What should I do with the leftovers?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Do some recipes with Thanksgiving leftovers, several people asked.

Good idea.

We bought a 12-pound turkey this year because it was just 37 cents per pound on special. We’ll need to think of several ways to use the leftovers because two people cannot eat a turkey that big in two seatings or even three.

I always made turkey soup with the turkey carcass, cooking it with celery, carrots and onion. Then I found out no one really cared for it.

So this year, I’ll have to think of something different.

Turkey sandwiches are quick and easy, and I do like the idea of a Thanksgiving sandwich —  a slice of turkey, a layer of dressing and a layer of cranberry sauce.

Mashed potatoes can be turned into potato pancakes or piped on a baking sheet and browned in the oven like Duchess Potatoes. Add a couple of egg yolks, black pepper and parmesan cheese to the leftover potatoes, put in a piping bag or plastic bag with the tip cut off, place on a greased baking sheet, sprinkle with a dusting of nutmeg and bake at 425 degrees until golden.

If you have leftover veggies, most of them can go into soup, or you can make a turkey salad with bits of turkey, cooked green beans, shredded carrot and maybe a little blue cheese to put over greens.

And, if you fix the simple cranberry sauce featured last week, the one where you cook a bag of cranberries in 1 cup liquid (water is fine) and add a bit of sugar, there’s an easy dessert that will make use of that.

This soup is a bit lighter than a Thanksgiving meal, with many of the same flavors.

Cream of Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 cups sliced mushrooms (about 4 oz.)

3/4 cup chopped celery

3/4 cup chopped carrots

1/4 cup chopped shallots (or onion)

1/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (or turkey broth)

1 cup quick-cooking wild rice

3 cups shredded cooked turkey

1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

2 Tbsp. parsley

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, celery, carrots and shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes more.

Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add rice and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rice is tender, 5-7 minutes. Stir in turkey, sour cream and parsley and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more.

If you can’t find quick cooking or instant wild rice, do not substitute regular wild rice — its cooking time is 40-50 minutes. You can precook wild rice or use quick-cooking brown rice.

— Eating Well

If you have leftover green beans, toss them in during the last few minutes of cooking time.

To make turkey broth, strip as much meat from the bones as possible, then break the carcass up into smaller pieces to fit into your pot. Throw in cleaned (no need to peel) carrots, onions (leave the skin on for color) and celery, along with a bay leaf or two and some peppercorns. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Skim the top of the broth as needed, then partially cover and cook about 1 hour, making sure the liquid reduces. Strain the liquid and reduce further if desired, then season to taste. Thyme, sage and salt make a nice flavor.

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

3/4 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup chopped carrots

1 clove garlic, minced

2 1/2 cup turkey meat

1/4 cup peas

1/4 cup corn

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1 cup gravy

2 cups mashed potatoes

4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and sauté celery, carrots and onion until softened. Add garlic and cook for just 1 minute. Add turkey, corn and peas, along with seasonings and gravy and cook until heated through. Transfer to a 1 quart baking dish and press into an even layer. Heat potatoes until lukewarm and easy to stir. Add half the shredded cheese to the potatoes, stir to combine. Spread the potatoes over the filling and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake 30 minutes. If desired, broil for a crispier topping.

If you don’t have 2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes, consider adding some leftover sweet potatoes for the topping, or even some leftover dressing.

— Baked by Rachel

Cranberry Sauce Quick Crostata with Almond Crumble

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup sliced almonds

3 Tbsp. sugar

Kosher salt

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter melted

1 1/2 cups leftover whole-berry cranberry sauce

2 Tbsp. sugar, plus more for sprinkling

2 tsp. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. finely grated orange zest plus 1 Tbsp. orange juice

1 refrigerated pie crust

1 Tbsp. milk

For the crumble topping, combine flour, almonds, sugar and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Drizzle in the butter and use your fingers to incorporate. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir the cranberry sauce in a bowl with the sugar, cornstarch and orange zest and juice.

Put the pie crust on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the cranberry mixture evenly over the crust, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold and pleat the crust to partially cover the filling. Brush the crust lightly with milk and sprinkle generously with sugar. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the cranberry.

Bake until the crust and topping are golden, about 35 minutes. Cool on rack before serving.

Thanksgiving Leftover Stuffing Waffles

4 cups leftover dressing

2 eggs

Chicken stock (optional)

Oil or butter to grease waffle iron


Preheat waffle iron. With a wooden spoon or spatula, fold the eggs into the stuffing until evenly distributed and mixture is moist. The mixture should hold together without crumbs or bits of bread coming off. If it needs more moisture, add stock or water, a few tablespoons at a time.

Grease or spray your waffle iron. Drop about 1/2 to 3/4 cup mixture onto the hot waffle iron. Close and cook until dark golden brown and crisp, 5-7 minutes. Finished waffles can be kept in an ovenproof dish at 250 degrees.

Serve with leftover cranberry sauce, or warm up leftover green bean casserole to go on top. Or fry an egg to go on top of the waffle.

To use as a breakfast item, top with a little butter and maple syrup and serve alongside scrambled eggs.

Or use the stuffing waffles for an out-of-this world grilled cheese sandwich.