26 November 2010

Special Thanksgiving Edition: leftover magic

Let the holiday season commence. 
I love the idea of leftovers, but eatin' on the same damn gamey bird for a week after Thanksgiving gets old fast.  However, since spent the six hours cooking it, and the small fortune buying it,  you'd better get the most out of that crap-- here are my suggestions for disguising what you just ate until it's all gone.

Soups are probably the most obvious way to finish off the bits and pieces you have left.  You can dump leftover vegetables and meats in with some vegetable or chicken broth and toss in a little pasta or rice to round things out, but it still tastes like (bland) Traditional Thanksgiving. You can also put those leftover mashed potatoes to good use in my Cheesy Baked Potato Soup recipe,  and turkey makes a great substitute for chicken in the brilliantly flavored Brazilian Vatapa soup.

Finally, say goodbye to your leftover turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes, in this special Thanksgiving version of Coddle, the old Irish cure for a hangover!  Just visit my more traditional recipe here  and make the following corrections:

--No need to cook the potatoes; cook the carrots by themselves (or toss leftover T-day veggies into your broth) and when they’re tender, stir in your mashed potatoes AND gravy.

--Add shredded turkey to the soup at the end of cooking time and heat thoroughly for a richer soup with more depth to round out the saltiness of the bacon.

Make a frittata with your leftover vegetables and turkey.  Shred the turkey and cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces, then place in a large, oven-proof skillet sprayed with cooking spray.  Whisk together 6 eggs ( to serve 4 people), salt and black pepper to taste, and a dash of Dijon mustard.  Pour egg mixture into skillet over medium-high heat and swirl the skillet to distribute the eggs and filling evenly over the surface.  Shake the skillet gently, tilting slightly while lifting the edges of the frittata with a spatula to let the raw egg run underneath for the first 1 to 2 minutes of cooking.  Cook until eggs are almost set, about 5 minutes, and then place the skillet under the broiler for about 1 minute.  The frittata will puff up and brown slightly.   Cut into wedges to serve.

And my personal favorite after spending several days with family...the leftover cranberry salad cordial.  In an airtight container, combine 1 cup of cranberry sauce, ¼ cup white sugar, and 750mL of unflavored vodka.  Allow to steep on your countertop for up to a week, shaking vigorously once a day to distribute the sugar.  After it has steeped to your satisfaction, strain the liquid into a large sealable bottle or jar and discard the solids.  Keep your newly flavored vodka in the freezer and serve in cordial glasses neat or over ice.

What do you like to do with your leftovers?  Share below!

PS--Dontcha wanna buy a book or shirt for Christmas presents?  Jesus-approved!