Waste not, want not for ideas

THE day after Christmas often still has the fridge groaning under the weight of leftovers but with a little thought turkey and ham can easily be used up without resorting to the same thing every day.

Stir-fried turkey is delicious tossed with some crisp vegetables, and this macaroni and ham dish would make a fabulous quick lunch served with crusty bread.

There are a few ingredients in the spicy turkey in lettuce cups, but it takes just minutes to cook once you have the preparation done and is ideal to serve if friends are calling in on Boxing Day.

Have everything chopped and measured out and simply toss it all in the wok while guests enjoy a cold drink then pile the warm mixture into crisp lettuce cups, pass the serviettes and enjoy the accolades.

STIR-FRIED TURKEY WITH RICE, SNOW PEAS, CAPSICUM AND CORIANDER

Ingredients

1 cups jasmine rice 

2 tbs vegetable oil

1 brown onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 large red chilli, finely sliced

1 red capsicum, sliced

100g snowpeas, trimmed and halved

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tbs fish sauce

2 tbs soy sauce

 tsp sesame oil

400-500g cooked chopped turkey meat

 cup coriander leaves, torn

Method

❏Combine jasmine rice with 3 cups cold water and cook covered, over low heat for 10-12 minutes or until tender. Spread on a tray and refrigerate until cold.

❏Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large frying-pan over medium heat and add brown onion, garlic and red chilli. Add capsicum and cooked rice and stir-fry until capsicum is crisp. Add snowpeas, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil and toss to combine. Add turkey meat and cook until heated through.  

❏Remove from heat and add coriander leaves. Toss gently and serve.

 Serves 4.

SPICY TURKEY IN LETTUCE CUPS

 Ingredients

6-8 cup-shaped lettuce leaves

1 tbs dry sherry

1 tbs soy sauce

 1 tsp oyster sauce

½ tsp sugar

1 tsp cornflour mixed with 3 tbs water

25g bean thread noodles

2 tbs peanut oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp grated ginger

250g minced or very finely chopped cooked turkey meat

½ cup canned water chestnuts, drained and chopped

2-3 red chillies, finely chopped (or to taste)

1 cup beansprouts

Sweet chilli sauce, to serve

 Method

❏Wash lettuce leaves and chill in a plastic bag in the fridge.

❏In a small bowl combine sherry, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and cornflour. Stir to combine and set aside.

❏Soak the noodles in a bowl with enough hot water to cover for 5 minutes until tender then drain and cut into shorter lengths. Set aside.

❏Heat peanut oil in a wok over medium heat and add garlic and ginger and stir-fry until aromatic. Remove from heat and set aside.

 ❏When ready to serve, re-heat mixture in wok, add turkey and noodles with chestnuts and chillies and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add beansprouts, stir sherry mixture well and add to wok. Stir to combine. When heated through remove from heat and pile mixture into lettuce cups. Serve with chilli sauce. 

MACARONI WITH HAM, ASPARAGUS AND BABY SPINACH

Ingredients

450g macaroni

2 tbs butter

1 onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2cm and blanched

300g ham, diced

1 cup light pouring cream

½ cup grated parmesan

2 handfuls baby spinach leaves 

salt and pepper

 Method

❏Cook macaroni in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water.

❏Heat butter in a large pan and add onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat until onion is soft then add asparagus and ham and cook until heated through. Stir in cream and grated parmesan and simmer for a couple of minutes until cream thickens slightly. 

❏Add spinach and salt and pepper and cook until spinach is wilted. Pour ham mixture over drained pasta and cooking water and toss gently to combine. Serve  with extra shaved parmesan. Serves 4. 

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