Turkey is the mainstay of many a Christmas Day meal, but what about the turkey as a source of meat and protein throughout the year? I love turkey and always think it should appear on our dinner tables more, whether roasted (or even better post Christmas cold leftovers), or using minced turkey. So I’ve decided to post my five favourite turkey meals (the first of a monthly series of Favourite Five posts highlighting five microrecipes on a theme). This month’s list is not a definitive five, but I think turkey should (to paraphrase a famous advertising campaign) be for life, not just for Christmas.
Turkey meatballs – I’m a big fan of meatballs, and turkey mince makes a really great, light, version. They’re also simple to make, combine turkey mince, a handful of breadcrumbs, a little grated parmesan, sweated onions and mixed herbs (I used a mix of dried herbs from the allotment). Once combined, form the mixture into small meatballs. Brown in a pan, then pour a tomato sauce over the meatballs and cook in the oven for ten minutes.
Turkey Sliders – The kids are big fans of these. The basic mix is similar to the meatballs above, combining turkey mince, breadcrumbs and some mixed herbs. Make into small patties and cook on a griddle pan, so they get charred edges. We tend to serve them in a small bun with a bit of melted cheese on top, gherkins and a red onion relish.
Turkey Noodles – Another family favourite. Combine a tbsp. of honey, oyster sauce and soy, mix and then grate a little fresh ginger into the liquid. Cut some turkey breast into dice and add to the sauce. Slice peppers, onions and cabbage into thin strips and stir fry until cooked with a bit of bite, add the turkey from the marinade and continue to fry until meat is cooked through. Pour in the remaining marinade and then add straight to wok noodles and cook for a couple of minutes before serving.
Turkey Schnitzel – Use a large piece of turkey breast. Place it between two layers of cling film and then use a rolling pin to flatten the breast to 5-8mm thick. This makes it much easier and quicker to cook the meat. Dust the meat in flour, then a beaten egg, and finally cover in breadcrumbs. To cook the turkey, place a knob of butter in a large frying pan and heat until bubbling. Place the meat into the butter and cook for a few minutes on each side; turning when the breadcrumbs are golden.
Turkey and Ham Pie – This is a classic way to use up leftover turkey after Christmas, but a good recipe for anytime of year really. Slowly cook a chopped onion and some thyme in a little oil until soft and fragrant. Stir in a little flour and cook for a short while before adding half a cup of stock. Continue to stir as the liquid thickens, then season. Add cooked turkey and ham in bite size pieces and combine. This is the pie mix. To top you could use mash (as in a shepherds pie), but I tend to use a shop bought puff pastry. Pop in huge oven for 30 minutes and you have a delicious pie.