The days between Christmas and New Year can be something quite special. A lot of us have been fortunate to take a few days holiday and to be able to sit back and properly relax and there are plenty of friends and family around to catch up with. But what really defines these few days is the fact that any kind of meal plan or healthy and acceptable eating goes completely out of the window. Every meal is followed by a cheese board that just doesn’t seem to be going down, there is a constant flow of leftover party food such as sausage rolls and we are all desperate to just do something different with that leftover turkey and ham. There is absolutely no shortage of food and the leftovers are practically screaming out to be eaten. When, at any other time of the year, is it possible for us to properly relax – and eat! – like this?
It is also during these days that myself in particular is craving something with a little spice and heat. The run up to Christmas is a time for plenty of special meals, party food and home cooking but this is often traditional foods made up of plenty of meat and fish and served with seasonal veg. It is around about this time of the year when I simply want to eat something that will set my mouth on fire and a dish that uses a variety of spices. It is why this Leftover Turkey Panang Curry works so well. Panang is one of my favourite Thai curry’s and is very similar to a red curry but with more of a peanut nutty flavour. The sauce itself takes very little time to cook and so it is a very quick and easy dish for all that leftover turkey.
I simply add the turkey right at the end as it doesn’t need cooking and to avoid it drying out. I also make my own paste but as a tip you can easily just buy some Thai red curry paste that makes this dish even more simple and easy to prepare!
- Leftover turkey
- 70g unsalted (shelled) peanuts (crushed)
- 400ml tin coconut milk
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 kafir lime leaves
- 1 tsp palm sugar or light muscovado sugar
- Juice of 1 lime
- Small handful of fresh Thai basil (finely chopped)
- Small bunch fresh coriander (finely chopped)
- 2 red chillies (finely sliced)
- 1 red pepper (middle and stalk removed and finely sliced)
- Handful of mushrooms (roughly diced)
- For the paste:
- 1 shallot (peeled and finely chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 stalks lemongrass (outer layer removed and finely sliced)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- small handful fresh Thai basil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Juice of 1 lime
- Sunflower oil
- Salt/ pepper
- In a food processor/ small blender add all the ingredients for the paste and whizz until blended and smooth.
- In a large, deep pan add a dash of sunflower oil. Once hot add the paste and cook gently for around 5 mins.
- Add the red pepper and mushrooms and cook for another 2 mins.
- Then pour in the coconut milk and mix well. Leave to gently simmer for around 5 mins.
- Add the fish sauce, lime leaves and chillies to the pan and keep on a gentle simmer for just another 4-5 mins.
- Add the leftover turkey to the pan and cook for around 2-3 mins, just until the turkey is warmed through. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the peanuts, coriander and Thai basil. Mix well and serve immediately with some rice on the side.
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