Turkey has dominated my social media feeds this week, reminding me that (yay!) I had leftovers from our big feasts squirrelled away in the depths of the freezer. (I always roast a larger bird than we actually need, so there’s plenty.) Roasted turkey is infinitely useful – beyond the requisite sandwiches, for which I make an extra batch of Parker House rolls or Julia Child’s sandwich bread, it can be used in curries and casseroles, cheesy baked dishes and croquettes. (And of course soup, with all that stock.) Any meat that has been roasted on the bone tends to have more flavour, and having it pre-cooked is like having your own homemade convenience food, all ready to go. So when the Turkey Farmers of Canada asked me to come up with a few new ideas this season, and I was happy to oblige.
Dutch baby – a dramatically puffed, eggy pancake – essentially a one-pan Yorkshire pudding – is one of my favourite things. It’s great for breakfast, of course, but I also love it for saucy savoury dishes, and it makes the perfect vehicle for turkey dinner leftovers: load it up with roasted turkey, veggies, even cranberry sauce, and douse it all with gravy. Ta da!
The pancake itself is not at all tricky to make – the key is to get your pan really hot, which is easy to do as the oven preheats, and then pour a simple whisked-together batter of milk, egg and flour into it and return it to the oven. In 15 minutes, the intense heat of the pan and the oven will make it rise into a crunchy cloud-bowl that’s ridiculously satisfying (and always different!) and makes dinner seem far more fancy and elaborate than the work that actually went into making it.
PS: While we’re at it, a Dutch baby is also the ideal vehicle for a saucy butter turkey – you can pull it apart and use it to scoop up all that sauce, much like you would with chewy naan. And far easier to make!