, made from some sauteed purple onion and garlic cloves, the ham stock, a few bay leaves, the last bits of celery, puy lentils and a few big handfuls of chopped-up ham.

Second day of left-overs:
Lunch:  turkey sandwiches, again.  Four instead of six of us today.  We've eaten all of the good bits now, and the carcass is ready to be boiled for soup . . . (which will be day three of left-overs)

Dinner:  ham and turkey pie, with warmed-up broccoli and carrots on the side. (And also making use of the left-over double cream and the extra leeks that we didn't need)

doesn't that lovely pink and green look Christmassy?

Ham and Turkey Pie
(adapted from a recipe by Angela Hartnett that I saw in The Times.)

an ounce or two of butter, depending on how many leeks you use (or onions, if you lack leeks)
two chopped leeks (just the nice pale green and white bits; leave off the thick ends)
two tablespoons of flour
a pile of left-over ham and turkey (roughly 500 grams or a pound is necessary, but you can add more)
two big tablespoons of double cream (or more, if you like it really creamy)
approximately 12 ounces of turkey stock (or chicken, if you haven't boiled up your turkey)
some chopped parsley, salt and pepper -- to taste

Couldn't be easier . . . melt the butter in a large saucepan, and saute the leeks until soft -- but still bright in color.  Add a couple of tablespoons of flour, and stir to thicken.  Slowly add the stock and then the cream -- stirring until smooth.  Let the mixture come to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer.  Add the meat, some chopped parsley, and a grinding of salt (if needed) and pepper. 

Transfer to a pie dish and cover with pastry.  The original recipe called for puff pastry, but I made a simple pastry with these proportions:  two ounces of vegetable shortening, two ounces of butter, 1 1/2 cups of flour, a teaspoon of salt and a few tablespoons of iced water.

Easy-peasy, and why not add peas?  If you have any left-over.


Char said...

I love how you made three days on one turkey. Sandwich leftovers are my favorite too. YUM

Anne said...

Oh! I do this, too. I'm so horrified at the prospect of running out of food and people going hungry that I inevitably buy and prepare far more food than the expected crowd will ever eat. Sounds like your meals made good work of the leftovers.

We've traditionally done our sandwiches open-face: toasted bread, a smear of cranberry, a few slices of turkey, and a good ladling of gravy, with stuffing on the side to mop up the extra gravy. Yum!

julochka said...

that ham and leek pie filling looks like it would be perfect for filling these little "tartelette" pastry shells i can buy in the grocery store here in denmark. and much better than the usual concoction of chicken and canned white asparagus that most people use...

Bee said...

Char - we didn't actually finish the ham until New Year's Eve. I think that I stretched that pig as far as it could go.

Anne - never knowingly undercatered! My mom said it was like being in a bakery . . . and not sure that was a compliment.

Julochka - That tart idea is a good one. And I would make this again, but I would leave out the turkey and just have the nice juicy ham. I didn't think the turkey added much.

Anonymous said...

Amazing as always


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