It’s inevitable. There will be leftovers. And if you’re not careful they won’t be as tasty the second time around… So feel free to plan for this occasion, take some suggestions and apply an alternative method to all of that turkey meat that even the champion eater of the Christmas table won’t be able to finish.
We’ve got some ideas for dressing this bird in a few different flags for your Xmas day supper or your boxing day spread.
If you’d rather stick to the obligatory turkey, cranberry and stuffing sandwich – by all means do, but if you want to mix things up with some global flavours, keep reading!
1. Vietnamese Banh Mi –a sandwich with added flavour explosions
Banh Mi – a baguette style sandwich that was introduced to Vietnam by France originally consisted of a baguette with butter and ham or pate. Bread soon became an accepted part of Vietnamese cuisine to rival the staple carbohydrate, rice.
After the French rule ended, the Vietnamese started to add their own ingredients to the sandwich, swapping the butter for a type of mayonnaise, and adding pickled vegetables and chilli for little bursts of flavour. Instead of ham, thinly sliced beef, pork or chicken was used as the main filling, but pate is still found along with the main fillings. With street food vendors becoming more and more prevalent, this dish grew to become what is now one of the most popular street-food dishes in Vietnam and further afield!
We quite like a turkey Banh Mi, and this makes 4 small baguettes.
You will need:
For the spicy mayo:
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp hot sauce (sriracha or sweet chilli sauce)
- 1 lime
For the veg:
- 1 carrot, coarsely grated
- ½ cucumber, chopped into thin slices
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsps white wine vinegar (or rice wine vinegar, if you have)
For the turkey:
- 200g leftover cooked turkey
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 medium baguettes, halved, and then sliced horizontally
- chicken pate (if you have it), cut into slices
- a handful of coriander leaves
Put the oven on low to heat the baguettes a bit later on.
For the dressing, mix together the mayonnaise and the chilli sauce with the juice of half a lime.
For the pickled veg, add the white wine vinegar and sugar to a mixing bowl, and then add the cucumber and carrots. Mix well and put in the fridge for 20 mins or so.
Heat a frying pan with a little oil and then add the shredded turkey. Stir fry for 2-3 mins until warmed through, then add the soy sauce and a squeeze of lime juice and fry for a couple of mins to fully coat all the turkey strips. Season with salt and pepper.
To assembly your banh mi, heat the baguettes in the oven for a couple of mins, then slice them in half lengthways and spread the spicy mayo on the top half of the bread. Place some thin slices of pate onto the bottom half of the bread (if you have some).
Layer some coriander leaves on the bottom half (if using), then put some shredded turkey on top.
Drain the carrot and cucumber of all the liquid and then place a spoonful on top of the turkey. Add more coriander leaves, if desired.
Press the sandwich together and enjoy!
2. Turkey Quesadillas
This next one doesn’t have too much in common with a sandwich other than the fact that it also has a delicious filling between 2 flat slices of starchy goodness.
The Mexican quesadilla is another popular street-food dish that has been adapted by various countries and filled with a variety of ingredients. We’re using the Mexican concept, but we’ll be adding in a little bit of leftover stuffing in with the turkey and swapping salsa for some hot cranberry sauce.
You will need:
- 6 soft tortillas
- 4 tbsps cranberry sauce
- 200g leftover turkey, shredded
- 150g cheese, a hard cheese grated or brie/camembert thinly sliced
- 3-4 tbsps crème fraiche (for dipping)
- 3-4 stuffing balls, roughly chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped (mix this through the cranberry sauce if you like)
Lay out 3 tortillas and spread some cranberry sauce over them evenly. (Or you omit this step and serve the cranberry sauce on the side as a dipping sauce)!
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the shredded turkey and the stuffing and stir fry to warm through. Then remove from the pan and put to one side.
Carefully wipe down the pan so there is no food left in it, then add some more oil.
Put a tortilla into the pan (cranberry sauce side up) and then build a quesadilla by placing some cheese and then some turkey and stuffing on top, spreading it evenly around the tortilla.
Add some more cheese and then put another tortilla on top, pressing down to melt it together. Carefully flip the quesadilla, adding some more oil or butter if needed.
When the other side of the quesadilla is golden brown, remove it from the pan and put on a chopping board. Repeat with the other tortillas.
Cut the quesadillas into wedges and then dip into crème fraiche!
N.B you could do just turkey and cheese quesadillas, and just stuffing and cheese quesadillas – it’s up to you!
3. The Cuban Sandwich
Last but not least is another Central American “sandwich” of sorts, but a long way from the quesadilla. The Cubano or “Cuban sandwich” is something we’ve mentioned before, but have to mention again as it’s so tasty and easy. You can make your own versions of it with leftover turkey or pork, or even beef if you want to mix it up.
Have a look at our recipe here on our Christmas food twist list.
Whatever you do, don’t let your leftovers go to waste – chances are they’ll taste better the next day anyway as flavours will have had a chance to really infuse the meat! Get creative and let us know how you get on in your own test kitchen!