Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cooking to Save the Planet: What About Those Thanksgiving Leftovers? (Curried Turkey Salad and Sweet Potato Salads)

So, you now have all that turkey left over, and perhaps sweet potatoes, too, if you merely baked them for the Thanksgiving dinner,* and didn't fuss with them, as is our wont in the American South, where they're likely to be served candied to accompany the ham that's as essential as turkey on our Thanksgiving table.  Candied, as in cubed and cooked slowly in a rich syrup of butter and brown sugar until they begin to be translucent, then tossed with pecan pieces, bits of orange and orange peel, and nutmeg and perhaps a bit of allspice.  And some pineapple chunks if you want to gild the lily.  And the whole rich mess finished in the oven until it's bubbling and brown on top.

But I digress.  First the turkey, which you're almost certain to have leftover aplenty, unless you fed the multitudes.  Here's a curried turkey salad we like to make after Thanksgiving and Christmas:

Take about 3 cups cubed (and cooled) turkey, and toss it with 2 cups chopped apples, 1/3 cup slivered roasted almonds, 1 rib of celery finely chopped, 2 spring onions finely chopped (with their green blades), 1/4 cup raisins.  In a bit of olive oil, sauté two medium red bell peppers cut into thin strips, and when they're tender, add to the tossed salad.  

Make a dressing by mashing the yolks of 2 hard-cooked eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon curry powder, and 1/4 teaspoon each of powdered cumin and cinnamon, and a sprinkle of powdered cardamom and coriander seed.  Slowly beat in 1/4 cup wine vinegar and 1/3 cup olive oil.  Add a toe of finely chopped garlic.  Mix well with the salad mixture and chill.  Serve on lettuce leaves.

And now two sweet potato salads, if you have baked sweet potatoes on hand (as I've mentioned in a previous posting, I keep trying to figure out ways to make this vegetable, which I find unpalatable--in contrast to almost any other vegetable--appealing to myself).  First sweet potato salad:

Take 2 baked sweet potatoes, cooled, peeled, and cubed, and mix with a coarsely chopped apple, a chopped rib of celery, 1/4 cup raisins (packed), 1/4 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup brown sugar (packed), 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.  Mix well, let sit a while, and serve slightly chiled.

Second sweet potato salad: take 2 baked sweet potatoes, cooled, peeled, and puree their flesh with 1/2 cup pineapple juice and 1 heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise.  Toss with 10 ounces of drained pineapple chunks, 1 medium apple, diced, and 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts.  Serve slightly chilled.

*And happy Thanksgiving to American readers, and apologies to readers outside the U.S. for the focus of this posting on this Americo-centric celebration.

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