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Archive for the ‘Meat Leftovers’ Category

Mulligatawny is such a strange sounding word, but it simply means pepper water.  Rather than being rooted in India, it is thought that Mulligatawny probably originated in Sri Lanka, although it could possibly have come from the Tamil speaking people of South India.  ‘Mulligatawny’ or ‘Milagu Thanni’ is an amalgam of two Tamil words: ‘Millagu’ meaning pepper and ‘Thanni’ meaning water, although the soup we eat is probably closer to another Tamilian soup called Rasam.  Originally a thin soup, under the rulers of the British colonial Raj Mulligatawny became rich and dense.  A Mulligatawny soup recipe such as this one would have been familiar to those Britons who lived and worked during the Imperial Raj, the British rule of the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947.  Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon), a large island just to the south of mainland India, had close ties to Britain but was never part of the Raj.  The British tried to recreate familiar dishes, as far as possible using the new and unusual ingredients they found but the hot climate, lack of refrigeration and unfamiliar cooking facilities would have made this very difficult.  Originally Mulligatawny was served as a vegetarian ‘sauce’, but the British varied the recipe, including meat and other ingredients, often thickening it with rice and adding turmeric to give a yellow colour.  Recipes for Mulligatawny appeared in many Victorian publications including one in the 1870 Nabob’s cook book which featured the addition of ‘fowl’.  Although the soup was popular in India and Ceylon, it was not highly thought of back home in England but the resulting mixture of East and West has cast an influence on British cooking which can still be found today.

I have wanted to make Mulligatawny Soup for some time but when looking for a recipe, as you can imagine from the information above, there is  a great deal of choice.  I knew that I wanted to make a hearty and spicy soup which could be eaten in place of a main meal: the type that would be ideal when the weather is at its January chilliest.  I found two complementary recipes and this version of Mulligatawny Soup is a combination of the best of both.  The sources were Women’s Institute Soups for all Seasons by Liz Herbert and a wonderful recent find (from the secondhand bookstall at the church where my choir meets) The Ultimate Hot & Spicy Cookbook by various authors (published by Lorenz books), which I will certainly be revisiting again and again.  I certainly wanted to add meat, chicken from choice (but this could be varied) and unable to choose between adding rice as in the Women’s Institute Soups for all Seasons and lentils as in The Ultimate Hot & Spicy Cookbook I decided to add both, something I will definitely do again.  The second book also included sultanas, but as I do not like these in curries I have left them out.  The dollop of Mango Chutney (home made, of course!) made it sweet enough for me.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Mulligatawny Soup
(Serves 3-4)

10g/½oz butter
1tbsp olive oil
4 chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite size chunks
or
2 chicken breast fillets, cut into bite size chunks
or
about 8ozs/200g leftover turkey or chicken from a roast
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 medium sized carrot, diced
1 medium sized potato, diced
1 small turnip, diced (optional)
1 tbsp mild madras curry powder (or another powder of your choice)
1 litre/1¾pints chicken stock
2 large tomatoes, chopped (did not skin & deseed as in original recipe)
2-4 cloves (according to personal preference)
6 black peppercorns, crushed lightly
4ozs/100g rice (preferably Basmati)
2ozs/50g red lentils
2ozs/50g sultanas (optional – I left these out)
handful chopped coriander (reserve some for garnish) – or parsley
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Garnish
1tbsp per bowl natural yoghurt/crème fraîche/sour cream (more if you wish)
1tsp per bowl mango chutney
chopped fresh coriander (reserved)
grind of black pepper or light dusting of cayenne pepper/chilli powder

1.  Melt the butter and oil together in a large saucepan.  Turn up the heat and fry the diced raw  chicken quickly turning frequently until it has browned.  (Cooked leftover chicken should be added about 10minutes before the serving which should be just long enough for it to be thoroughly heated through.)  This should take about 2 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

2.  Stir the curry powder into the remaining oil and cook briefly.  Add the onion, garlic, carrot, potato and turnip (if using) to the oil remaining in the pan.  Stir well and turn down the heat.  Cover and cook very gently for about 10 minutes.

3.  Add the stock and stir well.  Add the cloves, crushed peppercorns and chopped tomatoes.  Bring to the boil and reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 2o minutes.

4.  Return the cooked chicken to the pan along with most of the chopped coriander, including the stalky pieces (use just chopped leaves for the garnish).  Add the rice and lentils and simmer gently until they are just cooked, adding a little extra water only if needed.  (If leftover cooked chicken is being used in place of fresh meat, this should be added about 10 minutes before the end of cooking time.)

5.  Remove the cloves before serving if you can find them. Taste and adjust seasoning.  Serve in warmed soup bowls topped with a dollop of natural yoghurt, crème fraîche or sour cream, a spoonful of mango chutney and a scattering of chopped fresh coriander leaves (or parsley).  This can be served with Naan bread if you wish.

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The Peanut, or groundnut as it is sometimes known, is both versatile and protein rich.  Peanut butter, a popular spread, has filled the sandwiches of generations of schoolchildren as well as being a mainstay for expeditions including those to the South and North Poles, plus peanut based paste products have been used to help feed malnourished children in developing countries.  Here in the UK, though, peanuts rarely feature as a cooking ingredient.  Apart from in peanut butter, they are more often thought of as a party snack item, although they are sometimes added, ground and/or whole in biscuits and very occasionally cooked into a nut loaf or nut burgers.  In other parts of the world, including South America, South East Asia, India and parts of Africa, the peanut is widely used either whole, ground into flour or with the oil used for frying in both savoury and sweet recipes.  In India peanuts are eaten in a number of ways: roasted and salted, sometimes with chilli powder added, they can be a savoury snack – and a sweet version when processed with sugar; they can be boiled or give added crunch to salads.  The peanut is native to and almost certainly originated in Peru where specimens can be dated back several millennia.  One well known Peruvian recipe, Papas con Ocopa, is a smooth sauce of roasted peanuts, hot peppers, roasted onions, garlic and oil, served poured over boiled potatoes. On the other side of the world the Indonesians have a number of spicy peanut based sauces, the most well known being Satay and Gado-gado.  In Africa too, where this recipe originates, the peanut commonly appears as an ingredient in stews, both with or without meat.

The original recipe for Chicken & Peanut Stew, comes from the Tesco website as part of a series of international recipes to celebrate World Cup 2010.  Its flavours originate from West Africa and the recipe was taken from the book The Soul Of A New Cuisine: A Discovery Of The Foods And Flavours Of Africa, by Marcus Samuelsson.  In the end I used mostly the same basic method and ingredients with a few slight variations: less chilli and ginger, though more of both would be fine, and I used poached pre-cooked chicken (although chicken thighs would be a good alternative) and added a sweet potato for good measure.  I was concerned that cooking the peanuts would make them lose their crunch but I need not have worried.  The stew was mostly soft in texture but with a delicious peanutty flavour and crunch.  It is a delicious and unusual recipe, not difficult to make and one which I will definitely be repeating.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

West African Style Chicken & Peanut Stew
(Serves 4)

2 medium onions, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2·5cm/1in pieces
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2·5cm/1in pieces
½-1 small chilli – deseed and remove membranes
2.5cm/1inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
2 bay leaves
6 peppercorns, white if available
900ml/1½ pints of water
1tsp chicken stock liquid/½stock cube (unless using fresh chicken pieces)
12ozs cold cooked chicken
or
4 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs
200g/7ozs peanuts, salted or unsalted (seasoning can be adjusted later)
3tbsp olive oil
2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 5cm/2in cubes
4 tomatoes, cut into quarters
500g/1Ib spinach, tough stems removed, washed
Salt, if needed

1.  Put the onion, carrot, sweet potato, chilli, ginger, bay leaves and peppercorns, along with the water and the stock powder/liquid/cube into a medium sized saucepan.  Bring to a boil over a high heat and then reduce the heat to medium.

2.  If using fresh meat it should be added now – previously cooked meat is added later when the potatoes are cooked.  Add the chicken thigh pieces to the pan.  Simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

3.  Toast the peanuts in a dry frying pan on medium heat, shaking occasionally, until you can smell them roasting and they are golden brown.  Once cool, grind 100g /3½oz (half) of the toasted peanuts to a powder.  (This will be used to thicken the stew. The remaining peanuts should be kept whole.)  Put the pan on one side to use later for frying the potatoes.

4.  Remove the chicken from the cooking liquid and put on one side.  Throw away the bay leaves.  Liquidise about half of the vegetable and stock mixture until smooth and then re-combine with the unliquidised mixture and set aside.  If you want a less chunky stew then liquidise all the vegetable and stock mixture.

5.  Put the oil in the frying pan used for roasting peanuts over a medium heat.  Put in the potato pieces and sauté for about 10 minutes until golden brown.

6.   Add the chicken pieces that have been set aside or the pieces of cold cooked chicken and toss for about 10 minutes so they start to brown a little, adding a little extra oil if needed. Remove the pan from the heat.

7.  Return the vegetable purée mixture to the saucepan and bring to the boil.  Stir in both the ground peanuts and the remaining 100g/3½oz whole toasted peanuts until well combined.

8.  Add the tomatoes, browned chicken, potatoes and spinach.  Simmer for around 5 minutes until completely heated through and the spinach has wilted.  Remove from the heat, taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

9.  Serve with rice or crusty bread, if required, as an addition to the potatoes already in the stew.

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A few years ago we visited the Basque region which straddles the South Western French and Spanish borders but although we went into Spain we spent most of our time in France.  One French place we visited was Espelette, home of the famous pepper Piment d’Espelette (Espelette pepper), some of which I brought back from holiday.  I am always looking for ways to use some of this mild dried pepper mixture.  Not long ago I was directed to another post about Piment d’Espelette by London Eats, when it was used as an ingredient in a Spicy Mixed Bean Stew.  I now know I am not the only person (in London too) with a jar of this delicious pepper looking for suitable recipes!

Back in November I came across a quick and easy recipe called Spanish Gammon Hotpot from The Vicar’s Wife.  (Just a few weeks ago I re-posted her wonderful recipe for Whole Orange Cake.)  The word hotpot, however, is a bit too English for me and reminiscent of Lancashire Hotpot, which is something entirely different, so I have renamed it.  Amanda (the Vicar’s Wife) suggested that it was an adaptable recipe, so that is just what I did.  I am not a great fan of baked beans, though I admit they have their uses, instead using a chick peas plus some mushrooms and garlic. (Amanda suggests haricot or cannellini beans as alternatives.)  For the meat content I used a thick bacon steak, but it could just as well be diced bacon or the leftovers from a piece of gammon, or even chunks of lean belly pork, plus some Chorizo sausage added for extra Spanish authenticity.   As well as the smoked paprika I included a small amount of the piment d’Espelette for a little extra heat.  I liked the idea of adding olives – rather sadly I am the only person in our house who likes them – and had intended to do so, but forgot.  There will, however, be a next time.  The meal was served with crusty bread and green salad.  This speedy supper is definitely a meal for my ‘make in 30 minutes max’ category.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Spanish Style Gammon Stew
(Serves 4)

1tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
8ozs chopped bacon or leftover ham/gammon
25g/1oz piece chorizo sausage
50g/2ozs button mushrooms
1 x 400g tin tomatoes, slightly chopped
1 x 400g tin chick peas (originally baked beans)
½-1tsp piment d’Espelette or dried chilli to taste (optional)
1tsp smoked paprika
12-15 stoned halved black or green olives (optional)
Salt/black pepper to taste

1.  Gently fry the onion in the olive oil until soft and translucent.  Stir in the garlic and mushrooms.

2.   If using cooked meat reserve it until later, but uncooked bacon should be added now.  Mix in well and cook for 5 minutes.

3.  Add the chopped pepper, tomatoes and chick peas (or other beans) along with the piment d’espelette and smoked paprika.  Cover with a little water.

4.  Simmer for about 20 minutes until the peppers have softened.

5.  Serve with rice or crusty bread and a green salad.

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My last post was Chunky Vegetable & Pasta Soup: warming, satisfying and meat free.  I thought I would follow it with an equally warming and satisfying one that includes just a little meat: some chicken and bacon.  I am very fond of red lentils too, which cook down to give the soup a warming, slightly grainy thickness.  Although the original recipe specified fresh meat (a boned chicken thigh) I substituted leftover chicken, adding it later in the recipe as it was already cooked.  It is always good to have a variety of ways to use up the remains of a chicken – or even some of the Christmas turkey!  I suspect we will continue to have warming winter soups for some weeks yet so I am sure I will be making this again and very soon.

This is yet another hit recipe from my favourite soup recipe book, initially from the library but then bought with some birthday present money: Women’s Institute Soups for all Seasons by Liz Herbert. In the book it is called The Number One Winter Soup, a rather strange title and although I agree that it is a first class recipe, I did feel I wanted something more helpfully descriptive.  Apart from substituting leftover chicken as I had some available, in place of a chicken thigh, the recipe is more or less as it originally appeared.  I did add a few more lentils to make the portions a little more generous and I have included this information in the instructions below.  (The lower figure is the amount of lentils given in the original.)  This dish is easily adapted by adding a little more of any of the ingredients that are particular favourites plus, of course, it could be completely meat free if the chicken and bacon were removed, vegetable stock substituted and a tin of favourite beans added.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Winter Vegetable, Chicken & Bacon Soup (The Number One Winter Soup)
(Serves 4)

1tbsp olive oil
1tbsp butter
4ozs/125g streaky bacon (about 4 rashers)
1 boneless fresh chicken thigh
   or
4ozs/125g cooked chicken (or turkey)
2 onions, peeled & chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sticks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 parsnip, diced
2 leeks, sliced
3pints/1.7litres weak chicken (or turkey) stock
175g/6ozs red lentils (can increase to 225g/8ozs)
2tbsp chopped fresh parsley (plus a little to garnish)
¼tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

1.  Heat the oil and butter together in a large saucepan.  Cut the bacon into small pieces and gently fry until golden.

2.  If using fresh chicken cut into small pieces and add now.  Cook for 3-4 minutes on a gentle heat until it starts to brown.  (Pre-cooked chicken is added later to prevent it from breaking up.)

3.  Stir in the onions, garlic, celery, carrots, parsnips and leeks.  Cover and cook over a low heat for about 10minutes until they are starting to soften.

4.  Add the stock, lentils, thyme, bay leaf and parsley (remembering to reserve a little parsley to garnish).  Bring to the boil, cook for 10 minutes uncovered, then put on the lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 30minutes.  If using leftover chicken add this 10minutes before serving, which gives enough time for it to adequately heat through.

5.  Before serving check and adjust the seasoning.  Serve in warmed bowls, garnished with the reserved parsley and with some crusty bread on the side.

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Every year I try to find something new to try using the turkey leftovers from Christmas.  After the festive meal we strip the carcass of usable meat, reserving the remainder for turkey soup and stock.  We enjoy some of the meat cold, but the remainder is packaged up into meal sized portions (in our case to feed 3/4 people) and frozen.  We have favourites of course such as Midwinter Turkey Chilli Beanpot, Turkey & Bacon Fricassée and Turkey Flan with Leeks & Cheese .  I had been meaning to try pearl barley in place of rice to make a dish similar to a risotto, so when I came across this recipe I just had to give it a go especially as I needed a recipe that was quick and easy.  Since writing this post I have been reminded through the comments of the reported health benefits of Barley Water, often recommended for kidney health.  Barley Water is mentioned in Wikipedia as a remedy for cystitis, but does not specifically mention the kidneys:  there are numerous other sites which do make the link though, but to which I am not prepared to add a link.   My mother used to use the water in which barley had been boiled and flavour it with slightly sweetened lemon for a version of Lemon Barley Water that was so much better than any brand name bottled variety.  (You can also cheat and use it to water down a commercial lemon – or orange – squash.)

The recipe comes from the website Allrecipes.co.uk, which is a good source of ideas.  The original was called Lemon Barley Pilaf with Chicken.  This is my version which uses Turkey and Bacon.  It can be made with either fresh or pre-cooked turkey (I have given instructions for both) adding the bacon for extra flavour.  (Chicken can be used if you prefer.)  A smaller quantity of leftover meat will be needed than fresh meat and, of course, ready cooked meat is added towards the end of the cooking time as it just needs reheating.  I ‘tweaked’ a few of the other ingredients a little and also used baby Spinach in place of rocket.  The instructions for cooking the pearl barley did not seem to give it long enough, so in line with another recipe I make regularly (Pot Roasted Vegetables and Pearl Barley) I pre-cooked the barley for a short while (about 15 minutes) before adding it to the remaining ingredients.  This recipe got the thumbs up from my family, particularly because of its delicious fresh lemony flavour, so I shall definitely be making it again.  I think it could equally well be made as a conventional risotto using arborio or a similar risotto rice.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Lemon Barley Pilaf with Turkey & Bacon
(Serves 4)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled & diced
1 celery stick, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
225g pearl barley
600ml chicken stock, hot
1 tbsp chopped fresh or 1 tsp dried thyme
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
150g frozen peas
125g/40zs chopped bacon or leftover ham (optional)
325g/12ozs fresh diced turkey/chicken – extra if not using bacon
   or
250g skinned roast turkey/chicken, in small pieces – extra if not using bacon
50g baby spinach (or rocket as in the original recipe)

1.   Place the barley and stock in a saucepan.  Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until partially but not completely cooked.  Check liquid level reguarly to make sure it does dry out, adding a little extra water if needed.

2.  Put the oil in a heavy saucepan and heat over a medium heat. Stir in the onion and if using fresh meat add the diced fresh turkey or chicken and bacon (cooked meats are added later) and cook until it starts to change colour.  Add the carrot, celery and garlic and stir into the mixture.  Cook gently for about 1o minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften but without browning.

3. Stir in the cooked barley along with its cooking stock and bring back to the boil.   Stir in the thyme and lemon zest.  Turn the heat to as low as possible, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally until the barley is almost soft.

4.   Add peas and stir well.  Cover the pan and simmer for a further 4–5 minutes.The barley should be soft and the liquid should disappear but be careful the mixture does not stick so check and stir regularly.  Add the lemon juice.  If needed, a little more boiling water can be added.  Season to taste.

5. If using leftover ready cooked meat then dice it well and add to the pan.  Add the baby spinach leaves, lightly stir through the mixture and cook for no more than 1minute so it is just wilted.

6.  Serve immediately in a bowl with a scattering of grated parmesan (optional).

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Fricassée is a French dish and is a stew of chicken or other poultry, but sometimes of other white meat, rabbit, fish or vegetables.  The meat is cooked in a white gravy, or sauce, which includes cream or (in my version) a similar dairy product.  Many versions add vegetables, particularly mushrooms, often with the addition of a little white wine or dry vermouth.  There is, I gather, a Cajun version which is much darker in colour and served, as I do, with rice.  All of this information was discovered when doing a little research for this preamble, having realised I did not really know what Fricassée was.  I am still not especially any the wiser, apart from confirming that I was right about its French origins.  Although there was no mention of using dark meat, I have a particularly good recipe for Lamb Fricassée, which I really must make again and post on this site.

I have been making my version of this recipe, a family favourite and a particularly good way to use up chicken leftovers from a roast dinner (or turkey at Christmas).  Fresh chicken can be used but it should be included earlier in the recipe once the onion and bacon mixture are partly cooked.  I like to add a little bacon to give extra flavour and often add a selection of the vegetables I have to hand, but always include mushrooms and some frozen peas.  I like to make my version as colourful as possible, the vegetables I include and selected to give a good variety of colour as well as balance of flavour.   I consulted a recipe to double check the ingredient list, but in the end made very few modifications to the one given below, which is mostly my original version.   I found a good one in a slim book of chicken recipes found in a charity shop: Pan-Cooked Chicken Dishes (Pub: IMP Ltd – no obvious author) in the Recipes from Around the World series.  I have often seen copies of this book for sale cheaply and wonder if it was originally given away free with a magazine, or similar.   

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Chicken & Bacon Fricassée
(Serves 4)

½oz/10g butter
1tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 stick celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 leek, cut into rings
4ozs/125g mushrooms, button if available – quartered or finely sliced
4ozs/125g diced streaky bacon – smoked or unsmoked
Small glass of white wine – optional (I usually omit this)
1tsp Herbes de Provence
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper
1tbsp cornflour
150g crème fraîche, soured cream or single cream – or even milk!
8ozs/250g cooked chicken leftovers
   or
12ozs/375g uncooked skinned & boned chicken, cut into strips
Peas, courgette, red pepper (or other colour), sweetcorn – choose 2 or 3
1tbsp lemon juice – optional (for rice)

1.  Melt the butter and olive oil together in a frying pan.  Cut vegetables, apart from leek, into similarly sized pieces so they cook evenly.

2.  Finely chop the onion and gently fry in the covered pan with the garlic, finely chopped carrot, rings of leek, bacon and mushrooms until the onion is transparent and the vegetables have softened.  

3.  Stir in the Herbes de Provence and add the Bay leaf.  If you are using wine it can be added at this point. 

4.  If using fresh chicken add it at this point, stirring well until it starts to change colour.  Put the lid on the pan and cook for 10 minutes.

5.  Add two or three other vegetables – I used peas, diced courgette and diced red pepper. 

6.  Season to taste.  If using pre-cooked chicken cut it into bite sized pieces and add.

7.  Mix (slake) 1tbsp cornflour in a little water and stir into the chicken and vegetable mixture.  Stir well over a low heat until the cornflour mixture thickens the fricassée.

8.  Stir in the crème fraîche, soured cream, single cream or milk and cook through.  It is important that this is done over a low heat otherwise the mixture could curdle. 

9.  Serve on a bed of white rice with a little lemon juice stirred through just before serving.

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This lovely combination of cold chicken and vegetables dressed in a spicy yoghurt mayonnaise and served with hot rice, makes a perfect light but spicy dish for a warm summer evening.  We enjoyed it so much I took the recipe on holiday with me, along with some tomato relish plus little packet containing the spices I needed and then made it in our holiday caravan in the French alps.  (I am always looking for straightforward and quick to prepare holiday recipes, after all it’s my break too!)  The finished dish looks very pretty and would be an attractive addition for a buffet, perhaps as an alternative to the much sweeter Coronation Chicken.  A small portion, perhaps on a bed of lettuce with little or no rice, would make a delicious starter.
Update 6.2.11:  I made this recipe as part of a buffet in a quantity that would serve 50 people.

The recipe came from one of my favourite cookbooks and probably one of my best charity shop finds: Hot & Spicy Cooking: Exciting Ideas for Delicious Meals with recipes by Judith Ferguson, Lalita Ahmed and Carolyn Garner.  Ideally this would be a good use for cold meat left over from a roast.  As I had none I gently pre-cooked some lightly seasoned chicken thighs in a small saucepan along with a little olive oil and some finely chopped onion, allowed them to cool and removed the flesh in strips.  This was then used to finish the recipe. One ingredient that I dispensed with was onion purée.  I certainly was not going to buy a ready made version, if I could find some, as it would be so easy to make myself, but it was rather a lot of work for such a small amount.  In the end I simply gently cooked half a finely chopped small onion in the microwave. On subsequent occasions I have used a good tablespoon of my own home made Spicy Tomato Relish in place of the onion, tomato puree, chilli powder and cayenne pepper, just adding the paprika.  The relish includes a little apple and sugar, making it slightly sweeter, but it was enjoyed by all and I will make it this way in future.  If using tomato relish in the recipe chilli and cayenne can still be added to taste for lovers of spicy food but less will be needed than in the original recipe.  In my version I have also adjusted the proportions of other ingredients, including doubling the quantity of sweetcorn and adding an extra pepper in a different colour.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Mexican Style Chicken Salad
(Serves 6)

450g/1lb poached chicken, breast or meat from thighs, cut into small pieces
140ml/¼pint mayonnaise (more if you wish) – not salad cream
140ml/¼pint natural yoghurt (more if you wish)
1tsp paprika
3 medium peppers, seeded & finely sliced: suggest one each red, orange & green
½ x 325g tin sweetcorn, drained (but more if you wish)
a little paprika to garnish
1tbsp Spicy Tomato Relish
or
1tsp chilli powder
pinch cayenne pepper
½tsp tomato purée
1tsp onion purée

1. a.If using the chicken thighs lightly season them and gently cook in a small saucepan with a little olive oil and some finely chopped onion.  When cooked thoroughly, leave to cool, remove the flesh in strips.  Drain and reserve any cooking liquid, which can be cooled and frozen to use as stock.  Set aside the drained onion unless using tomato relish, in which case it can be kept with the stock if you wish.

b.  If using cold leftover chicken cut it into strips, checking for and removing any gristle.

2.  Deseed the peppers and cut into small strips, a similar size to the strips of chicken.

3.  Open and drain the sweetcorn.

4.  Mix together the yoghurt and mayonnaise.  Stir in either the tomato and onion purées (or onion cooked with the chicken or some onion chopped and gently cooked until transparent) along with the chilli powder and cayenne pepper or the tomato relish, which already contains spices. (If using tomato relish a little additional chilli powder and/or cayenne pepper can be added, according to taste.)

5.  Mix in the sweetcorn, peppers and chicken and stir well.  Chill before serving with warm long grain rice, lightly sprinkled with paprika.  Alternatively serve on a small bed of lettuce leaves.

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I like to try to clear up the last of the frozen turkey remaining from Christmas by the end of January and this lovely warming dish is a perfect way to use up these leftovers, especially the darker meat.  The original recipe I have based this on was called Midsummer Night Turkey Beanpot, but I feel it is perfect for Midwinter, though I am sure it would serve well at any time of year.  I have augmented the original ingredients with a little bacon, some mushroom and a small chopped green pepper, for added colour (peas would be a good alternative), plus suggest it is served with a spoonful of soured cream.

The original recipe came from a British Turkey Federation, now known as the British Turkey Information Service in an advert found in a Woman’s magazine, I believe in the 1980’s.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Midwinter Turkey Chilli Beanpot
(Serves 4)

½oz/15g butter
1tbsp olive oil
2 medium sized onions, peeled and sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 rashers streaky bacon
4ozs/125g button mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into rings
½-1tsp chilli powder, depending on taste
1 level tbsp tomato puree
400ml/14oz can of plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
400ml/14oz can of red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
½pint chicken stock or water with ½chicken stock cube
8-12ozs/250-375g cooked turkey meat
1 green pepper, diced (or 2ozs/70g frozen peas)
Salt & black pepper, to taste
To serve:
Soured cream
Chopped chives or spring onion tops or parsley

1.  Put the butter and oil in a pan and gently fry the onion and garlic until soft but not brown. 

2.  Stir in the bacon, mushroom and carrot and continue to cook for a further 5minutes.

3.  Add the chilli powder and tomato puree, stirring well and then add the tinned tomatoes along with the stock.

4.  Bring to the boil and cook over a gentle heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5.  Meanwhile drain and rinse the red beans, chop the turkey into bite sized pieces and dice the green pepper (peas may be used for colour as an alternative).  Add these to the pan and stir well.  Cook for a further 10minutes until the sauce is reduced and the turkey cooked thoroughly.

6.  Check seasoning and serve either with a jacket potato or on a bed of rice, with a spoonful of soured cream and a sprinkling of snipped chives or spring onion tops or chopped parsley plus a sprinkling of chilli powder.

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Almost every year we eat this flan a day or two after Christmas.  It is an excellent way to use up left over Turkey and is even tastier if you can add a little leftover ham or bacon as well.  As it is a dish for using up leftovers the proportions of meat will depend on what you have left in your fridge. The original instructions call for cheese pastry, however if it is for a family meal I usually simplify it by using ordinary shortcrust pastry.  There is still cheese in the sauce and sprinkled on the surface.  If I was making the recipe for guests I would probably use cheese pastry for a richer result.  You can find the recipes for cheese pastry and shortcrust pastry in a previous post.  This recipe could be made in advance and reheated as needed and would be ideal to take to a shared supper where it could be eaten hot or cold.

Margo, a friend in our last church in Ipswich, Suffolk, was a domestic science teacher.  She found the original recipe in the book Delia Smith’s Christmas (1990 edition) and shared it with us one Christmas when she gave a cookery demonstration.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Turkey Flan with Leeks & Cheese
(Serves 4-6)

One quantity cheese or shortcrust pastry
For the filling:
1tsp butter (for cooking the leeks)
1lb/450g leeks, washed thoroughly and sliced
10-12oz/275-350g cooked turkey, chicken or ham (or a mixture), thinly sliced
3oz/75g cheese, grated
1½oz/40g butter
15fl oz/425ml milk or a mixture of milk and cream
1oz/25g plain flour
a little freshly grated nutmeg
1 large egg, beaten
cayenne pepper
salt and freshly milled black pepper

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 and pop in a heavy baking sheet to pre-heat. Grease and flour a 10inch/25cm quiche tin.

2. Make up a quantity of either cheese or shortcrust pastry

3. Melt the teaspoon of butter in a frying pan and cook the leeks over a low heat for about 6 minutes until they begin to exude some of their juice. If necessary, place the leeks in a sieve to strain off any juices into a bowl and set aside.

4.  Roll out the pastry and line the prepared quiche tin. Place some beans in the flan dish on top of the pastry to prevent it from rising and pre-bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes.

5.  Blend 1½ oz (40 g) butter with the milk and flour in a saucepan, Bring up to the boil, whisking constantly, until the sauce is smooth and thick. Season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Leave the sauce to simmer very gently for 5 minutes.

6.  Remove the pastry case from the oven and arrange the leeks over the base, followed by the slices of turkey, chicken or ham.  

7.  Pour the reserved leek juice into the sauce, add three-quarters of the grated cheese and the beaten egg and mix well. Pour the sauce evenly over the flan sprinkling the remaining cheese on top along with a dusting of cayenne.

8.  Bake the flan at the same temperature as above on the baking sheet for 25-30 minutes or until the flan is well browned.

9.  Serve with a jacket potato and either salad or a simply cooked green vegetable.

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