Thursday, April 1, 2010

Asian Inspired Turkey Salad

I'm back! Well, really I was always here, just not posting because I thought staying home with a baby would leave me tons of time to do a correspondence course through the University. All you mom's out there are probably laughing hysterically and wiping the tears from your eyes at the thought. I know, I know, that was a ridiculous move on my part. Anyhow, I now have a huge back log of photos to edit and write up for posting. This is something I made after Christmas with some of the left over turkey I was given (new moms are given tons of free food). I saw Jamie Oliver make it on the Food Network, and decided it looked good. It was actually pretty great!

Asian Inspired Turkey Salad:

• 2 large handfuls of brown turkey meat
• 1 large handful of cashew nuts
• 1 handful of dried cranberries
• 2 teaspoons ground five-spice
• a bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked (I left this out)
• a bunch of fresh coriander, leaves picked (I used parsley instead, since that is what I had)
• 4 large handfuls of mixed salad leaves such as chicory, rocket, spinach, watercress (a mixture)
• 1 tablespoon runny honey
• 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (I used chilli powder)

for the dressing
• juice of 1 clementine
• juice of 1 lime
• 1 pomegranate, halved
• ½ red onion, peeled and coarsely grated
• extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil
• a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely grated

Shred the brown turkey meat into thin strips using your fingers and put it into a dry pan on a medium heat. Add the cashew nuts, dried cranberries and five-spice. Give it all a good stir then let it toast away while you get on with your salad. Give the pan a shake every now and then to make sure nothing catches.

Add the mint and most of your coriander leaves to a bowl with your mixed salad leaves. Make your dressing in a separate bowl by mixing the juice from your clementine and lime. Squeeze the juice from one of your pomegranate halves through your hands to catch any seeds then discard them. Stir in your grated onion. I tend to use 3 parts oil to 1 part acid when I’m making dressings, so look at what you’ve got in the bowl so far then pour in 3 times as much extra virgin olive oil. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil.

Squeeze in all the juice from your grated ginger then throw away the pulp.Give this lovely dressing a really good stir, and have a taste. If you want more salt, add a splash more soy. If you want more acid, add another squeeze of lime juice. Drizzle over enough dressing to coat the salad leaves then use your hands to toss and dress them.

Add the honey to the pan with the turkey meat and stir through until coated. Turn the heat up to full whack for the last few seconds to really crisp up the meat mixture. At this point, make sure your guests are all at the table and ready to eat so you can serve the salad as soon as the hot meat hits the salad leaves. Toss half of your pan-fried ingredients through the salad leaves and transfer to a serving platter.

Spoon the remaining nuts, cranberries and crispy meat over the top of the salad and add another drizzle of dressing. Hold the remaining pomegranate half over the salad and knock it on the back with a spoon so the seeds pop onto the salad. Garnish with a nice sprinkling of fresh red chilli, any remaining coriander leaves and serve right away.

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