Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Something to be Thankful For: Part 4, Turkey Leftovers

I realize my Thanksgiving posts have all run just a bit late...it is halfway to Christmas already and I am still writing about my turkey. Last post on this for a year, I promise! I had a lot of leftover turkey this year, since I was only serving 2 people but still wanted to make a full roasted bird for the holiday. Since I am always very big on credit crunching, having leftover meat to use throughout the next week is a positive in my mind. I unfortunately did not get all of my creations on film this year, but at least a few of them did manage to get snapped in time.

There are a few specific dishes I try to make every year to use up the seemingly endless supply of leftover turkey meat. Usually, some of my leftovers find their way into a turkey sandwich. This year I made some paninis using my indoor grill. I used some nice hearty bread, layered with slices of turkey breast meat, roasted red peppers, avocado slices, Emeril's NY Style Brown Deli mustard, and Swiss Cheese. They turned out pretty tasty, very cafe-like.

I also made a Lazy Turkey Dinner in a Bowl, which was just some leftover mashed potatoes and corn mixed together and mounded in a bowl, topped with chunks of cooked turkey, with some maple gravy on top and heated all together. Not exactly the fanciest of meals, but I was tired and far more interested in spending time with my best friend than cooking endless meals. On another night, I tried out this version of Turkey Tetrazinni (pictured above), a pasta dish with a creamy white sauce which I topped with panko crumbs and a bit of Parmesan cheese. It turned out fairly well, although not quite as flavorful as some different versions I had made in the past.

One of the new things I tried out this year was a really great recipe for Turkey Enchiladas. I decided to use my dark meat in this, mixing it with some mild Tequila & Lime flavor salsa, a bit of cheese, some of my leftover corn, and just a tiny bit of diced jalapenos (enough to give it some flavor but not enough to make the enchiladas too hot). These were really good and so very fast and easy to throw together at the last minute. I will likely make these again with chicken leftovers as well.

I usually make some form of a turkey soup. This year, I made some wonderful Turkey Chowder, which was so simple and was perfect for my remaining white meat. I used the rest of my evaporated milk in place of some of the half & half cream called for in the recipe. It came out so luscious, smooth and creamy. This chowder had me wishing I had more leftovers, even after eating turkey all week. It was a great find and will definitely be making a return to my table next year when I am faced with more leftovers.

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