Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes


What to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers? Here are some of the recipes I mention on RNN Thursday:

Turkey Carcass Soup
My husband used to make this recipe from “Jane Brody’s Good Food Book.” A few Thanksgivings ago, we rediscovered it and cracked up laughing once we saw the subtitle: “Living the High-Carbohydrate Way.” Times may change, but this soup recipe will remain part of our annual repertoire. What’s so high-carbohydrate about barley, anyway? We make the stock on Friday, and on Saturday any remaining out-of-town family gather at our house for a simple soup supper. – Liz Johnson
For the stock
1 turkey carcass, broken into pieces
Any defatted pan juices or gravy that may be leftover
12 cups water, or enough to cover the carcass completely
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2 ribs of celery, diced, with leaves if available
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced well-washed leek (optional)
1/2 cup diced turnip
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt, if desired
Bouquet garni, made by tying in cheesecloth 6 sprigs fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes), 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves and 1 bay leaf
Combine turkey, pan juices, water, onions, celery, carrots, leek, turnip, garlic, salt and the bouquet garni in a large pot. Bring the stock to a boil, then simmer it, partially covering the pot, for 2 to 3 hours. (This stock tastes better the longer it simmers, as long as you don’t cook away the liquid.)
Strain the stock and skim off the fat.
Remove all bones, reserving the turkey meat. Discard the bouquet garni and bay leaf.
For the soup
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
6 to 7 cups turkey stock
1 teaspoon marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup raw barley or rice
1 cup diced turkey meat
Dash hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
In a large saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in butter until soft. Add the carrots, celery and mushrooms, and cook the vegetables, stirring, 3 to 5 minutes longer.
Add the flour and cook the mixture, stirring, for another minute.
Add the stock, marjoram, herb mix and barley. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for an hour.
Add the turkey meat and the hot pepper sauce, adjust the seasonings and heat the soup to boiling.
Sprinkle the soup with parsley just before serving.
Yield: 4 servings.
Adapted from “Jane Brody’s Good Food Book” (Bantam, 1985)

Cranberry Sauce Muffins
These muffins use up cranberry sauce admirably, making Sunday brunch something special. Since it’s in the nature of leftovers to leave non-standard amounts to work with, you may have to use your judgment and add a bit more milk if these seem dry, or sugar if your cranberry condiment isn’t too sweet. I don’t know if the jelly-style cranberry sauce will work as well (but I’d try it) but any homemade, canned or gourmet cranberry relish will do just fine. A quarter-cup of cornmeal added to the dry ingredients adds a bit of crunch, too. – Judith Hausman.
2 cups white flour, or a combination of whole wheat and white flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup or more sugar (optional)
1/4 cup cornmeal (optional)
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or cooled, melted butter
1/2 to 3/4 cup whole cranberry sauce or relish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 12-muffin tin. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar and cornmeal, if using, in a medium bowl. Beat together the milk, egg, oil or butter and cranberry sauce in another bowl or large measuring cup. Pour this liquid mixture into the flour mixture. Mix quickly with a dozen thorough strokes, being careful not to over mix. A few dry places or lumps in the mix are fine. If very dry, add a few more tablespoons of milk. Spoon immediately into greased muffin cups to about two-thirds full. Bake 20 minutes. Cool briefly before removing from tin.
Yield: 12 muffins

Oatmeal Cranberry Bars
Another yummy way to make use of the sauce. If you don’t have two cups left over, you can make up the difference with just about any jam or cook one cup of cranberry sauce briefly with one cup of applesauce and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch until the mix thickens some. – Judith Hausman
1 3/4 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (quick oats will work too)
3/4 cup white flour, or a combination of whole wheat and white flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup shortening, margarine, butter or a combination, softened
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
2 cups whole berry cranberry sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and cinnamon in a large bowl. With two knives, a pastry blender or a food processor fitted with a steel blade, cut the butter or shortening into the flour mix to make large crumbs, roughly the size of peas. Stir in the milk. Press half the flour mixture into a greased 8-inch pan. Cover that layer with the cranberry sauce and then sprinkle the remaining flour mix loosely on top. Bake 30 minutes. Cool briefly and cut into squares.
Yield: 12 bars.

Sweet Potato Pie
Even if your family does the marshmallow topping thing to mashed sweet potatoes, adds crushed pineapple or uses squash or pumpkin instead of sweet potatoes, you can still use this recipe. Just mush it all in; this recipe is very tolerant. I prefer not to add butter, cream or sugar to the mix but, hey, a little butter and 2 to 4 tablespoons brown sugar couldn’t hurt. Any part of the milk could be any weight of cream instead, too. Some recipes even get uppity by separating the eggs, mixing the yolks with the sweet potatoes first and then folding in the stiffly beaten egg whites. I don’t bother. – Judith Hausman.
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon clove
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, vanilla, zest, and salt. Pour it all into the prepared pie crust. Bake for 50 minutes or until set.
Yield: 8 servings.


About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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