I love to cook and I love to eat good food.  Alas, the fact that I work 9-5 means that I can't do either as much as I would like, and like many I am often stuck at my desk during my lunch "hour".  My solution is to try to bring my lunch to work as much as I can.  This is my collection of recipes, all made quickly the night before (either as lunch or as dinner with leftovers that can be taken in).  Happy eating.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Turkey and butternut squash tagine

Thanksgiving is a gift to us working cooks, but there comes a point when we open the fridge, see all that leftover turkey, and have to fight the urge to run to the Chinese takeout menu.  Luckily, dressing up the turkey in more exotic flavors that take us away from the traditional realm of the American turkey feast, can do the trick.

I think the strong taste of turkey really takes to heady, spicy flavors.  I had some butternut squash that needed eating, and as I peeled the yellow cubes I thought of those warm spices of Morocco and the southern Mediterranean.  Many of those beautiful stews have apricots or currants, and some olives or preserved lemon to counteract the sweet warmth of the spices and dried fruit.  I thought that apricots would be too sweet with the butternut squash (not to mention monochrome) so grabbed some dried cherries off my shelf.  Some big, fat green olives nestled in the mix completed the dish.

1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. red chili powder
1 can tomatoes
1/2 C. water
1 small butternut squash
1/2 C. shredded turkey
1/4 C. dried cherries
handful green olives
parsley or mint

Cook onion until soft.  Add spices and heat through for a minute.  Add tomatoes with juice and butternut squash, dried cherries, olives and water.  Cook until squash is tender.  Stir in turkey and heat through.  Top with parsley or mint and a good grind of pepper.  Serve over couscous.

Serves 2.


Anonymous said...

Very cool, I love it!

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Mari at Once Upon a Plate said...

What a wonderfully inventive recipe. I would love to try turkey this way. Thank you for sharing!

[I had to giggle, I have the same thoughts (to run for Chinese food), when confronted with a refrigerator full of leftover turkey.]

Anonymous said...

We just love, love butternut squash. That's such a pretty, orange dish. Love Cali huh? Maybe you'll make it out here to LA soon!

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