Thanksgiving Leftovers: Rethink Turkey Leftovers

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The Thanksgiving meal is superb and all — who doesn’t love a big plate of comfort food and an afternoon in front of the fire and the football? — but it’s over in about half an hour.

You know what won’t be? Leftovers.

And so in some ways, this makes them more important than the meal itself.

Of course you’ll have a turkey sandwich, maybe even on Thanksgiving evening. And you’ll want to fill a plate destined for the microwave with turkey and all the sides on Friday or Saturday evening.

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But come Sunday? It’s time for a change. Let us help.

See all our Leftovers Recipes: Thanksgiving Leftovers. On the Small Bites blog, you’ll find recipes for turkey soup, turkey stir fry and corncakes topped with turkey.

We have recipes for cranberry muffins, cranberry chutney and cranberry cookies. And for stuffing? Stuffed mushrooms, of course!

And today, we also have three ideas for using all of it at once: Potpies! Our Seasonal Chef Maria Reina offers these genius ideas for layering turkey, stuffing, even cranberry sauce and topping it with pastry crust, or, as for a shepherd’s pie, mashed potatoes. Your Sunday dinner never looked better.

Seasonal Chef Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Seasonal Chef Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Cook Time: 1:20; Total: 1:30 minutes. Yield: 6-8 servings. From our Seasonal Chef Maria Reina.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, ¼-inch dice, about 1 ½ to 2 cups
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • Ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, ¼-inch dice, about 1 cup (or use 1 cup mushroom stuffing)
  • 1½ pounds (about 3 cups) leftover turkey
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup wine
  • 1 cup good chicken stock
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 carrots, cut in ¼-inch rounds, about ¾ cup
  • 1 (15 oz) can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • ¾ cup frozen peas, thawed (or leftover peas, or green beans)
  • About 2-3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup fresh parsley minced, divided
  • Kerrygold Dubliner cheese, optional

Instructions

  1. In a large 13-inch non-stick skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter and add the onion, garlic and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the turkey and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon. Cook until it is warmed through, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir flour into turkey mixture. Turn up the heat slightly, to medium high, and add the wine, chicken stock, ¼ cup milk and carrots. Combine well. Let that reduce for about 5 minutes.
  5. While it is cooking, reheat the potatoes until they are soft and scoopable.
  6. To your bubbling meat add the tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire and thyme. Allow it to continue cooking until it’s thick, about 10-15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Turn off the heat and add the peas and ½ cup finely chopped parsley. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Your filling should be glossy and thick. Place in a 10-inch pie plate. Carefully scoop the potatoes over top making peaks with the back of a spoon. Using a fine microplane or grater top the potatoes with grated cheese.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes and broil the last 5 to get a golden brown crust.
  9. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the reserved parsley. Let it rest for 5 minutes before digging in.
http://food.lohudblogs.com/2014/11/28/thanksgiving-leftovers-rethink-turkey-leftovers/

Easy Leftover Pot Pie: Seasonal Chef Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

The veloute' sauce for this dish can easily be made ahead of time. Perhaps even when you are making the cranberry sauce. Cool it down, cover and place in the fridge. That way you can assemble the pies the day after Thanksgiving in just minutes.

Ingredients

  • VELOUTE Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon dry thyme
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • --
  • 1 1/2 cups of leftovers, turkey and or assorted veggies, cut in 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1 - 2 cups mashed idaho or sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup stuffing crumbled

Instructions

  1. Over medium heat, in a large saute pan, melt the butter and add the flour with a whisk. Stir until the flour is combined and starts to get lightly golden and foamy. About 3-4 minutes.
  2. Slowly add the stock, 1 cup at a time, and incorporate well with the whisk. After the second cup add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. After the third cup add in the thyme and parsley. Let it come to a simmer and thicken a bit, about 5 minutes.
  3. After the third cup decide if you like the constancy and add a little more stock if necessary. You don't want it runny, but also not thick like gravy. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Remove from heat. At this point you can place in a glass bowl and cover the top with the film of plastic wrap and use later. Just remember to cool it completely before placing in the 'fridge. The plastic wrap will keep it from getting a hard crust on the top.
  5. Add in the mixed leftovers and combine well. Divide evenly between four - 2 cup containers.
  6. Top each with a couple of tablespoons of cranberry sauce and then 1/4 - 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes. Finish by topping with some crumbled stuffing.
  7. Individually wrap and place in the 'fridge or freezer for later.
  8. To bake place in a 350 oven for 20-25 minutes until bubbly. If frozen, thaw in the 'fridge over night and then bake.

Notes

Cook time does not include baking the pot pies. It refers to making the sauce and assembling the pies.

http://food.lohudblogs.com/2014/11/28/thanksgiving-leftovers-rethink-turkey-leftovers/

Leftover Turkey Tex-Mex Pot Pies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup ramekin

Leftover Turkey Tex-Mex Pot Pies

Recipe created by Maria Reina of Bella Cucina Maria

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup red onion, 1/4" dice
  • 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, 1/4" dice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey, or chicken
  • 1 cup room temperature veloute sauce (recipe above)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese (I like Sargento Reduced Fat 4 Cheese Mexican)
  • 2 1/2 cups leftover sweet potato chunks
  • 1/4 cup Fat Free Half and Half
  • Toasted pepitas for garnish

Instructions

  1. Saute the onion, pepper and garlic over medium heat with olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Cook until golden brown. Stir in the beans, corn, turkey and cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and stir in the veloute sauce and chili powder combining well. Add in the cilantro and divide evenly between 4 - 8 ounce oven proof ramekins. Top with 2 tablespoons each of cheese and set aside.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes in the bowl of a standing mixer with the cream. Whip for 2 minutes on medium speed to get them soft and fluffy. Scrap out and into a pastry bag or a 1 quart zip lock bag and cut off a corner.
  3. Pipe the potatoes over the turkey filling making a circular design. Top with a few toasted pepitas and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes and serve.
http://food.lohudblogs.com/2014/11/28/thanksgiving-leftovers-rethink-turkey-leftovers/

Seasonal Chef Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Cook Time: 1:20; Total: 1:30 minutes. Yield: 6-8 servings. From our Seasonal Chef Maria Reina.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, ¼-inch dice, about 1 ½ to 2 cups
2 garlic cloves, minced, divided
Ground black pepper
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, ¼-inch dice, about 1 cup (or use 1 cup mushroom stuffing)
1½ pounds (about 3 cups) leftover turkey
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup wine
1 cup good chicken stock
¼ cup milk
2 carrots, cut in ¼-inch rounds, about ¾ cup
1 (15 oz) can of petite diced tomatoes
1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
¾ cup frozen peas, thawed (or leftover peas, or green beans)
About 2-3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1 cup fresh parsley minced, divided
Kerrygold Dubliner cheese, optional

In a large 13-inch non-stick skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter and add the onion, garlic and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes.

Add the turkey and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon. Cook until it is warmed through, about 2-3 minutes.

Stir flour into turkey mixture. Turn up the heat slightly, to medium high, and add the wine, chicken stock, ¼ cup milk and carrots. Combine well. Let that reduce for about 5 minutes.

While it is cooking, reheat the potatoes until they are soft and scoopable.

To your bubbling meat add the tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire and thyme. Allow it to continue cooking until it’s thick, about 10-15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Turn off the heat and add the peas and ½ cup finely chopped parsley. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Your filling should be glossy and thick. Place in a 10-inch pie plate. Carefully scoop the potatoes over top making peaks with the back of a spoon. Using a fine microplane or grater top the potatoes with grated cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes and broil the last 5 to get a golden brown crust.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with the reserved parsley. Let it rest for 5 minutes before digging in.

Easy Leftover Potpie

Veloute sauce for this dish can easily be made ahead of time. Prep Time: 25 minutes; Cook Time: 25 minutes; Total Time: 1 hour. From our Seasonal Chef Maria Reina.

For the veloute sauce:

4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour
4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon dry thyme
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
For the pot pie:
1 1/2 cups of leftovers, turkey and or assorted veggies, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
1 to 2 cups mashed Idaho or sweet potatoes
1/2 cup stuffing crumbled

Over medium heat, in a large saute pan, melt the butter and add the flour with a whisk. Stir until the flour is combined and starts to get lightly golden and foamy. About 3-4 minutes.

Slowly add the stock, 1 cup at a time, and incorporate well with the whisk. After the second cup add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. After the third cup add in the thyme and parsley. Let it come to a simmer and thicken a bit, about 5 minutes.

After the third cup decide if you like the consistency and add a little more stock if necessary. You don’t want it runny, but also not thick like gravy. Taste for seasoning.

Remove from heat. At this point you can place in a glass bowl and cover the top with the film of plastic wrap and use later.

Add in the mixed leftovers and combine well. Divide evenly between four 2-cup containers.

Top each with a couple of tablespoons of cranberry sauce and then 1/4-1/2 cup of mashed potatoes. Finish by topping with some crumbled stuffing.

Individually wrap and place in the fridge or freezer for later.

To bake place in a 350 oven for 20-25 minutes until bubbly. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator over night and then bake.

Leftover Turkey Tex-Mex Potpies

From our Seasonal Chef Maria Reina.

1/2 cup red onion, 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, 1/4-inch dice
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 cups chopped cooked turkey, or chicken
1 cup room temperature veloute sauce (recipe above)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 cup Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese (I like Sargento Reduced Fat 4 Cheese Mexican)
2 1/2 cups leftover sweet potato chunks
1/4 cup fat free half-and-half
Toasted pepitas for garnish

Sauté the onion, pepper and garlic over medium heat with olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Cook until golden brown. Stir in the beans, corn, turkey and cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and stir in the veloute sauce and chili powder combining well. Add in the cilantro and divide evenly between 4 8-ounce oven-proof ramekins. Top with 2 tablespoons each of cheese and set aside.

Place the sweet potatoes in the bowl of a standing mixer with the cream. Whip for 2 minutes on medium speed to get them soft and fluffy. Scrape out and into a pastry bag or a 1 quart zip-close bag and cut off a corner.

Pipe the potatoes over the turkey filling making a circular design. Top with a few toasted pepitas and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes and serve.

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, 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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