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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thanksgiving leftovers

I've gotten pretty darn good at handling Thanksgiving leftovers without resorting to five straight days of turkey sandwiches.  The trick is to shop ahead for a few extra ingredients to make the following recipes at the same time you're shopping for your holiday meal.  And it's not just the turkey that needs using up, so I have a couple of leftover side dish recipes as well. 

In giving shop ahead lists, I assume you'll have pantry and refrigerator basics on hand already...spices, onions, garlic, butter, oil, eggs, and basic baking ingredients.

Chicken Biscuits

Shop ahead: 1 can biscuits, 1 tomato
Leftovers needed: 1/2 cup cheese, 1 cup diced turkey

Southwest Egg Rolls

Can be frozen for later service.

Shop ahead: canned beans, shredded cheese, egg roll wrappers
Leftovers needed: 1 cup diced turkey, 1 cup cooked vegetables such as peas, broccoli (leftover broccoli casserole is *awesome* here), corn or carrots

Substitute leftover Thanksgiving veggies for corn and pepper in recipe.

Turkey Pizza
Makes 4-8 servings
Shop ahead: pizza crust, shredded jack cheese
Leftovers needed: 1 cup diced turkey, 1 cup cranberry sauce

Layer turkey, sauce and cheese on pizza crust and bake 15-20 minutes at 375F.

Turkey Flannel Hash
Makes 4 servings

Btw, this recipe was from a program years ago on Food Network called the Calorie Commando with Juan Carlos Cruz.  I'd link to the FN version of the recipe, but it's been pulled down, probably following the Cruz's arrest on charges of murder for hire :-O

Shop ahead: canned matchstick beets, sweet potato (if you didn't have plain baked sw. potatoes at your Thanksgiving repast), bell pepper, celery (if needed), shredded cheese

Leftovers needed: 1 1/2 cups turkey, 1 baked sweet potato (if you had plain baked sw. potatoes at your Thanksgiving repast), 1/2 cup celery from crudité

1 sweet potato, cubed and baked in microwave if not leftover
2 tsp oil
2 tsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp chili powder
1/2 onion, sliced
1 14 oz. can matchstick beets
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 1/2 cups turkey, diced
salt and pepper
1/3 cup shredded cheese
4 eggs, fried or poached

Zap sweet potato in microwave until cooked (if necessary).

Heat butter/oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic, cumin, chili powder and cook just a moment.  Add onion, beets, bell pepper and celery. Cook 2 minutes, add sweet potatoes, turkey and cook 5 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and sprinkle cheese on top.  Serve with a fried or poached egg on top.

Turkey Pot Pie
Makes 4-6 servings

Can be frozen for later service.
Shop ahead: pie crust
Leftovers needed: 2 cups turkey, 2 cups cooked vegetables (lightly steamed leftover crudité or leftover green bean casserole are both good here), 3 cups gravy

Mix the turkey, veg and gravy together and put in a 1 1/2 quart casserole.  Top with pie crust and bake 30-45 minutes at 350F until crust is brown and pie is heated through. 

Variation: Use 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes mixed with 1 egg instead of pie crust to make a shepherd's pie.

White chili
Makes 6 servings
Can be frozen for later service.

Shop ahead: canned northern beans, diced chiles, chicken or turkey stock (if you don't have extra already)
Leftovers needed: 2 cups turkey

1 lb. dry northern beans, soaked overnight
4 cups chicken or turkey stock
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup diced green chiles (canned)
1/2 tbsp oregano
1 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 cups turkey, diced

Combine soaked beans, stock, 1/2 of the chopped onions, and garlic in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 2 hours (add water if needed to keep beans covered).

Add remaining onions, chiles and all seasonings.  Continue to cook, covered, for 30 minutes.  Add turkey just before serving.  Season with salt to taste.


Substitute turkey for chicken and just add it when you add the okra.  Use turkey stock if you have any, or buy chicken stock in advance.

Shop ahead: sausage, bell pepper, frozen okra, chicken stock (if you didn't make turkey stock)
Leftovers needed: turkey, turkey stock (if you have it)

Turkey Tequila Fettucine

If you have *that* kind of holiday celebration, you may already have the tequila on hand ;)

Shop ahead: tequila, fettucine, jalapeno
Leftovers needed: 1 lb. turkey

Turkey Royale Sandwiches

Make these sandwiches on leftover rolls if you have them.

Shop ahead: Strawberry jam, sliced swiss cheese
Leftovers needed: turkey, rolls

Sweet potato muffins

Leftovers needed: 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes (any sweet potato preparation will do)

Substitute mashed sweet potatoes for pumpkin.

Sweet Potato ravioli

Shop ahead: wonton skins, parmesan cheese
Lefotvers needed: 2 medium baked sweet potatoes, mashed

Mashed potato pancakes

Shop ahead: scallions or chives, shredded cheese
Leftovers needed: 2 cups mashed potatoes

Mix 1 egg, 1/2 cup shredded cheese, and 1 tbsp minced chives or scallions into 2 cups mashed potatoes, form into 8 patties and fry gently over medium heat in bacon grease or shortening until brown, turning very carefully halfway through cooking)

Cranberry onion sandwiches

My very, very, very, very favorite part of Thanksgiving is this leftover sandwich.  In fact, it's about the only way I like cranberry sauce.  I first made this the year my husband and I had our first married Thanksgiving at home (I had never made Thanksgiving dinner before, much less for only two people and well, we had leftovers!).  He had to go to work the next day, but I was home and was just staggered by the amount of food left in our fridge!  I now look forward every year to making myself one of these sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving.

Leftovers needed: cranberry sauce, rolls

Saute thin sliced onions in butter and olive oil until caramelized (or make some allium relish ahead).  Serve with leftover cranberry sauce on leftover rolls.

Ham & Cheese Divan

The recipe calls for a dozen egg halves, but use however many you have left.  If you served ham at your holiday meal and have some leftover, use that instead of deviled ham.

Shop ahead: frozen broccoli, deviled ham (optional), cheddar cheese soup (optional if you make from-scratch cheese sauce)
Leftovers needed: deviled eggs

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