Thanksgiving Leftovers: The Goodness Continues

Friday, November 26, 2010

Just 'cause the main event is over, doesn't mean you have to start from scratch again. Thanksgiving in particular yields some pretty insanely good leftovers. I know the rules go Day 1: Rewarmed Thanksgiving Repeat; Day 2: Sandwiches; Day 3: ???. Most people start to wonder what to do after. Here are some really quick and easy ideas to work in those Thanksgiving leftovers.

Shepherd's Pie
This is really forgiving dish that can be made a few different ways, but uses pretty much everything leftover from a standard American Thanksgiving. You want to put your turkey cut or shredded into pieces in the bottom of a casserole dish and top it with some leftover gravy. If you don't have gravy, then heat some chicken broth on the stove and add some cornstarch to quickly thicken it. Now you have gravy. On top of that go some chopped veggies you use; green beans, carrots, peas, corn, etc. Then top it all off with a heaping of leftover mashed potatoes. If you haven't got the mashed potatoes but have leftover roasted yams, then go ahead and mash those up (without skin) and mix in some butter, then put that on top. Pop it in the oven and cook about 15 minutes or until the potatoes (whichever you used) start to have a golden brown.

With some simple addition of olive oil or pesto and fresh mozzarella cheese, you can transform most leftovers into an entirely different dish. Simply prepare your pizza dough as usual, top with some olive oil or pesto, top with your leftovers of choice and pieces of mozzarella cheese and bake!

Yes, tacos. Turkey is like chicken, so salsa and guacamole are going to go with it beautifully. You can make the jicama slaw I posted before to go with too for an amazing leftover dish. And that leftover cranberry sauce would be killer here as well.

Turkey Chile
Prepare chile as usual or (gasp) open a can, and add some pieces of turkey at the end.

Potato Cakes
Leftover Mashed potatoes do 98% of the work for you here. Simply combine mashed potatoes, 1 egg lightly beaten, and some fresh herbs (preferably chive) in a bowl and form into little patties. Chill for 30 minutes then fry up in a saute pan with oil until golden and crispy on both sides. Serve as is or topped with smoked salmon.

Bread Pudding
Leftover bread from Thanksgiving can be cubed up and tossed with eggs whisked together with heavy cream, milk, vanilla extract, simple spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and added with dried fruits like raisins or cranberries and baked for a simple dessert!

French Toast with Turkey and Bacon
Similar idea to above, but this time you're making a French toast base. Top each slice with some turkey and bacon and top with drizzled maple syrup for a next day brunch!

Turkey Eggs Benedict
Yes, I'm serious. Do English muffins or even some leftover bread from Thanksgiving and give it a toast. Top with thinly sliced turkey, a slice of tomato if you like, and top with poached egg. Do the hollandaise if you like or a lower-cal and tastier pesto!

Hot Brown
The traditional Kentucky Derby food happens to be made for Thanksgiving leftovers too. Check out the blog for the recipe that comes together in 10 minutes!

Turkey Hash
Simple cube up your leftover potatoes or sweet potatoes and saute with some onions and peppers. Top with some cubed turkey and fried eggs.

Cobb Salad with Turkey
Lettuce, tomato, onion, bleu cheese, boiled egg, and turkey. Done.

Turkey Cornbread Casserole
Yes I hate casseroles as a general rule, but this one works! Whip up some cornbread batter and pour it over some turkey and leftover veggies. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and bake until cornbread is done, about 15 minutes. Serve hot!

1 comment:

Lisa Ruminski said...

Turkey Tetrazzini...Emeril's recipe is my favorite way to use up the leftovers. You can make more than one casserole and freeze to enjoy later, when you're not TIRED of turkey!