Saturday, November 29, 2008

What Are You Going To Do with All of Those Thanksgiving Leftovers

So Thanksgiving is over, all of the family members have gone back to their respective homes, and you are left with more leftovers than you know what to do with. One can only eat so much traditional turkey day dishes until they get tired of it all and decide to toss it all away. I however have some ideas for what you can do with those leftovers so that you don't get food boredom.

Turkey Croquettes
Got some mashed potatoes and gravy leftover? Take some of that leftover turkey (about 8 oz.) you've got, dice it up small and mix in some of that gravy to moisten it. Now take the mashed potatoes (a couple cups will do here), mix in an egg until smooth. Take a few ounces of the masked potatoes, flatten them and cup slightly so that you can add a few oz. of the turkey and gravy. Wrap the mashed potatoes around the turkey and seal on the edges. Now roll the stuffed potatoes into a cylinder and then dredge in some bread crumbs. Prepare a fryer or a pot with some frying oil (vegetable oil work well) to 370 degrees. Deep fry the stuffed mashed potatoes until golden brown, and you've now got some delicious turkey croquettes. Perhaps some of that leftover cranberry sauce thinned out a little with some orange juice and heated slightly would make a good sauce to go accompany the croquettes.

Turkey Soup
I enjoy soup in the winter, and if you aren't a vegetarian then you likely have a carcass left from your turkey along with some meat. Peel and small dice three onions, five carrots and five stalks of celery and mince a couple cloves of garlic. Now take your turkey carcass, remove all the meat from it, dicing the meat into small pieces and reserving. Break the carcass into smallish pieces. Heat up some olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, add half of the diced vegetables and saute until soft, about five minutes. Add five peppercorns, a bay leaf and a couple stems of thyme, then add the turkey carcass pieces and add water until fully covered; bring the pot to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 60 minutes. Strain the solids out of the liquid, this will be your broth for your soup.

One more vegetable to dice, peel and dice two large turnips. In a clean large pot heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute all of the remaining vegetables until the onions are soft. Add one cup of a fruit red wine, perhaps that Beaujolais Nouveau and simmer until reduced by half. Add the diced turkey and the turkey broth you made earlier and bring to a boil and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the carrots and turnips are tender. Season with salt and pepper as desired. A couple cups of boiled egg noodles added to the soup will make this a delicious turkey noodle soup. If you don't like noodles, you can substitute a couple cups of boiled long grain rice.

The What the Heck Do I Do With All of Those Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole
This one os pretty simple. Take one of those 13x9 glass casserole dishes you've got hiding in the cabinets and spray it with some non-stick spray or better yet grease it with some soft butter. Put down a layer of stuffing on the bottom of the dish. If you have some green bean casserole lay it down on top of the beans. Next, dice some of your leftover turkey and put down a layer, if it looks a little dry, add some gravy, but hopefully you have enough liquid from your green bean casserole becasue we are going to need some of that gravy later. Now layer your mashed potatoes ver the top of the turkey, place some pats of butter on top of the potatoes, this will help in the browning of the top of the casserole. Place the casserole into a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until the top of the casserole is lightly browned and the filling is nice and bubbling hot. Heat up your remaining gravy and place a little on top of each serving of the casserole when serving.

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