Saturday, November 28, 2009

Four turkey sandwiches, and one soup

So it's time to eat leftover turkey. In the past, I've not been very fond of the stuff, mostly because I would always find it masquerading as other meats in places where I didn't think it belonged (tacos ... "beef" stroganoff ... spaghetti). And turkey does have a very distinctive flavor which doesn't blend well with everything -- especially the dark meat.

Therefore, as I eat my leftover turkey, of which I have a good quantity, I'm trying to stick to a few turkey-appropriate recipes and not wander too far off the beaten path. This is especially important considering that I am pretty sure my husband does not want turkey curry or turkey stirfry, or indeed anything international and strongly flavored. (More's the pity.)

So far, I have come up with a very large pot of soup. I estimate that the turkey carcass got me at least a half gallon of stock, probably more. I put a quart in the freezer and made soup out of the rest. John and I ate, between the two of us, about four bowls of soup. The rest fit into a medium-sized pot, which will probably serve us for at least one more dinner and one more lunch.

My recipe for the soup was very basic: the turkey stock, the meat from picking over the carcass (this was actually enough, without getting into any of the carved meat. It included the neck meat and the giblets, as well as all kinds of little bits that clung to the bones and were really nasty to pick out this morning from the cartilage and fat), brown rice, peas, onions, and carrots. These last two I sauteed in butter before putting them in.

Now this made a very boring soup, even after I salted, peppered, and garlicked it. However, I knew it had been as seasoned as John would like it. So I left it as it was, but in every bowl of it I eat, I intend to season it a little more. Today's dinner was turkey curry soup. I put in a good shake of curry and some sour cream. It was delicious! Other ideas include soy sauce and Mexican spices (not at the same time!).

Aside from the soup, I've also been enjoying the turkey in sandwiches. I find sandwiches are best with the white meat ... at any rate, that is how I like to eat all that white meat. (This turkey had so much white meat and so little dark! How do turkeys walk when they're so ... well-endowed?) I have come up with four different combinations, not all of which I've tried this time around, but which I intend to.

1. Turkey on white bread with cranberry sauce. That's it. It was delicious toasted.

2. Turkey on wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, onion, and ranch dressing. Also good toasted. Would have been even better with bacon.

3. Turkey on white bread with gravy. Traditionally served hot and open-faced.

4. Turkey on wheat with lettuce, tomato, etc. (John's sandwiches get very vegetable-y, to good effect: lately cucumbers and green peppers are in evidence) and brown mustard.

I've read up a little on turkey sandwich combinations, but unfortunately most of them are loaded with ingredients I don't have. I just don't keep avocado or kale around the house in case of a sandwich craving, and I don't really plan my grocery shopping around gourmet sandwiches. Luckily all of the above sandwiches are made with things most people have in their fridge this time of year. Let me know if you improve on any of them ... or have another easy-to-make turkey sandwich idea. I've got to eat lunch all week, after all.


Sheila said...

I haven't decided, by the way, what cheese goes best with turkey. Cheddar is my favorite cheese, but I often go with white cheeses for sandwiches. Any input?

Meredith said...

Hmm... swiss? provolone? Maybe provolone.

Good for you for making all that stock! I do believe that making your own stock is what separates the women from the girls... heh, I don't eat enough meat to save parts, so I have stock-in-a-box.

Your sandwich ideas jogged my memory: I made a great acquisition on Saturday. A panini press - for three dollars at a garage sale! Now I need to make a sandwich...

You can also make a casserole with turkey, but I think sandwiches sound more entertaining, personally. Yours sound yummy!

I wonder if you can make Bourbon Chicken with turkey? It is a delicious recipe, and might be good with turkey. Hmmm.

Sheila said...

If you're low on meat, why not save all your chicken bones for awhile in the freezer? When you have a good number, make stock from those. It will take a lot of simmering, but you do get some extra nutrition over the stock-in-a-box option. As the gelatin cooks out of the bones, it makes the stock gell-able and also very good for you.

Chicken bourbon sounds good; how do you make it? (Normally I would not waste good bourbon by cooking with it -- but it is the only way I can get it now, without getting the kid tipsy too.) Unfortunately I can't make it with turkey now -- we have already eaten it all!

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