Friday, November 20, 2015

Mongolian Turkey and Broccoli Stir-fry - Easy Leftover Turkey Recipes


Sichuan peppercorns and crushed red pepper give authority to this zesty stir-fry. Scotch may seem like an odd ingredient, but it actually resembles Chinese rice liquor. Sichuan peppercorns can be found at Asian grocers and many supermarkets, but look at them closely. They should be wrinkled and rust-colored—white peppercorns are sometimes mislabeled as Sichuan.


Makes 4 to 6 servings


Make Ahead: Make the stir-fry just before serving.

3 cups broccoli florets
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 scallions, green and white parts, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
2 tablespoons shredded fresh ginger (use the large holes of a box grater)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound leftover roasted turkey, cut into 1/2 × 2-inch strips
1 and 1/2 cups turkey or chicken broth, preferably homemade, or canned reduced-sodium broth 1/3 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup Scotch whiskey or dry sherry
2 tablespoons dark Asian sesame oil
3/4 teaspoon crushed Sichuan peppercorns (use a mortar and pestle or crush under a heavy saucepan)

1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Hot cooked rice, for serving


1) In a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet, bring the broccoli and 1 cup water to a boil over high heat. Cover tightly and cook until the broccoli is crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the broccoli and set aside. Dry the skillet and return to the stove.

2) Add the oil to the skillet and heat until very hot. Add the scallions, red bell pepper, ginger, and garlic. Stir until the mixture is fragrant, about 30 seconds. 

3) Add the leftover turkey strips and 1/2 cup of the stock. Cover and cook until the turkey is heated through, about 2 minutes.

4) In a medium bowl, mix the remaining 1 cup stock with the soy sauce, Scotch, sesame oil, peppercorns, and hot red pepper flakes. Add the cornstarch and whisk to dissolve. Stir into the skillet and cook until boiling and thickened. Stir in the reserved broccoli. 

5) Serve immediately, spooned over bowls of rice (optional).

Related Post: What does broccoli do for your body? What are the Broccoli Benefits? Read at... Broccoli Benefits: Super Food Broccoli (Brassica oleracea Italica)

How to Cook Broccoli Correctly to Preserve Bright Color and Prevent Nutrient Loss 

Many older recipes boil green vegetables too long and the result is a pile of mushy, army-green broccoli. Barely cooking these vegetables, however, results in the opposite problem. They look great but taste raw and woody. How do you cook these vegetables so they are tender and still brilliantly colored? It is all about a high-heat blanch followed by an ice-cold shock.

When cooking green vegetables so that they remain bright and tender, not brown and mushy, the ability to abruptly stop the cooking process through the use of an ice bath is necessary.

Why? Blanching vegetables in boiling, salted water for four minutes first begins to break down the cell structure of the broccoli. The pectin within starts to break down and dissolve, and therefore the texture of that veggie moves from tough toward tender. Likewise, the heat evaporates some of the excess air within the vegetable cells, enhancing its color from a muted green to an emerald green. This is all good.

How to Keep Cooked Broccoli Bright Green?

Cooking does not always stop when the food leaves the pot (or oven, or pan). According to the principles of carryover cooking, unless cooked vegetables receive an ice-water bath immediately after exiting the pot of boiling water, they will continue to cook. When our blanched broccoli was placed in a bowl (without an ice bath), the individual stalks were hot and as they sat piled together they shared their heat, continuing to cook. The result is that the cell structures continue to degrade, turning the vegetables mushier by the minute. It also gives more time for the chlorophyll, responsible for color, to lose its magnesium ion and fade into a drab olive green. In an ice bath, however, the heat that is already inside the vegetables will reverse direction and flow into the cold water, preventing further cooking. The cold water surrounding the vegetables also stops the heat from transferring from one piece to another. 

How Long Does It Take to Cook or Steam Broccoli?

Vegetable: Broccoli

Preparation: Florets cut into 1- to 1½-inch pieces, stalks peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

Boiling Time: 2 to 4 minutes

Steaming Time: 4 to 6 minutes


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Cooked Broccoli Florets Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per 1 NLEA serving (148 g)

Calories 50

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.5 g
Saturated fat 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g

Monounsaturated fat 0 g

Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 49 mg
Potassium 468 mg
Total Carbohydrate 10 g
Dietary fiber 3.8 g
Sugar 2.5 g

Protein 4.2 g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
Vitamin B-6
Vitamin B-12
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


The Editors of America's Test Kitchen and Guy Crosby PhD (Author). 2012. The Science of Good Cooking (Cook's Illustrated Cookbooks). Cook's Illustrated; First edition. ISBN-10: 1933615982

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