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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey Talk: 10 Leftover Ideas

Mr. Poorhouse bought a twenty-pound turkey for only four people this year. The good news is it was only $.99/pound. The bad news is it's, well, turkey, and it's starting to dry out. Here are 10 quick ways I have to use it up without going insane.

1. Papa Poorhouse's Turkey Sandwich

Sliced leftover turkey
toast (sourdough bread works too)
leftover cranberry sauce
romaine lettuce
thin slice red onion


2. Thanksgiving, Part II

Pile one of each of the leftovers on your plate. This is why God make microwaves. Use lots of gravy if the stuffing and turkey are a little dry. You may want to freshen up the mashed potatoes with a little milk or cream first.

3. Turkey Soup

After salvaging all the meat possible to a ziplock in the fridge, break the carcass into 4-5 pieces. Put it in a big stock pot with a chopped up onion, any leftover veggie trimmings from your Thanksgiving prep, a chopped carrot and chopped celery rib, a bay leaf, and some thyme. Simmer gently (this is the key) for a couple of hours. Skim the foam off as it cooks. Strain, discarding the veggies and bones and meat. Chill. Remove the fat layer. Add new chopped carrots, celery, rice or cubed potatoes. Season. At the last minute, add chopped turkey from your leftover stash and noodles if you didn't already use rice or potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes. Season again.

4. Open Faced Turkey Sandwich

This one's easy. Bread (or toast), turkey, gravy. Whatever sides you have left.

5. Potato Pancakes

Do you have leftover mashed potatoes? My mom used to add egg and fry them up and call them potato pancakes. You could add bits of chopped cooked bacon, sausage (or even turkey--Bwahahaha!) or veggies, garlic, and spices first for an easy variation of the Czech bramborak.

6. Turkey Tetrazinni

This was a one of my Mom's standard post-thanksgiving meals. It's a fancy version of southern Chicken Spaghetti, with mushrooms, cream sauce, spaghetti or linguini, and a dash of sherry. It is a casserole dish. Warning: make sure the spaghetti is completely covered in sauce before baking, or you get crunchy dried out noodles, which, in my book, is a texture violation. I don't have her recipe handy, but this one from looks close.

7. Gobbledygook

This very 50s-style recipe is actually called "Gobble-Good Turkey Casserole" but we like our name better. It is a tuna noodle casserole variant made with cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup, and, of course, turkey instead of tuna. My son brought this recipe home from school one year and now asks for it after every Thanksgiving.

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 package onion soup mix
1 1/2 C milk
2-3 C leftover turky
1 C cooked rice

Combine all ingredients in a large casserole dish. Bake covered 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

8. Turkey Curry

Colin Firth at the Nanny McPhee London premiereImage via Wikipedia
This one's in honor of Bridget Jones's mother. I think I'll try this recipe from The Daily Green tonight. Serve it in a buffet on New Year's Day, and maybe Colin Firth will stop by!

9. Pulled Turkey Sandwiches

This option is very not-turkey-like and much healthier than the better known pork alternative. It's a good way to disguise the turkey when your family starts to rebell!

Here's the recipe I used last year from Favorite Brand Name Recipes.

10. Devonshires

My mom's recipe calls for chicken, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't use turkey. Here it is:

4 slices light wheat bread
12 slices bacon, cooked
1/4 c bacon drippings
1/4 c flour
4 C 2% milk
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 t dried mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 t ground sage
4 slices cooked chicken (or turkey) without skin
8 oz. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast bread. Warm bacon fat in sauce pan, add flour, cook until flour is brown. Make a roux with the milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add cheddar cheese and mustard, stir until melted in. Season with salt, pepper, and sage.

Put 3 slices of bacon on toast, a slice of turkey, and sauce. Sprinkle parmasan on top and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

When all else fails and you can't face another bite of turkey, give it to the dog. I guarantee you she will not mind!

Further Reading:

Uses for leftover Mashed Potatoes from The New York Times.cooked

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