Monday, April 1, 2013

Leftovers? Yes! Turkey Mousse with Dijon Sauce

Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts. – Charles Maurice de Talleyrand 

When you're sick of leftovers, try some in disguise as something delicious!

So the holiday has passed and each of us are left with three things: memories, chocolate... and probably leftovers.

This is one of the greatest predicaments facing western civilization – what to do with leftover turkey.

The purée, before the egg whites.
It can get pretty annoying if you, like most families, cook way too many side dishes for Easter dinner. They fill up their plates and don’t eat all that 500 lb bird you took the whole morning to roast and bring in all its glory to the table.

It’s a common problem. It stems from love of family, but it’s still a problem.

So after you’ve eaten, you dutifully drag yourself out to the kitchen to clean all the meat off the bones.

So there you are with several pounds of pre-cooked turkey sitting in your refrigerator. There’s only so much turkey soup, turkey sandwiches and turkey tetrazzini a person can stomach.

So why not disguise some of those leftovers as a light, fluffy – and unrecognizable as turkey – mousse?

This was the first time I had done one and the result was well worth the minimal effort. The secret to a tasty mousse is to season it fairly highly. I used sage, but other ingredients could have been used. Perhaps nutmeg and cinnamon or maybe even thyme and a little lemon rind – anything that would pair with the Dijon.

This is egg whites as "soft peaks."
In fact, I bet if you didn’t have turkey yesterday you could just as easily use your leftover easter ham.

I roasted some squash with brown sugar to accompany my mousse, but if you have leftover veggies you could use them just as easily.

This loaf actually benefits from a bit of a rest after it cooks and can even be served cold with the hot Dijon sauce. I didn’t wait so my loaf hadn’t set up quite as firmly as it could have been.

It was still exceptional, and it was even difficult to recognize that we were eating leftovers!

If turkey soup is making you sick, give this a try. It may even become a "go-to" recipe for holiday leftovers!

Fold the two together, a little at a time, taking care to
not deflate the egg whites.
Turkey Mousse with Dijon Sauce
Prep: 15 min  |  Bake 50 min  |  Serves 6
454 g cooked turkey, without skin
1 tbs chopped fresh sage
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1-1/2 cups milk
1 tbsp sherry
2 egg yolks
4 drops tabasco sauce, optional
3 egg whites
salt & pepper to taste
Dijon Sauce
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp sherry
salt & pepper, to taste

Remove all skin and any connective tissue left on the cooked turkey meat. Place in a processor and pulse until it resembles hamburger. Add sage and onion and some salt and pepper. Pulse until just incorporated. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 5" x 9" loaf pan and set aside.

A 5" x 9" pan will give you six large slices, or 8 "normal."
Make a béchamel sauce by combining the butter and flour in a saucepan. Whisk while it simmers for about 1 minute. Then add the milk and cook until thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sherry.

Start the motor on the food processor. Slowly pour in the béchamel and process until the turkey mixture is very smooth. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust. Then add the two egg yolks.

Whisk the three egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. That’s when you hold up the whisk and a peak of whipped white stands up but the to still  curls over.

Take 1/2 cup of the turkey purée and gently fold it into the whipped white. Then fold in the rest. Do not over fold. The mixture needs to still be light.

Pour the mousse into the loaf pan and cover with aluminum foil, sealing well. Set the loaf inside another pan and pour water in to 1” in height.

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Then remove the loaf from the water bath and remove the foil. Bake for an additional 10 minutes uncovered. Let cool slightly to finish setting up.

While the loaf is cooling, make the Dijon sauce as you did the béchamel for the loaf. Melt the butter, add the flour and cook. Then add the milk. Once thickened whisk in the Dijon mustard and sherry. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste.


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