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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Let the Thanksgiving leftovers begin

A turkey sandwich with brie and apples makes a delicious use of Thanksgiving leftovers. SHNS photo

SH12J260THANKSLEFTOVERS Oct. 30, 2012 -- Leftover-Turkey Sandwich with Cranberry Sauce and Grey Poupon mustard. (SHNS photo by Lori King / The Toledo Blade)

By
From page C3 | November 21, 2012 |

By Daniel Neman

“Carcass” is such an ugly word. When you are cooking — or eating — surely it is happier to think in terms of “bones.”

So there you are, or there you will be, after the big meal. You have feasted and feted and eaten your fill. And yet, plenty of food remains: mountains of stuffing (what were you thinking when you made all that?), tureens of cranberry sauce, mounds of mashed potatoes and turkey, um, bones.

Let the leftovers begin.

The biggest challenge to Thanksgiving leftovers is trying to eat them all without growing tired of them after a few days and saying, “Well, it’s all probably spoiled by now, anyway.” What you need is variety, a way to use the familiar ingredients in a new way. Most of all, you need to use them in a way that doesn’t taste like your original Thanksgiving meal. By the time you get to leftovers, you’ll have had enough of that, anyway.

The obvious, easiest and probably most common answer to the eternal question of what to do with holiday leftovers is to make a sandwich. It’s hard to beat slices of home-cooked turkey on your favorite toasted bread slathered with as much mayonnaise as you feel comfortable with, crisp lettuce and a thick slice of tomato. But you can boost the flavor — as you can in basically any situation — by adding a couple of slices of bacon. Think of it as a TBLT, and don’t forget to add salt and pepper.

But why make something so mundane, albeit delicious? Why not take the extra step and make a turkey sandwich that is nearly as memorable as the Thanksgiving meal itself? All it takes is a slice or two of brie, and a slice or two of a tart apple, such as a Granny Smith. If you happen to have any walnuts on hand, sprinkle a few on top before adding the uppermost slice of bread. A little lettuce and tomato will add layers of texture and moisture, which are often helpful if the turkey is a bit dry.

And what if you’re tired of mayo or mustard for your turkey sandwiches? What if you long for something with more class, more dignity? What do you have around the house that you could possibly mix with other condiments to make a new spread that is a perfect match for turkey?

Well, there’s always cranberry sauce. And there is a pretty good chance that, although you might not have it at any time in the rest of the year, you just may have some now. Simply mix it with mayonnaise or mustard — or both, and throw in a little prepared horseradish for extra bite — and you have a new spread, as sophisticated as it is seasonal.

With the obligatory turkey sandwiches out of the way, it is time to think in terms of turkey soup, especially if the weather is cold. Turkey soup is one of those dishes that are essentially free, because you already have all the ingredients on hand. It is also a dish that you are unlikely to make or encounter any time of the year except for the week after Thanksgiving.

Think of turkey soup as being like chicken soup, only with a more robust flavor. Start with the turkey carc … — the turkey bones — that you have diligently refrigerated or frozen for this purpose. Simmer them in plenty of water with whatever you like in your chicken soup: a couple of carrots, a stick or two of celery, an onion with a few cloves stuck in it and a bunch of parsley. Skim off any scum that floats to the top. After the soup has simmered for about three hours, remove the bones and vegetables and replace them with a fresh batch of chopped carrots and celery, and diced turkey meat if you have any left.

The soup will be thin, so you might want to add noodles or rice that you’ve cooked separately. Or, if you’re looking to use up more leftovers, add mashed potatoes or stuffing, and puree it for a hearty post-Thanksgiving treat.

Perhaps you’ll have some leftover mashed potatoes. Everyone knows that the secret to great mashed potatoes is to fill them with butter, so how do you make leftovers even better? Add more butter. Melt butter in a skillet, add a little garlic if you choose and fry the leftover mashed potatoes on both sides until you have a steaming and delicious mashed-potato cake. Or you can fry them in smaller batches to create richly satisfying (mashed) potato pancakes.

That still leaves the question of what to do with leftover stuffing. Many of us look at it and see only stuffing — it’s delicious on Thanksgiving with a roast turkey, but it doesn’t have many applications beyond that. It doesn’t, that is, unless you think about breakfast. Bread, sausage, onions, mushrooms, herbs — reheat it just a bit, and it becomes a perfect bed for poached eggs.

The recipes

Turkey soup
The ingredients:
1 turkey carcass
4 carrots, divided
4 celery stalks, divided
1 onion
2 whole cloves
½ bunch parsley
Salt and pepper
Mashed potatoes, optional
Leftover stuffing, optional
Leftover turkey, however much you want, cut in bite-sized pieces

Putting it together:
Place the turkey carcass in a large stockpot and cover well with cold water. Chop two of the carrots and two of the celery stalks into a few pieces, and add to the water. Stick the cloves into the onion and add to the water, along with the parsley. Turn the heat to high and cook until the water starts to boil. Lower the temperature and cook on a low simmer for 3 hours, skimming off the scum that floats to the surface with a spoon, a ladle or a strainer.

Strain out the solids by pouring the soup through a strainer into a large bowl. Return the soup to the pot, and if you will be thickening it with mashed potatoes or stuffing, measure the soup as you return it.

Bring the soup back to a simmer. Slice the two remaining carrots and celery stalks, and add to the soup. If you are not thickening the soup with mashed potatoes or stuffing, add the leftover turkey now. Season with salt and pepper (if you will be using mashed potatoes or stuffing, go light on the salt if these additions are already salty). Simmer gently until the carrots and celery are tender, about 20-30 minutes.

If you want to thicken the soup, add ½ cup mashed potatoes for every 2 cups of soup or ½ cup leftover stuffing for every 2 cups of soup, and puree until smooth. Add the leftover turkey, and heat until the turkey is warm.

Garnish with parsley, and serve.
Yield: Varies with size of turkey

Turkey, Brie and Apple Sandwich

The ingredients:
2 slices bread
3-4 ounces leftover turkey, sliced
3-4 small wedges brie
2-3 slices tart apple, such as a Granny Smith
½ leaf lettuce
2-3 slices tomato
Walnut pieces
1 tablespoon mustard OR mayonnaise, optional
1 tablespoon Cranberry-Mustard Spread OR Cranberry-Mayo Spread or Cranberry Bite Spread, optional (recipes follow).

Arrange sandwich with bread, turkey, brie, apple, lettuce and tomato. Top with walnuts. Spread top slice of bread with mustard, mayonnaise, Cranberry-Mustard Spread, Cranberry-Mayo Spread or Cranberry Bite Spread. Yield: 1 serving

Cranberry-Mustard Spread
The ingredients:
¼ cup cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Putting it together:
Mix thoroughly.
Yield: 2½ ounces

Cranberry-Mayo Spread
The ingredients:
¼ cup cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Putting it together:
Mix thoroughly.
Yield: 3 ounces

Cranberry Bite Spread
The ingredients:
¼ cup cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

Putting it together:
Mix thoroughly.
Yield: ½ cup

Fried Mashed-Potato Cake
The ingredients:
2-3 cups mashed potatoes
½ green onion, sliced thin
½ tablespoon butter

Putting it together:
Place the mashed potatoes in a medium bowl and stir in the green onions. Melt butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter foams, spoon in the potatoes, spread them completely around the pan, and smooth the top. After a couple of minutes, they will start to develop a brown crust on the bottom. Flip in the pan or place a plate over the pan, turn the plate and pan upside down so the potatoes transfer to the plate and then slide the potatoes back into the pan. Cook another couple of minutes, until the bottom of the potatoes turn brown and crusty, and serve hot. Yield: 4-6 servings

— Toledo Blade

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