Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving Leftovers!

Ah, it is here...the occasion we wait all year long for. No, it is not Christmas or is the week following Thanksgiving. Sure we love all the delicious fixings that go along with the main course (Turkey, duh). We love visiting friends and family, watching the game and drinking too much. But what we really REALLY love is all the amazing things that get done with turkey leftovers AFTER Thanksgiving.

Here is a short list of ideas on how to use up those turkey scraps. This year I was fortunate enough to be able to take home the make turkey stock. It was SO easy I couldn't believe I didn't try this before. From now on I will make a point of sneaking the carcass out and into my car before anyone realizes what I've done. It was that good. What sorts of things would you do with turkey stock you ask? Soups, gravies, sauces...what can't you do? Well...don't bath with it. Don't wash your car with it, or use it to lube your slip and slide. Don't. I'll slap you.

Turkey Left Over Ideas

Turkey and Sweet Pea "Risotto":

1 cup of left over cook white rice, frozen sweet peas, shredded white and dark turkey meat, 1/2 cup cream and 1/4 cup turkey broth all warmed up in a small sauce pan. That's right, just dump it all into a pan, it is so simple. Once the rice and turkey mixture is warm and at the end mix in some shredded Parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper.

Turkey and Sweet Potato Hash:

1/2 cup chopped turkey, 1/2 cup cubed (cooked) sweet potatoes, 2 green onions, 1 yellow bell pepper all get sauteed in a greased heavy bottomed pan. Add the potatoes first, then the other vegetables and the turkey last. Season liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder. The hash is best when all the ingredients take a little browning and get nice and crusty! Eat with some over easy eggs and toast!

Curried Turkey Salad:

In a medium sized bowl mix: 1 cup chopped/shredded turkey, 1/4 cup mayo, 1 tbsp low fat sour cream or plain nonfat yogurt, 1 celery rib chopped finely, 2 green onions, 1tbsp curry powder and 1 tsp garlic powder. Let this sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or dig in with a fork while standing over the kitchen counter...). Scoop onto a plate of leafy greens and some diced green apples and craisins. Obviously this makes one damn good sandwich as well!!

Turkey Mole:

You'll want to pour this over some steamed white rice so make sure you get that out of the way before you start. There are many authentic mole recipes available online, but a quick short cut is to pick up jarred mole paste from the grocery store and mix with chicken broth. Add 2 cups of the prepared mole sauce, 1 can of chopped tomatoes, and 3 cups of shredded turkey and warm through on the stove or in a crockpot (I'd go for the crock pot because it wont likely overcook the turkey). Serve over white rice, garnish with cilantro leaves and salsa.

That's what I got so far for you. My advice is get creative, but don't ignore the obvious choices either. Leftovers make GREAT turkey soup (replace egg noodles with orzo or stuffed pasta like tortellini). Have a great casserole you'd normally use chicken for? Use turkey! The possibilities are endless.

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