Thanksgiving seems to lend itself to days of meals that follow the feast. If luck is on your side, you find yourself with enough of everything to satisfy these meals.
This year we are traveling to my sister’s home, in Maryland, so I will prepare a turkey breast, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes, simply because we enjoy these tremendously. Sweet potatoes are truly just for me. The missing piece is the stuffing, but my husband’s healthful food choices do not include stuffing, let alone sweet potatoes. I am trying to create a recipe that would achieve the taste of stuffing, without all of the carbs. This is an enjoyable venture for me. I will keep you posted.
Soup and sandwiches come to mind immediately, when I consider Thanksgiving leftovers, but while searching, I found a fabulous recipe for a take on shepherd’s pie using turkey, vegetables and sweet potatoes for the topping. This is brilliant, really. Even if your sweet potatoes are not mashed, just use what you have and smash them in a food processor.
The recipe I found, by Rachel Ray, explains the process as though you do not have the sweet potatoes on hand. Chances are you will. Be sure to read through the recipe, and only prepare items you are missing. The others should be available as leftovers.
Turkey soup makes so much sense, right? This is great because I can make a healthy version. When making any savory dish for Thanksgiving, consider using fresh sage. I still have sage and oregano in my flower pots out back, and using fresh sage makes a HUGE difference in the taste of any dish. (just sayin’) So, as you look over the soup recipe below, your own additions and subtractions are fine. You know best, what your crowd will enjoy. This is the beauty of soup.
One favorite leftover recipe of mine is the Thanksgiving “Everything” Sandwich. I am not, as a rule, a sandwich lover, but this singular concoction collides sweet and savory in ways that only occur after a holiday meal. The picture is compliments of newsday.com. The recipe is mine, and I encourage you to experiment with leftovers until you get your sandwich just right.
My one recommendation is to include cranberry sauce and/or coleslaw, for moisture, on top of the stuffing layer. Go easy on the bread choice. I always thought this would be delicious in a pita pocket, but have not tried.
With the big day just days away, shop really early, or really late, if need be, and enjoy your guests or your hosts. Happy Thanksgiving!
Turkey Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground turkey or chopped leftover turkey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, cut into 1-inch dice
2 carrots, peeled and grated
4 ribs celery, chopped
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups turkey or chicken stock (recommended: Kitchen Basics)
A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 (10-ounce) box frozen peas
1 very ripe banana
A few dashes hot sauce
2 cups sharp shredded yellow Cheddar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a deep skillet or a Dutch oven heat 2 tablespoons oil over high heat. Add meat and break up with a wooden spoon, season with salt and pepper and poultry seasoning.
Place sweet potatoes in a pot, cover with water, cover pot, bring to a boil, add salt and cook 15 minutes until tender.
Add onions, carrots and celery into the turkey. Stir, and cook for 5 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add flour to melted butter and whisk 1 minute. Whisk in stock and season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire. Cook a few minutes to thicken.
Stir peas into meat and turn heat off.
Drain potatoes and return pot to heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and melt over medium heat. Peel and slice banana and add potatoes to the pot. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and a few dashes hot sauce. Mash potatoes and banana to combine, adjust seasoning. Top the meat with the potatoes. Cover potatoes with cheese and place in the oven to melt cheese, about 5 minutes.
SOURCE: Rachel Ray
1 picked over turkey carcass
1 1/2 cups leftover stuffing
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and diced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon ground sage ( I use 1 handful of fresh)
2 1/2 quarts chicken broth
garlic salt to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups (uncooked) regular long-grain brown rice
1 (16 ounce) package frozen green peas
Place the turkey carcass in a large, deep pot, and add the stuffing, celery, carrots, onion, bay leaves, poultry seasoning, sage, and chicken broth. Pour in additional water if needed to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium, and simmer for about 1 hour, skimming off any foam. Remove the carcass and any bones. Pick any meat off and return to the pot, discarding bones and skin.
Season to taste with garlic salt and pepper. Stir in the rice and return to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat to medium, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in the peas, and continue to simmer until rice is tender, about 10 minutes more. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Thanksgiving ‘Everything’ Sandwich
Two slices of bread or a thinner sandwich roll
Spread sweet potatoes on one inside surface of bread and mashed potatoes on the other
2-3 slices turkey
1 scoop stuffing
1 tablespoon cranberry Sauce
1 scoop coleslaw