Friday, November 26, 2010


Most people stuffed with the Thanksgiving feast, are wondering what to do with leftovers.

When the kids were still at home, I would shred the remaining turkey and freeze it, using it later in turkey stir fried rice.
It's easy: take any stir fried rice recipe and substitute shredded turkey for the meat/chicken in the recipe.
I've even minced left over turkey in the food processor and frozen it for use in keema fry, koftas, kebabs and turkey burgers....the roasted turkey is lean and delicious.
My turkey burgers are made with finely chopped onion, cilantro,minced ginger, pepper and chilli powder. Fry half the chopped onion, add everything else including turkey mince, shape into patties and fry on non stick skillet using a little Pam spray on each side of the burger to brown it.
If the burger is too dry and falls apart...add a beaten egg to the mixture.
To lessen the carbs my 'burgers' go between two slices of bread instead of a bun.
These burgers, broken into little pieces are excellent used as a stuffing in tomatoes/bell peppers.

In fact, I decided some years ago, that I like turkey left overs better than the actual roast turkey, going so far as to roast a small turkey just to have enough to use in the dishes I like best.

Over the last month, I've been collecting other stuffed recipes and came up with this list:

Tomatoes stuffed with: pilaf, or biriyani, or tomato rice, or 'fried keema': a dish I make with turkey mince, garam masala and lots of fried, chopped onion.
Leftover roast turkey mince is great for this.
Stuffing must be dry when done and fairly cool before use.
Slice the top of the tomato carefully, saving the piece for a 'hat'.
Using a teaspoon or a grapefruit spoon, scoop out the inside carefully.
This pulp can be added to stuffing and cooked till dry, or saved for another dish.
Even the firmest tomatoes have a lot of moisture inside (picture 1) so I patted mine dry with a paper towel.
Stuff tomatoes, put 'hats' on, smear outside of tomatoes with olive oil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes...if you like your tomatoes cooked more/broiled...go for it.
I don't like my tomatoes squishy hence the short baking time.
I used tomatoes on the vine...and they looked great.

Capsicums/bell peppers do well with the above stuffings too.
My favorite stuffing for this is: potatoes.
For the potatoes: fry chopped onion, add one tomato, chilli powder and one chopped green chilli, chopped coriander, a little minced garlic and ginger, a pinch of turmeric, and cooked cubed potatoes.
Keep frying till all the moisture is absorbed.
Slice a 'hat' off the capsicum, de-seed, remove white membranes, stuff the potatoes into the peppers, put hats back on, smear outside of capsicum with olive oil and bake at 350 for 45 mins or longer.
Optional: When HD used to cook, he would leave hats off and top with a little butter.
These can also be left open, sprinkled with Italian breadcrumbs and dotted with butter before baking.
For capsicums I like the outside brown and well done.
The potatoes look so good in green or red capsicums/ bell peppers.
The yellow capsicums show off keema and biriyani well.
A tray of assorted bell peppers (some hatless), look great at a party.

In India, I've had small bell peppers stuffed with masala which were scrumptious.

Eggplant/brinjal/aubergine is another great veggie to stuff with keema/mince, or with fried prawns.
Slice the big American eggplant into half lengthwise, scoop out inside.
I broil the inside separately and make an eggplant 'bharta' with it (recipe below) to serve as a side dish or at another meal.
Use a knife to cube and then cut out inside of halved eggplants, leaving a half inch rim.
Stuff with spicy fried prawns.
Sprinkle Italian bread crumbs on top.
Dot with butter.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 45 mins. or till outer skin of eggplant is soft and shriveled.

Some people add the flesh of the eggplant to the mince and let it cook but I prefer to use it for this recipe given below.

Eggplant bharta: Broil eggplant, remove inside.
As in the above recipe, remove inside of eggplant and broil it.
Heat one tablespoon oil in a pan.
Put in rai, curry leaves, red chillies and one chopped onion.
When onion is almost browned add eggplant, chilli powder or chopped green chillies, and a pinch of turmeric. Simmer for a minute. Serve hot with chappattis.

Karela or bitter gourd stuffed with potatoes.

Banana peppers stuffed with potatoes.

Large mushrooms: My daughter makes this and I will get the recipe from her.

I've heard of stuffed pumpkins and gourds, and zucchinis, stuffed fish, even stuffed cabbage!
Stuffed cabbage: separate large leaves of cabbage.
Blanch i.e place in boiling water for 2 minutes.
Strain and allow to half dry.
Place a 'ball' of potato mixture/keema in center of cabbage.
Fold over edges to cover completely...use a toothpick to hold closed.
Dip the cabbage roll in a batter of gram flour, water, chilli powder and salt.
Deep fry.
Remove toothpick before eating.

A friend in Michigan, used to make a dish that I've never tried.
She took a whole large cabbage, separated the outer leaves carefully to 'open' the cabbage.
Between the leaves she spooned a stuffing of fried onions cooked with tomatoes, peas and spices.
Half this mix was cooked but kept in it's watery state.
When the other half of the filling was dry, she ran it in a food processor for a minute, to get a rough 'mash'.
After stuffing the outer leaves of the cabbage, she then tied up the whole with kitchen string like a 'belt'.
Placing the liquid half of the peas/tomato mix in a baking dish, the cabbage was placed on top and then baked in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees for an hour.
All I remember about this dish was that it was delicious!

Bread is excellent stuffed with potatoes.

Dip bread slices in a saucer of water, turning them very quickly so they absorb just a little water.
If the get soggy, press them on a plate to squeeze out excess water.
Place a spoon of potato or keema in the center and roll up, pressing all edges firmly.
Refrigerate till dry and then deep fry.
Serve hot with mint chutney.

I've also made a loaf using ready made bread dough, thawed, rolled out to double the loaf pan width, stuffed, folded up over the stuffing, allowed to rise in a loaf pan and then baked according to package instructions...yummy.

Stuffing is a great way to use leftovers .

One of the favorites at our house is Japanese eggplants stuffed with masala...named 'Eggplant and Potato' elsewhere in this blog!

Just think up your own combo and... not just during the holidays but all year long... and stuff it!


lan said...

so many delicious options geets. i skipped turkey and went sightseeing this TG. i like the stuff it command. it is a good one! said...

Thanks lan. HD and I had a virus so stayed home and had toast and rasam.
Glad you got out of the kitchen and enjoyed the sights. We can be thankful wherever we are.

lan said...

Happy New Year Geets. What is cooking?:-)