Sunday, November 27, 2011

Leftover Turkey Pho

Despite only having a 10 pound turkey, we were left with a sizable amount of leftovers.  In years past I would boil down my turkey carcass to make some homemade stock for turkey noodle soup.  Now, because I haven't found any gluten-free egg noodles, and because I'm missing being in college, I decided to go a more Asian direction with my soup this year...
On the Sacramento State campus, near the library, exists this wonderful little restaurant called Saigon Bay.  They introduced me to avocado smoothies, tofu spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce, and noodle soup with options of throwing in bean sprouts, jalapenos, lime wedges, hoisin, and sriracha.  Especially in these gray fall/winter months in Sacramento, that soup really hit the spot.
I decided to pursue making my own replication of that soup.  Now, I would alternate between shrimp and flank steak for my protein, but with all the leftovers it seemed a good time to use up my dark turkey meat (white is for sammiches and tonight's curry).
I used this recipe from Kevin's (hey, that's my husband's name) Closet Cooking as a base for my experiment. When I boiled down the carcass I already had ginger, shallots, and onions in there so I left that step out.  I think the best change I made is that I threw in a bag of dried shiitake mushrooms during my second stock process (after skimming out the solids and the top layer of fat).  This- combined with the ingredients of the star anise, cloves, and cinnamon- made for a very umami experience.  I would suggest starting low with the fish sauce and sugar altering to your tastes.
The result was a very delicious, warming pho. Topped with the rooster sauce and Dynasty hoisin (gluten-free) and a hearty heap of bean sprouts (super healthy!) it was satisfying and light after the previous day of gluttony.  The only change I would make in the future was to use thinner rice noodles.
Kevin (my husband, not the blogger) found this to be a great way to use the leftovers.  I'm happy that we have some leftover stock for the upcoming cold and flu season for a second round of pho- comforting, and the sriracha is great for the sinuses.  We happily slurped down the remainders of the pot for lunch today.
To conclude, I think a new leftover turkey tradition has been born.

Do you have any traditions in regards to your Turkey Day leftovers?  Any of them slightly unusual?
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