Friday, December 1, 2017

Thanksgiving Leftovers

by Carl Weiss

Image courtesy of flickr
Thanksgiving isn't really over until you can't stand the site of turkey for another year.  At least, that's my opinion.  That being said, you want to come up with a few creative ways to doctor up those leftovers so you won't be forced to eat the same thing a half dozen times.  In the spirit of the holidays, I thought I would devote this week's blog to giving you some creative ways to convert those leftovers into something you will love to gobble up.

Turkey, Stuffing Cranberry Sauce Panini

2 slices of sourdough bread
Sliced turkey breast
3 tbls stuffing
2 tbls cranberry sauce

I usually make this sandwich on my George Foreman grill, but you can also pan fry it like a grilled cheese sandwich as well.  The trick is to layer the turkey and stuffing atop the bread, then top with the cranberry sauce and lettuce.  The taste is crunchy and succulent with a side of sweet and sour.  It certainly beats a regular turkey sandwich by a country mile. (It also goes great with turkey soup.)

Turkey Tacos

Here is another killer way to turn Thanksgiving leftovers into something completely different.

1 cup chopped turkey breast
1 cup salsa (if you're more daring, substitute cranberry sauce)
chopped lettuce
1/2 cup sour cream (or guacamole)
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
8 oven warmed taco shells

A Pot of Liquid Gold

I waste nothing when it comes to Thanksgiving turkey.  I use the giblets to make gravy and I bag the neck, along with all the bones to make soup.  Friends of mine have been known to ask me what the strange looking stuff in the bottom of my freezer is.  I tell them that's where I store all my vegetable cuttings, onion skins and bones for soup.  Once I fill up a couple of plastic bags with vegetable scraps and have at least 2 chicken carcasses, or 1 turkey carcass, it's time to make soup.  The easiest way to accomplish this is to have a stockpot with a removable colander/steamer basket.  I start by removing the lid and basket, then I fill the pot with just enough water so when I put the basket back in, about an inch of water covers the base of the steamer.

Into this I plop the bones, atop which I add the frozen vegetable cuttings.  Toss in a tablespoon of salt and a few select herbs, seal the lid and light the burner.  Once the water comes to a boil, I will sometimes add another cup or two of the water by pouring it directly on top of the bones & veggies.  It helps them melt while assuring that the pot isn't going to boil over.  Turn the fire down a bit and set your timer for one hour.

When you open the pot after an hour, give the glorp a good stir, then remove the steamer portion to the sink, making sure you drain the basket well before doing so.  What you should see in the bottom of the pot is a thin broth.  Crank the fire back up and boil it down with the lid off for 30-minutes.  This will enrich the broth.  Then taste it and add salt if necessary.

Instead of using egg noodles, I prefer to make a batch of spatzles (Bavarian Noodles) which can be made by spooning the batter into the boiling water.  Or, you can simply empty out the colander section of the stockpot and pour the batter through the holes.  (see video below)  Not only are these way better than store bought noodles, but they don't suck up all the broth.

Turkey Italian Style

Eventually, you will get to the point where there isn't enough leftover turkey to go around.  You are also by this point starting to gag at the sight of the stuff.  If that's what's bothering you, here is a quick, tasty Italian recipe that you will love.  Called Turkey Tetrazzini, it's a white sauce dish similar to Alfredo sauce, but with a Thanksgiving twist, as you will see on the video below.

Not only is this recipe a terrific way to stretch (not to mention finish off) the last of your Thanksgiving feast, but unless you tell your friends and family, none of them will even realize that you are serving them turkey yet again.  (My lips are sealed.)

If you want to see even more man cave recipes, go to the Man Cave Munchies website.
If you have any Thanksgiving leftover recipes you want to share with me email

1 comment:

  1. I love leftovers. Many times the aging of the food improves the taste! :D