Got turkey leftovers? Add some creativity
How did you do on quantities for your Thanksgiving feast? Are you faced with the not-so-enticing prospect of eating turkey, stuffing and sweet potatoes for the next several weeks?
Just in case that might be the case, I spent a little time searching for recipes calling for cooked turkey. Yes, of course, you can plow through the foods in their original form, but I like to shake things up a little and transform leftovers in to a new dish.
My criteria for suitable recipes to pass along to you were that the dishes were 1) delicious, 2) quick to prepare, 3) use what would probably be on hand (who wants to go back to the store today?) and 4) have an unusual or unexpected flavor. I think I have some fun and tasty offerings for you.
Of those I polled in our office, 100 percent said someone in their household always makes a turkey soup the day after Thanksgiving. Unless you roasted a boneless turkey breast, you should have a carcass with which to make stock for soup. I've included the recipe for Next Day Turkey Soup, a traditional turkey vegetable soup with complete instructions for making stock and using it for your soup. You won't find better comfort food than homemade soup.
I've also included a recipe for a picadillo, a typical Spanish stew. It calls for dark meat, which is sometimes less popular than the light meat.
Included also today are a tasty curry salad and a dish with a fun name: Gobbler Cobbler.
One of the more adventurous cooks in our office said she makes a turkey jambalaya and a wild rice soup with leftover turkey. Others offered up ideas like turkey tetrazzini, baked potatoes loaded with all the feast leftovers, hot turkey sandwiches, cold turkey sandwiches, and curried turkey salad. A clear broth with noodles and Asian influences would be another delicious way to use up leftover turkey.
The possibilities are endless. Experiment a little. And, if you just don't feel like transforming that turkey into something else now, you can always freeze it to use later.
Bon Appetit! Eat something wonderful!
This recipe is a great one for using up many leftovers. It makes just 6 servings, so I'd suggest you make several batches and freeze them to enjoy later.
2 cups diced cooked turkey, white and dark meat
½ cup chilled gravy
1½ packages (17.3-ounces) frozen puff pastry (3 sheets), thawed
1 cup mashed potatoes, divided
1 cup stuffing, divided
1 egg white, beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon cold water (for glaze)
Mix turkey with chilled gravy in a small bowl. Roll out 3 pastry sheets to 12-inch long rectangles on floured work surface. Cut out 2 six-inch rounds from each pastry sheet, using small plate as guide, for 6 rounds total. Place each round on an 8 to 9-inch parchment square.
Spoon 2 ½ tablespoons mashed potatoes onto half of each pastry round; press lightly to flatten, leaving ½ inch border. Top with 2 to 3 tablespoons of stuffing, then about 1/3 cup turkey mixture.
Brush egg glaze around filling on 1 pastry half. Fold pastry over filling, stretching dough to cover. Seal edges with fork tines. Repeat to form 5 more empanadas. Transfer empanadas (still on parchment squares) to 2 rimmed baking sheets (3 on a sheet), spacing 2 inches apart. Chill empanadas 20 minutes.
(If you are freezing the empanadas for future use, at this point wrap them carefully in parchment and plastic wrap and place in freezer container or freezer bag, label and freeze.)
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Press edges of empanadas again with fork tines. Brush empanadas with egg-white glaze and cut small slits in top to allow steam to escape. Bake empanadas 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350ºF and bake until empanadas are puffed and golden, 25 to 35 minutes. Serve empanadas with cranberry sauce alongside.
Adapted from Bon Appetit, Nov. 2009
Cook's note: You can make your empanadas smaller and cut the dough with a 3 inch round cookie cutter before filling. Include sweet potatoes as a filling instead of either stuffing or mashed potatoes.
Quick Curried Turkey
and Pear Salad
Serves 2 to 4
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 lemon, juiced
½ cup mayonnaise
2 cups ½-inch diced turkey breast meat
2 pears, peeled and cut ½-inch dice
3 scallions, sliced
Salt and black pepper
2 heads romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and cut into large chiffonade
Mix the curry with the lemon juice to dissolve. Mix in the mayonnaise. Fold in with the turkey, pears, and scallions. Season. Serve on a bed of romaine leaves.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup milk
2 cups cubed cooked turkey
1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped celery
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup sliced ripe olives, optional
In a bowl, combine the flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Fold in cheese. Gradually add milk, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Roll out pastry to fit a 9-inch pie plate.
Transfer pastry to pie plate. Trim to ½ inch beyond edge of plate; flute edges. Line unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450ºF for 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 350ºF.
In a bowl, combine turkey, pineapple, walnuts, onion and celery. Combine sour cream and mayonnaise, and then fold into turkey mixture. Spoon mixture into crust. Sprinkle with cheese and olives if desired. Bake, uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through.
Turkey-Tomato Stew with Onions and Raisins
Makes 6 servings
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chopped onions
3 cups cooked turkey, preferably dark meat, cut into ½ inch pieces
1½ tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomato with green peppers
1 cup water
2/3 cup raisins
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add turkey, chili powder and pumpkin pie spice. Sauté three minutes. Add tomatoes with juices, 1 cup water, raisins and vinegar. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Uncover and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Adapted from Bon Appetit, Nov. 2001
Next Day Turkey Soup
Makes 6 to 8 servings
2 quarts chicken broth
1 turkey carcass, all meat removed
1 onion, halved, plus 1 onion, minced
1 carrot, halved lengthwise, plus 1 carrot, minced
1 whole stalk celery, plus 1 more stalk, minced
2 bay leaves
3 cups dark turkey meat
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
3 cups leftover cooked Thanksgiving side vegetables (Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, green beans)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
Put chicken broth, turkey carcass, onion halves, carrot halves, 1 celery stalk, and 1 bay leaf in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, and then simmer about 1½ hours. Finely dice the remaining onion, carrot and celery and reserve.
Dice the turkey meat. Make sure meat pieces are no larger than the size of a soupspoon. (If preparing soup the next day, be sure to store leftover turkey meat in an airtight container before placing it in the refrigerator, top with 1 or 2 ladles full of broth to keep meat moist.)
Before straining broth, remove large bones and carcass with tongs. Strain the broth through a sieve, covered with wet cheesecloth. Discard the solids. Transfer broth to a bowl set in a bath of ice water, which will cool the broth quickly and help keep it fresher longer. This can be done the night before and stored in the refrigerator until the next day.
In a large soup pot, heat garlic cloves in the olive oil. Allow to brown slightly and add minced carrots, celery, and onion. Sweat over medium-low heat until softened, about 7 or 8 minutes.
Dice the leftover vegetables (here Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and green beans). Add the chopped sage to the soup pot along with the turkey broth and the remaining bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. When simmering, add Brussels sprouts, green beans and diced turkey meat to the soup. Bring it back up to a simmer. Finally, add the sweet potatoes to the center, and gently push them down. Turn the heat off and cover. Allow to sit and steam for 5 to 7 minutes.
Let simmer for 5 more minutes and serve.
Sweet potato leftovers make this Devine dish
It was a dark and stormy night. There was a knock at the door. I opened it to find my friend Gretchen Schauffler, founder of Devine Color, with a dish in her hand.
'You've got to try this!' she said. It was divine and Devine. If you don't have leftover sweet potatoes, you will want to bake some just to make this delicious flan!
Devine Sweet Potato Flan
Bringing my Puerto Rican/American traditions together!
9' baking dish
13x9 glass pan
4 egg yolks
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 medium cooked, peeled, and cubed sweet potato
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons of sugar
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Mix egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk in a bowl till smooth. Puree mixture and cubed sweet potato in a blender. Set aside.
Take the 13x9-inch glass pan and fill half way with hot water. Place 9' baking dish in the center of glass pan.
In a saucepan, heat sugar and water, constantly stirring until it bubbles and turns a golden caramel (think Devine Teak)!
Pour the caramel in the 9' baking dish, swirl or brush caramel up the sides of the baking dish.
Pour sweet potato mixture into the 9' baking dish and put in the oven for 45 minutes.
Cool to touch and flip onto serving dish and refrigerate.
Garnish with your favorite toppings.
An original recipe by Gretchen Schauffler
Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281, ext. 101 or by email at bran