Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

If you are anything like me you made about five times the necessary amount of food for Thanksgiving dinner. Sound familiar? If you want to know the real truth, I do it on purpose because I can stretch Thanksgiving leftovers for at least a week and half. Between lunches at work and dinners for the fam, I leave nothing to waste. Here are a couple of my favorite leftover recipes as well as some new ones I plan to try this year:

Turkey Tetrazzini is an old favorite for me. I like it because I can use up some serious amounts of turkey and it lasts in the fridge for a good week. I love it for comfort-food lunches - I typically need comforting after returning to my normal routine after a nice long Thanksgiving break anyhow. Don't you? I'll be trying this updated recipe from Simply Recipes this year.

Southwestern-style turkey soup - made for me by a friend from Texas. It is very similar to this one pictured below. She served it with corn bread and it was to-die-for! A one-pot meal for sure. One reason I liked it so much is because it was a total departure from the traditional tastes of Thanksgiving meal - except using the leftovers. Nice.

I have not tried this Next Day Turkey Soup recipe but there are several things I notice right away that make me think you can't go wrong with it!

1. It is from Michael Chiarello - is it even possible for him to create something that is NOT delicious and beautiful? I think not. 
2. The recipe uses the actually turkey carcass to flavor the soup. Nice use of every scrap of leftovers.
3. The soup uses the dark meat turkey. Admittedly, my entire family are white meat eaters when it comes to cuts right off the bird; however, if it is in a soup with all the other flavors and textures we are happy to eat the dark meat. This gives me a chance to use those up.
4. I might also guess that you could freeze portions of this quite well for later use. You can never have too much soup in the freezer for the winter.

Last year my husband and I had a turkey cook-off. I am embarrassed to say that he won. I made my famous Orange Bourbon Turkey - okay, so it is not really MY recipe. I got it from Cooking Light about 12 years ago and it has never failed me! So how did my hubby top me? He smoked a turkey on his Big Green Egg. It was not really a fair fight because anything you throw on that egg turns out so delicious it is ridiculous. Anyhow, he is smoking one again this year and I think I will try some of the leftover meat in this Black-eyed Pea Soup with Smoked Turkey and Collard Greens by Emeril Lagasse.

And for my leftover mashed potatoes? Venison Shepherd's Pie! Why? Because our family has a freezer full of ground deer meat from various hunting escapades. What better way to use what you have?

I am so thankful for my family and the bounty we are fortunate enough to share during this season. I hope you and yours have a safe and pleasant holiday weekend!



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