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thanksgiving leftovers!

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whats everyones favorite leftover recipes? i dont just want to reheat - i want to make something completely new. ideas?

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  1. well, the pinnacle of leftovers is a turkey sandwich made on lightly toasted country bread, the day after: mostly white meat, plenty of mayonnaise, and salt and pepper. Turkey sandwiches come but once a year, like this.

    Next best thing is Turkey pot pie. we made this last night (we cooked our turkey on Sunday so I am all off schedule). First, make a stock from the carcass and any leftover veggies/pan juices. Then take about 1 qt stock, 1 chopped up carrot, 1 chopped up celery rib, 1 chopped up onion, and 1 chopped up potato and simmer it all together for about 20 mins or til the potato is cooked. Then make a roux (using fat from the turkey pan juices, of course) and use the strained stock to make your gravy. Sorry, you gotta know how to do this, I don't actually make the roux in my family, sorry, i'm sorry. Anyway, now you have veggies and gravy, then take (enough of) yer leftover turkey and mix them all together. Put them in a good casserole dish, and last night we also added sauteed mushrooms and some un-frozen green peas, and some salt and pepper. Then make your favorite biscuit recipe, and distribute the biscuit dough over the top of the dish, and bake at 350F until the liquid is bubbling and the biscuits are done.

    What with the stock and all, this seems like a Saturday or Sunday recipe, enit?

    I think it is my favorite. We do it with leftover chicken too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: patrick

      We make our sandwiches just a wee bit differently. We do a triple decker essentially. Spread bottom piece with a light layer of butter, add a thin layer of turkey, then a gravy soaked piece of bread, then another thin layer of turkey, then a little cranberry sauce, and a top butter spread bread. If we're really feeling it, we might add a thin layer of potatoes on top of the bottom piece of bread, or even a thin layer of stuffing. T-Day plate on a sandwich.

      1. re: Emme

        wow! I like the gravy-soaked piece of bread...a nice touch.

    2. Our favorite is turkey enchiladas....very very very good IF you make your own enchilada sauce which is so easy!

      1. Make a curried turkey and fruit (apple, mango, pomergranate) salad, with walnuts, raisins, onions, celery, a pinch of curry powder and Helmans; serve on fresh rolls with a soup.


        1. For a small breakfast, I had hard boiled eggs, halved on the length, remove yolk, fill with dressing, cover with gravy.

          S/I/L's dressing has greens (kale, spinach, herbs) and pancetta in it, so this breakfast had much flavor.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kc girl

            any chance you could post that dressing recipe? sounds intriguing...and yummy

          2. The rest of my turkey is going into a King Ranch Casserole. My recipe includes a homemade sauce, not cans of cream of anything soups. Cheese, green chilis, olives, green onions, tortillas, can't wait. Will post recipe if you are interested.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Coyote

              Am interested, please!

              1. re: Val

                Coyote's King Ranch Casserole


                2 tablespoons unsalted butter
                2 garlic cloves, minced
                1/2 teaspoon chili powder
                1/2 teaspoon cumin
                1 tablespoons flour
                1 cup chicken stock
                1/2 cup half and half (or milk)
                1/4 cup sour cream
                salt and pepper


                1 tablespoon unsalted butter
                1 onion, diced
                small can green chilis, 4.5 ounces
                8 ounces sliced mushrooms
                3/4 cup canned, diced tomatoes

                Have ready:
                corn tortillas
                2 cups shredded cooked turkey (or chicken)
                1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
                1/4 cup sliced green olives with pimento
                1/4 cup sliced green onions

                Preheat oven to 350. Grease a large baking dish.

                Saute garlic, and spices for sauce in butter in a saucepan. Whisk in flour, then stock and half and half. Simmer until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Salt and pepper to taste.

                Saute onion and mushrooms in butter. Add chilis and tomatoes and heat through.

                You can fry corn tortillas in oil if you wish to soften them but I don't.

                Layer tortillas in baking dish, add half the turkey, a third of the sauce, half the cheese, half the olives and half the green onion. Repeat layering, ending with sauce.

                Bake at 350 for thirty to forty minutes, until bubbly.

            2. Epicurious has a link on their front page to a long list of left-over recipes. Definitely worth a squizz...

              1. my mom makes these killer turkey patties - basically like a crabcake. time-consuming, but i make sure to tell her how much i appreciate her good work. sometimes i'll do the dishes.

                can serve with an aioli or similar sauce, but i actually prefer them with a good hot sauce or non-sweet chutney.

                1 Reply
                1. re: banshee

                  My mom does turkey patties too, but she puts the turkey meat in the food processor with onions, ginger, hot peppers, an egg, and a handful of cilantro. Then she coats them in bread crumbs and bakes in the oven. Yum!

                2. We flattened the mashed potatoes in a frying pan, browned on both sides, then topped w/ grated parmesan cheese and allowed to melt. With the turkey carcass I'm making soup w/ rice.

                  1. I always make turkey curry. Just follow any chicken curry recipe you like. I put lots of raisins in mine. (I wonder what it would be like with cranberries?)
                    Last night I had a great sandwich--turkey, ham, and Swiss on whole wheat with cranberry chutney!
                    And this is my favorite after-Thanksgiving casserole, which I got from the Los Angeles Times about 15 years ago:
                    5 T. butter or margarine
                    1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
                    2 c. leftover turkey gravy
                    1 c. sour cream
                    1 T. dill weed
                    3 c. cooked diced turkey
                    1 c. small shell macaroni, rinsed and drained
                    Salt and pepper (white pepper is nice)
                    1/2 c. fine bread crumbs
                    Dash of paprika
                    Melt 2 T. butter in saucepan and saute mushrooms until tender. Stir in next 3 ingredients, blend well, add turkey and macaroni. Season to taste and turn into 1 1/2 qt casserole. Brown bread crumbs, with paprika, in remaining butter and sprinkle over casserole. 375 degrees, 30 minutes. The dill and sour cream make this really good!

                    1. In my family, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without turkey noodle soup the rest of the weekend...my son has been hinting about coming over tonight, knowing we have it heating on the stove.. :-)

                      I never follow an exact recipe, but basically, I saute onions and garlic in olive oil until the onions are translucent, add mushrooms, saute just a few minutes more, add sliced carrots, celery, (which I also always have leftover) and bits of whatever fresh herbs I have left over (just a bit of sage is good, and a bit more than a bit of thyme), parsley...add in whatever turkey stock I have left (I make the turkey stock with roasted parts before the holiday, for use in the gravy and stuffing, etc., plus at least a few quarts extra for the soup), shredded leftover turkey, LOTS of white wine (this year I used half a bottle of riesling and half a bottle of chardonnay, both 'left over' from the day before, and it tastes great), salt, pepper...simmer for an hour or two, adjust the seasonings, enjoy with sourdough bread.

                      Noodles should be cooked seperately and added in at the last minute. A similar recipe using chicken gets raves with matzoh balls at passover. and guarenteed to stave off a cold anytime!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: susancinsf
                        janet of reno

                        My recipe is almost identical (imagine that!) except that I add frozen peas at the end along with the pasta (I like bowties or shells....). Hubby just loves his peas!

                        I made a huge pot too, but its already gone. We had the mother of all post-Thanksgiving snow storms and I think everyone has been sneaking soup all day....

                        Two other things to do with Thanksgiving leftovers (besides eating pumpkin pie for breakfast): 1) it sounds gross, but take leftover stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy, mix them together and warm up in the microwave. Love those carbs!

                        Also, of course there is the unbeatable Turkey/Cranberry Chutney sandwhich: Turkey on sourdough with lettuce, mayo and Cranberry Chutney. Once again, here is the chutney recipe, with eternal thanks to my sister-in-law Prerna:

                        1 bag cranberries (fresh or frozen, it doesn't matter). Wash and pick over, then add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin, 1/2 Tbsp. ground coriander, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. crushed dried red hot peppers, and a dash fresh ground pepper. Pulse in food processor until desired consistency (add a little water if necessary). Taste and adjust seasonings (may need more sugar).

                        1. re: janet of reno

                          I agree, the best turkey leftover is sandwiches, with stuffing, cranberry sauce, cheese and mayo. That's basically all we eat all weekend.

                        2. re: susancinsf

                          One time, all I had was cavatelli to put in the soup, now my husband refuses to eat it any other way! And it's a pain to find sometimes...