Secret Recipe: Camino's Leftover Turkey Kebabs
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You could say Camino chef Russ Moore knows his way around a kebab—every Monday night at his Oakland restaurant, he creates three-courses around the skewered stuff. So we asked him how he takes Thanksgiving leftovers to the next level: “I often just roast the breast for Thanksgiving dinner and save the legs for kebabs the next day. If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll make some flatbread to cook on the grill once the kebabs come off.” He makes them with more spices than you'd think wise (trust him) for a Mediterranean-inspired meal that spices up a turkey hangover. And for that, we give thanks.
2 1/2 pounds turkey leg meat, all the skin and fat left on
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
1 teaspoon whole caraway seeds
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (available at Le Sanctuaire, Indian markets, or Whole Foods)
3 cloves of garlic pounded in a mortar or chopped fine
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 bunch of mint
1 bunch oregano
1 bunch cilantro
handful of chervil
1. Cut the turkey meat into 1-inch cubes, leaving the skin on.
2. Toast the whole spices in a sauté pan until fragrant.
3. Grind up the whole spices in a spice/ coffee grinder or pound with a mortar and pestle.
4. Add all the spices, garlic, ginger, and some salt to the turkey.
5. Grind everything in a meat grinder with a medium plate, or hand chop (or ask a saintly butcher to grind the meat for you).
6. Remove the leaves from the mint, oregano, and cilantro. Reserve half, and roughly chop up the rest (a little cilantro stem is good in there).
7. Mix the chopped herbs with the ground meat mixture.
8. Fry up a little piece of the mixture to check for seasoning. Don’t hold back—if you have any doubts, add more spices and cayenne!
9. Form the mixture into roughly 3-ounce portions, and form onto a skewer into a sausage shape, then pat them down so they are flattened slightly.
10. Put in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to allow them to firm up.
11. Pull them out of the refrigerator about 15 minutes before cooking.
12. Grill them on a medium hot charcoal fire (or in a cast iron skillet) until they are cooked through.
13. Make a quick salad out of the leftover mint, oregano, and cilantro, adding the chervil. Splash a little olive oil on the herbs along with a squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt.
14. Serve with chile and herb relish (see recipe below), flatbread, red lentils, and chiles. Or with last night’s mashed potatoes!
Chile and herb relish
3 or 4 whole dried chiles (Chilhuacle, ancho, guajillo, New Mexico, or Espelette pepper)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 bunch of mint
1/2 bunch of oregano
1/2 cup fruity olive oil
1. Grind the chiles with the seeds in a spice grinder or break them up with your hands as fine as you can.
2. Splash a couple of tablespoons of boiling water over the ground up chiles to soften them a bit.
3. Pound the garlic with a mortar and pestle, or chop very finely.
4. Chop the herbs.
5. Mix the chiles, garlic, and herbs together with a pinch of salt.
6. Add 1/2 a cup of olive oil and a good squeeze of lime to the mixture and stir together. If the mixture is very thick or too spicy, add more olive oil.