Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftovers!

I really should have done this on Friday, I know. But by now you should be getting sick of your leftovers, and this may inspire you to use them up in some more creative ways.
Sweet Potatoes or Winter Squash:  Make soup: Slice a large onion and cook in a saucepan with one tablespoon of butter over low heat until it becomes quite soft and begins to get sticky. Add 2 to 3 cups of leftover vegetables and 2 to 3 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth-- bouillon works) and simmer for 10 minutes. Puree in a food processor or using a hand blender. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.
Cranberry Sauce: Combine 2 Tablespoons of cranberry sauce with 4 Tablespoons of cream cheese and 1 Tablespoon of blue cheese or gorgonzola. Spread over crackers or bread as an appetizer. OR place a dollop of marscapone in a pre-made tartlet shell (in the freezer case in the store) and top with cranberry sauce. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees and top with whipped cream for an easy dessert.
Turkey: any leftover bits of turkey and gravy can be put into a Shepherd's Pie- heat them with carrots, potatoes (sweet or white), peas and anything else you love. Pour into a shallow casserole or pie pan and top with leftover mashed potatoes. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. OR, saute some onions, garlic, bell peppers and add a can of crushed tomatoes, diced leftover turkey, a can of kidney beans, and chili powder (start with a tablespoon) to taste, along with 1 teaspoon of ground cumin and a 1/2 teaspoon each of basil and oregano and simmer for an hour for a Turkey Chili. To make it a Turkey "Mole" chili, add an ounce of unsweetened chocolate and 1/4 cup of leftover cranberry sauce. (I'm not crazy- try it!) OR make this Cassoulet. It uses leftover vegetables as well as leftover stuffing.

Leftover Turkey Cassoulet
Poultry, sausage and white beans are the essential ingredients in a cassoulet. This brings those flavors together using leftovers from your Thanksgiving meal. If you don’t have any leftover vegetables, it’s worthwhile making some for it!
1 Tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
2 onions
1 carrot
1/2 pound smoked sausage (such as kielbasa)
1 pound leftover cooked turkey (mixture of white and dark meat)
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup dry red wine or apple cider
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes 
2 cups water
2 cups leftover diced (not mashed) vegetables (sweet potatoes, roasted squash or root vegetables, green beans, etcetera)
2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained
2 bacon slices
1 to 2 cups leftover stuffing

1. Prepare the ingredients: Dice the onion, carrot, kielbasa and turkey. Mince the garlic and chop the parsley.
2. Melt the butter (or heat the oil) in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium heat. Add one half of the onion and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the wine or cider, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, basil, and the tomatoes. Bring this to a simmer, reduce the heat and continue to simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Spoon into a separate container and set aside. 
3. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 cups water, and the carrots in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Drain. 
4. Partially mash the beans with a potato masher. Place the beans and the reserved tomato mixture in the Dutch oven. Cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat. 
5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan, crumble, and set aside. Add the rest of the onion and the sausage to the skillet with the bacon fat and sauté for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the diced leftover turkey, crumbled bacon, and the sausage mixture to the Dutch oven and stir to combine.
6. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for one hour. Uncover and top with leftover stuffing. Bake an additional 30 minutes.

1 comment:

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