Happy Thanksgiving, family! I hope you and yours are together and safe today and always, eating and drinking copious amounts of food and libation. I hope you are also giving thanks to the forces that have brought you together now and that will do so in the future.
I realized, in all of my food-festival craziness, that I have been remiss with some recipes. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to make up for that with some leftover (and over) ideas. I, of course, focus on the common denominator–turkey–but in general, get inventive with your leftovers. Chilis, soups and stews are always a great idea for leftover proteins. Sides like yams, greens and dressing (aka stuffing) can make a delicious savory bread pudding or casserole.
Don’t let anything go to waste. Make a turkey stock with the bones. You can use that stock to make soups, or a risotto dish with one of your sides like yams or a vegetable.
- Bones of 1 cooked turkey
- 5 quarts water
- 2 onions, quartered
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 carrot
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
In a large stockpot, combine turkey bones, water, onions, celery, carrot, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, skimming occasionally, about 2 hours.
Strain into airtight containers; cool completely. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days, or freeze up to 6 months.
Why reserve the leftover turkey for dinner? These turkey croquettes sound perfect with some runny over-easy eggs and a mimosa. Tryptophan and alcohol be damned! You’ll be in deep REM sleep, savoring that vacation midmorning nap, before you know it.
- 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, minced
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp minced fresh sage
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh savory or thyme
- 2 cups finely chopped cooked turkey
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup mashed potatoes
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups finely ground fresh breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Cranberry sauce, for serving
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, 1 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir in sage and savory or thyme and cook for 1 minute. Stir in turkey and cream and cook until liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 15 minutes. Add potatoes, flour and egg to turkey and season with salt and pepper.
Drop 2 tablespoons turkey mixture into a shallow bowl of breadcrumbs, turn to coat and pat into 2-inch disks. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Heat 1/4 inch oil in a skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, cook croquettes in a single layer until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately with cranberry sauce.
Of course, there is the obligatory sandwich the next day piled high with a little stuffing and cranberry sauce or melted with cheese–but try to make it Vietnamese-style.
- Chilled cooked turkey
- Sriracha(or some good hot sauce)
- Thinly sliced peeled cucumber
- Grated carrot
- Generous handful of fresh cilantro
- Baguette or hero
- Jalapeno chiles (optional)
Chop chilled cooked turkey and mix with mayonnaise spiked with Sriracha or hot sauce. Layer turkey with thinly sliced peeled cucumber, grated carrot and a generous handful of fresh cilantro inside baguette. Add more heat with thinly sliced jalapeno.
That’s all she wrote. Now it’s time to start the planning for your next holiday. No matter your faith, it will be here before you know it.
Enjoy, get eating and thanks for reading!
Kysha Harris is a food writer, culinary producer, consultant and owner of Schop!, a personalized food service offering weekly and in-home entertaining packages. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email her at kysha@iSchop.com, follow her on Twitter @schopgirl or Facebook www.facebook.com/schopnyc or chat with her on Instant Messenger at AskSchop, Monday to Friday, 6 to 8 p.m. For even more recipes, tips and food musings, subscribe to her blog at www.TalkingSchop.wordpress.com.