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Trying to come up with this dishes name was initially easy in my planning process but after actually making it did Strudel still fit the bill I wondered? Strudels tend to be more of the sweet variety but in a restaurant for lunch the other week I had a roasted vegetable and goats cheese one so I think I can happily borrow the name for this occasion! I did momentarily consider the word puff that makes me just think of dragon’s which is obviously just plainly wrong! Plus it might be rather tricky catching one….
When it comes to leftovers, I really do enjoy making them into something new and always relish the challenge! With Christmas approaching faster than Santa’s sleigh it is most probable you might just have quite a few leftovers from the big meal to play with – and Sainsbury’s asked me to create something using leftover Turkey. Now Turkey leftovers and Christmas makes me think of turkey curry and boxing day, something a bit of a joke nowadays – yes it does make a rather nice curry but there is so much more you can do with it too! Its usually a very lean meat, and whilst most people go for the white breast meat I am much more fond of the slightly gamier tasting brown meat, usually the thighs or legs and chances are you might have that in particular leftover, though this dish would work well with either so don’t worry too much if its only a small joint like a crown you have leftovers from.
Whilst I may fold the pastry a little differently next time, overall it was a great success and I really enjoyed having our pre-Christmas dinner last Sunday complete with fairy lights! My strudel was a great use of leftovers – the cranberry sauce left from who know’s when and a handful of pecan nuts added a tasty crunch to the mixture too! You could probably use walnuts equally well if that’s what you have leftover instead. The sweet, slightly tangy cranberry with the lovely pecan crunch and sweet turkey meat was really tasty, definitely a keeper of a recipe!

Turkey, Pecan and Cranberry Strudel
Serves 3-4 adults, fairly easy
200g cooked brown Turkey meat, shredded
50g butter
100g cranberry sauce
50g pecan nuts
6 sheets of filo pastry, by Sainsbury’s
30g plain flour
30g unsalted butter
200ml milk
1 tbsp poppyseeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 190o.
Place the pecans on a heavy baking sheet, cook for about 5 minutes until lightly toasted – do not forget – they burn super fast (as I found out the hard way!) remove from the oven and lightly break up into smaller chunks.
In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour and whisk together thoroughly, slowly add the milk bit by bit to form a thick roux, until all combined and simmer for about 5 minutes or until it coats the back of the spoon well. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper and stir through the turkey.
In a small pan melt the butter and keep warm.
Unroll the filo sheets gently, place one on a flexible baking sheet or parchment paper in a rectangular shape, brush with butter thinly all over, repeat with a further three sheets. You need to work fast as filo dries out fast – if needed dampen some kitchen paper and place on top of the open sheets.
With the prepared pastry, spoon over the prepared turkey mixture down the middle, allowing an inch gap on the sides. Spoon over the cranberry sauce, butter the exposed pastry and place a new filo sheet over the top, pressing out any air gently. Repeat with a further sheet over the top.
Fold up the opposite ends, inwards, brushing again with butter to seal. Using sharp scissors, make horizontal slashes about an inch apart but not through to the filling, and brush again with butter. Fold up the slashed pieces of filo in an alternate pattern. Cover liberally with remaining butter and sprinkle over the poppyseeds.
Lifting the sheet onto a heavy based baking tray, bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden. My oven is questionable as to its temperature but you want a fairly hot oven!
Slice into portions and serve with roasted baby potatoes and a green vegetable medley, I sauteed leeks with courgettes and it went very well together! Oh and lots of gravy!

With thanks to Sainsbury’s who provided vouchers to cover my time and ingredients.

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