KW&W: Two excuses to cook up Easter leftovers

Turkey spring rolls and split pea and ham soup are two great ways to dish up some Easter leftovers.

Ever had one of those days when not too much comes together well?  That was me cooking Easter dinner for my extended family this year.

I’m not used to my new convection oven and for the first time in 47 years, I overcooked the turkey, not just a little either; there were no juices left for gravy and I had to use those emergency packages of gravy mix seen on TV. Thank heavens the stuffing and cabbage rolls were fine, however, the top of the ham was on the black side. Sigh! Certainly keeps me more than humble.

To top that off, I forgot there were no vegetarians coming this year, and cooked five different vegetables, plus mashed potatoes and three different salads and I baked four different pies for dessert. Thank heavens for my guests who pitched in to rescue me getting it all on the table.

Do I have leftovers!

Today’s spring roll recipe adds Asian flavours with a North American twist by using the leftover turkey. I bake the rolls instead of frying them to cut down on the calories, but you can deep fry them for extra flavour. If you can’t find spring roll wrappers, use the egg roll wrappers, however, they don’t bake well, so deep-fry them instead.

I really enjoy split pea and ham soup, and today’s recipe is a good one to help use up leftover ham.

Leftover Turkey Spring Rolls with

Cranberry Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil (optional)

2 cups finely chopped cooked turkey

1/2 carrot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon garlic and herb seasoning blend (such as Mrs. Dash®)

5 tablespoons soy sauce (real soy sauce)

6 cups finely shredded cabbage

1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce (optional)

50 (7-inch square) egg roll wrappers


1/4 cup jellied cranberry sauce

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup white vinegar

1 dash soy sauce

Heat the olive oil and sesame oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook and stir the turkey, carrot, garlic, black pepper, ginger, and garlic and herb seasoning until the garlic releases its fragrance, about 2 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, and continue cooking until the carrot begins to soften, about five minutes. Stir in the cabbage, oyster sauce, and remaining three tablespoons of soy sauce. Continue to stir, until the cabbage is soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat, and set aside. Drain off any excess liquid. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. To fill the wrappers, separate and place the spring roll wrappers onto your work surface, with the points of the square pointing up and down in a diamond shape. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the turkey filling in a line across the centre of the wrapper, and fold the bottom point up to cover the filling. Fold the two side points in on top of the folded wrapper, to fully enclose the filling. The two side points should be about one inch apart. Firmly but gently, roll the spring roll into a tight cylinder, and roll the wrapper over to firmly press down the remaining point. Set the filled wrappers seam-side down onto the parchment-lined baking sheets so they don’t touch. The rolls should be about the thickness of a finger.

Bake the filled rolls in the preheated oven until they begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Mash the cranberry sauce in a saucepan over medium heat until the sauce is smooth, then whisk in the sugar, vinegar, and a dash of soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer, whisking the sauce, until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce reduces and thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove sauce to a bowl. Serve the rolls hot with the sauce. Makes about 50 finger-thick rolls.

Split Pea and Ham Soup

1 leftover ham bone with meat attached

1 litre chicken stock (low salt)


1 cup chopped onions

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 celery stalks, chopped

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 pound dried split peas

1 cup chopped carrots

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place the ham bone in a large crockpot. Add chicken stock and enough water to cover. Set to high for one hour, reduce heat to low and let simmer overnight. Strain stock through a colander (saving it )into a bowl, then place stock back into the crock-pot.  Allow bone and meat to cool, discarding the bone, excess fat, and any cartilage. Chop and return any good ham meat to the pot and bring back to a boil on high. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and 1/4 tsp.  pepper, the split peas and the carrots and simmer for approximately 4-6 hours until the  peas are broken down and the veggies are soft. Stir together well and season to taste. NOTE: left over veggies can be used in this recipe and can also be cooked in a stock pot on the stove top.

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime cooking columnist.