Thanksgiving leftovers can be more than a sandwich
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
11/21/12 at 5:48 AM
It's hard to top the day-after-Thanksgiving sandwich.
It puts most other sandwiches we make throughout the year to shame.
You may be a purist, preferring to let the leftover turkey shine between two slices of bread and accompanied only by a thin layer of mayonnaise, salt, pepper and maybe, just maybe, a slice of Swiss cheese.
Or, you may seize the day, taking full advantage of all the leftovers, stacking turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes high. Drizzle the gravy over the top to glue it together or dip the sandwich in a bowl of gravy.
It's all good.
But in case you want to branch out a bit, we talked to a couple food experts to see what they suggest to do with Thanksgiving leftovers.
"With everyone requesting his or her favorite Thanksgiving food, there are usually worlds of food left over," said Valarie Carter, a Muskogee chef and one of the contributors to "The Busy Kitchen" column in the Tulsa World.
"After we're all burned out on reheated leftovers, I like to put the rest to good use. Most people know you can make turkey stock and soup from the turkey, but the other leftovers sometimes end up in the trash."
Carter said that leftover mashed potatoes make wonderful homemade potato bread or potato pancakes.
And she loves to make use of leftover dressing for a Thanksgiving-style eggs Benedict.
"Just cut out a serving of dressing, top with grated cheese, some turkey or ham if you have it and top it with a fried or poached egg," Carter said.
Hollandaise sauce on top is optional, too.
"I learned a wonderful trick from Ina Garten for leftover green salad. She roasts root vegetables, and then adds the leftover greens, tomatoes, other veggies, nuts and croutons. It's even better if it was dressed with a vinaigrette," Carter said.
She said that leftover steamed or sautéed green veggies are great made into cream soup. Use some of the stock made from leftover turkey to thin the soup.
"Leftover baked sweet potatoes are wonderful made into sweet potato pie or sweet potato casserole," Carter said. "If you used marshmallows or maple syrup on your potatoes, even yummier."
Cranberry sauce can be used to make a zingy appetizer served over your favorite cheese, Carter said.
"Just sauté a little minced jalapeño in butter, add a splash of your favorite vinegar, stir in the cranberry sauce. Easy peasy," she said.
And since ham salad is one of her favorites, Carter puts leftover ham in the food processor to finely grind it.
"I add mayo, a little Dijon or whole grain mustard and sweet pickle relish. My family loves it. Save the bone for beans and rustic cornbread (recipe at tulsaworld.com/thebusykitchen)," she said.
Charlotte Richert, Tulsa County OSU Extension director, said that it just takes a little bit of planning ahead to make good use of your leftovers. And you don't have to eat them all right away.
"Freezing food is an excellent way to keep it and have food for lunches the next week and even into January when you may be sort of missing the holiday food," Richert said.
She said making turkey noodle soup is one of her favorite ways to use Thanksgiving Day leftovers.
"It is almost as traditional as the turkey itself," she said.
And Richert said that since Thanksgiving falls just days before the big Bedlam game in Oklahoma, the leftovers could be used to create a game day spread.
"You could be thinking about having some turkey roll ups for the tailgate party," Richert said.
Or, the turkey could be used in a tasty recipe she makes for appetizer cups.
First, place wonton wrappers in mini cupcake pans and put a small amount of the chopped turkey inside. Top the turkey with some mozzarella or Parmesan cheese and bake the cups in a 400-degree oven for 7-8 minutes.
Cranberry sauce could be drizzled over the top.
"Leftover cranberries could be used for something if you are an OU fan and I guess you would have to find something for the sweet potatoes if you are an OSU fan," Richert said.
Before re-using any of the leftover Thanksgiving foods, be sure to follow general safety precautions, she said.
"The general rule is to not let anything sit out at room temperature more than two hours," Richert said.
"I think that families are notorious for leaving food out all afternoon and nibbling on it, but just make sure that someone acts as the food police and keeps track of how long it has been left out."
Keep cold food under 40 degrees and hot food over 140 degrees to make sure that it is safe to eat, she said.
Here are some recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers:
TURKEY DUMPLING SOUP
16 servings (4 quarts)
For the broth:
1 meaty leftover turkey carcass (from an 11-pound turkey)
6 cups chicken broth
6 cups water
2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch slices
1 medium carrot, cut into 1-inch slices
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the soup:
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen cut green beans
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
2 cups biscuit/baking mix
2/3 cup milk
1. In a stock pot, combine the first nine ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 3 hours.
2. Remove carcass and allow to cool. Remove meat and set aside 4 cups for soup (refrigerate any remaining meat for another use); discard bones. Cut meat into bite-size pieces. Strain broth, discarding vegetables and bay leaf.
3. Return broth to pan; add the onion, celery, carrots and beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add corn, peas and reserved turkey. Bring to a boil; reduce heat.
4. Combine biscuit mix and milk. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto simmering broth. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a dumpling comes out clean.
- adapted from Taste of Home
SAVORY TURKEY HAND PIES
1 cup finely chopped roasted turkey
3/4 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup cut green beans, cooked
1 carrot, grated
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 (14.1-ounce) packages refrigerated piecrusts
1 large egg, beaten
Poppy seeds (optional)
Turkey gravy, warmed
1. Stir together first 6 ingredients. Season with desired amount of salt and pepper.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll each piecrust. Lightly roll each into a 12-inch circle. Cut each piecrust into 6 circles using a 4-inch round cutter. Place about 3 tablespoons turkey mixture just below center of each dough circle. Fold dough over filling, pressing and folding edges to seal.
3. Arrange pies on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with egg, and, if desired, sprinkle with poppy seeds.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with warm gravy.
5. Note: Unbaked pies can be frozen up to 1 month. Bake frozen pies 30 to 32 minutes or until golden brown.
- adapted from Southern Living, November 2010
THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS HASH
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or turkey fat
3 cups finely shredded leftover Brussels sprouts (see note)
1 small onion, finely sliced (about ¾ cup)
2 cups leftover roasted potatoes, cut into ¼-inch dice
½ pound roasted turkey meat, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 4 eggs
1. Heat oil in 12-inch non-stick skillet over high heat until smoking. Add brussels sprouts, onions, and potatoes. Stir once then cook without moving until charred, about 2 minutes. Flip, stir, and repeat until well charred all over, about 10 minutes total, adding turkey half way through cooking. Add chili sauce and hot sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Transfer mixture to 10-inch cast iron skillet. Make 2 to 4 wells on surface and add an egg to each. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until bottom is charred and eggs are cooked to desired level of doneness, about 5 to 8 minutes. Serve with turkey gravy.
- adapted from Serious Eats
Re-purpose uneaten pie into shake
What happens when pie a la mode takes a spin in the mixer?
Pie shakes - the perfect solution for that uneaten Thanksgiving pie.
And, yes, we admit the thought of pie being considered leftover does sound preposterous.
Let's call it re-purposed pie, then.
One benefit of making pie shakes is that you can freeze the pie you have after Thanksgiving and ration it out to yourself through the holidays. That way, your family does not feel obligated to finish it all at once.
Here are recipes from Betty Crocker for two pie shakes that make the most of your Thanksgiving "leftovers."
PUMPKIN PIE SHAKE (BRANDY OPTIONAL)
2 cups vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
3 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
1/8 slice cold baked pumpkin pie, cut into chunks (from 9-inch pie)
Sweetened whipped cream, if desired
Cinnamon sticks, if desired
1. In blender, place ice cream, brandy, milk and pumpkin pie spice. Cover and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add pie chunks; cover and blend until smooth, stopping blender to scrape down sides if necessary.
2. Pour into 2 glasses; top with sweetened whipped cream and garnish with cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.
PECAN PIE SHAKE (BOURBON OPTIONAL)
2 cups vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
1/3 cup milk
1/8 slice cold baked pecan pie, cut into chunks (from 9-inch pie)
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
Sweetened whipped cream, if desired
Toasted pecan halves or chopped pecans, if desired
1. In blender, place ice cream and milk. Cover and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add pie chunks; cover and blend until smooth, stopping blender to scrape down sides if necessary.
2. Pour into 2 glasses; top with sweetened whipped cream and pecans. Serve immediately.
Original Print Headline: Leftover meal ideas
Nicole Marshall Middleton 918-581-8459
Pile Thanksgiving leftovers high for an out-of-this-world turkey sandwich. CHRISTOPHER SMITH / Tulsa World
Polish off your pie by turning it into a pumpkin pie shake. CHRISTOPHER SMITH / Tulsa World