The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

November 30, 2011

The Feast What to do afterwards

Karen Freeman

TARBORO — The big feast is done. Everyone has collapsed on the sofa to watch games or take naps. But then dinner rolls around and it’s time to feed some of the people again! Usually, at my house, that meal is just a smaller version of the feast. Everyone kind of gets a little of whatever was their favorite things from lunch.

However, if you cook like we cook, there are still A LOT of leftovers. That’s where these recipes come in handy. These are what you do with some of the leftovers.

The first one is for the turkey. This year, at my sister, Michelle’s house, we are cooking two turkeys. So, we will have plenty of turkey left over. This recipe is for a baked turkey sandwich.  It’s all melty delicousness!

The second recipe is to use up the extra Cranberry Sauce. This is for the jellied kind out of the can. It’s all that my family will eat! You pull out that bag of frozen meatlballs from the freezer and then make a sauce from the cranberry sauce. Of course, if you don’t have meatballs, make the sauce anyway and use put some of the turkey in a baking dish and pour this over it and heat it up. Yummy.

The third recipe is sweet potato bisque. This will work even with candied yams. You will need to pull the marshmallow or pecan topping off. However, if you do the pecan topping, pull it off, crumble it up and garnish the bisque with it. You could float a little of the marshmallow on top as well but the pecan will work better.

The last recipe is totally easy. It’s wild rice and turkey in a casserole dish. If you made regular rice, that will work as well. You mix it all up, spread it out in the casserole dish and top it with some breadcrumbs. If you make cornbread style dressing, as we do, you can crumble that on top.

Whatever you do with your leftovers, remember that Thanksgiving is about giving thanks – not about the food. Cherish your time with family and friends and be thankful for the bounty that God has given you.

Baked Turkey Sandwich

1 finely chopped onion

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/3 cup butter, softened, or mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. poppy seed

8 Kaiser rolls or ciabatta rolls, split and slightly hollowed out

1-1/2 lbs. thinly sliced turkey

8 slices Swiss or Havarti cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small pan, sauté onion in olive oil until tender. Let cool for 10 minutes. Mix butter (or mayo), mustard, onion mixture, and poppy seed in a small bowl and spread over cut sides of rolls.

Fill rolls with turkey and cheese. Wrap each sandwich in aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes until sandwiches are hot and cheese is melted.

Cranberry Meatballs

48 frozen cooked meatballs

1/2 cup cranberry sauce

1/4 cup orange juice

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. finely minced ginger root

1/8 tsp. white pepper

Bake the meatballs according to package directions until well heated. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine cranberry sauce, orange juice, brown sugar, gingerroot, and pepper. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes until bubbly.

Add meatballs to sauce and stir. Serve with toothpicks. Serves 8-10

Sweet Potato Bisque

6 slices bacon

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups leftover roasted sweet potatoes

4 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 cup heavy cream

In large stockpot, cook bacon until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels and set aside. Drain off all but two tablespoons of the bacon fat.

Cook onion and garlic in bacon fat until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in sweet potatoes and chicken stock. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are falling apart.

Using a potato masher or immersion blender, mash the vegetables. Stir in heavy cream and heat through.

 Garnish each serving with bacon. Serves 4-6

Wild Rice & Turkey

3 cups cooked wild rice

3 cups chopped cooked turkey

16 oz. pkg. frozen French cut green beans, thawed

17 oz. jar Alfredo sauce

1/2 cup soft bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix rice, turkey, green beans and Alfredo sauce in large bowl. Place in 12x8" glass baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes until casserole bubbles at the edges and bread crumbs are browned.

To freeze, undercook rice by 10 minutes. Do not thaw green beans. Mix all ingredients and place in baking dish. Wrap well and attach small freezer bag with bread crumbs. Label and freeze up to three months.

To thaw and reheat, thaw casserole overnight in refrigerator. Uncover, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and bake at 350 degrees for 50-65 minutes until bubbly and thoroughly heated. Serves 6

Did You Know?

More Leftover Tips and Tricks

Cranberry Sauce

• Add to sangria. Add some Grand Marnier cranberry relish to white wine, along with some chopped peaches and tart green apple, spiced rum and some spice infused simple syrup, all to taste. Serve over crushed ice with some citrus and mint.

• Whisk into a vinaigrette. Just add red wine or balsamic vinegar, oil, and a little black pepper. Use as the dressing for a turkey salad.

• Use in muffins. Use some of your cranberry sauce instead of dried cranberries in muffins.

• Reinvent it as salsa.

• Use as a non-turkey topper. Cranberry sauce works well with plain yogurt, oatmeal and even ice cream.

• Make a “November Benedict.” Toast leftover biscuits and top with fried eggs, thin slices of ham and “hollandaise” of leftover cranberry sauce and some sage.


• Use as a pizza topper. Create a Sweet Potato pizza with sliced sweet potatoes and mini marshmallows on top.

• Whisk into soup. Add leftover mashed potatoes to chicken stock, cream and butter for a rich soup. Add chopped turkey, leftover vegetables and shredded cheese as desired.

• Mold into cakes. Mix mashed potatoes and fold in cheddar cheese, bacon and chives. Scoop them in to balls onto a cookie sheet. Let them chill overnight, then lightly bread and fry them.

• Use as empanada filling. Sweet potatoes make the perfect addition to empanadas.