Monday, December 1, 2014

Survivng the Storehouse: Thanksgiving Part 3: Leftovers

Sorry this is so late! We were having too much fun giving thanks! Ha ha ha.  If this doesn't help you for this year, I hope it helps for Christmas or whenever you cook a big bird again.

The first thing to do is use that turkey's dead bones to their utmost capacity!  This is your only chance to make broth to have on hand, and it is TOTALLY freezeable, or even can-able! (Not too be confused with cannibal... Hehehe...)

Turkey Broth

1 turkey
Carrot, onion, celery, and/or garlic ends and trimmings and peels

Congratulations, you made it through dinner!  When you've recovered from your food coma, pick that bird clean of all meat.  Save it for later.

Take all those bones (even the ones from the legs and thighs that other people eat off of... You'll boil away the cooties) and put them in either a large stock pot or your handy dandy slow cooker.  Add any vegetables and/or trimmings you have on hand.  Cover with cold water and just a pinch of salt.  You'll flavor it more later, but a little helps pull out all the goodness from the bones.  Cover and bring to a boil in your stockpot, then turn it down to a simmer. If you're using a slow cooker (my favorite way), cover and set on low.  You can speed it up by putting it on high to start, but you must remember to check on it and turn it down! If you can't handle that, just use the low.

Check every hour or so.  When the liquid level starts to get lower, remove from heat and let cool a bit.  If you can fit it in the fridge, that's nice, or set in a cool room or the basement, covered.  When it's cool enough to go in a plastic freezer bag, do it!  Strain through a fine mesh strainer or think flour sack towel.  Use quart size bags for smaller recipes and gallon size for larger recipes and/or families.  Now return those bones and veggies to the pot, cover with more water, and do it again! Yes, you can use the bones more than once!  Sometimes, even TWICE.  You know you're done when the thickest bone falls apart when you squeeze it.

Use this wonderful, wholesome, healthy bone broth in soups, stews, gravies, or even just in a cup, seasoned with salt to taste.  Great for those colds and flus that go around this time of the year.

Turkey Tostadas/Haystacks
This is what we did this year.  Our leftovers only lasted one day.  Don't worry, I'll include other options!

Leftover cooked turkey
Leftover gravy
Hot cooked rice
Tostadas or corn tortillas (optional for haystacks)

cranberry sauce
sour cream

Chop up as much turkey as you need for your family.  Mix with the gravy.  Top each tostada with rice, then turkey mixture, then the other toppings as you desire (probably not all at once, but hey, to each their own).  If you like, you can broil them for a few minutes to heat them up or melt cheese or whatever.

Turkey Salad and Fried Mashed Potato Cakes

Leftover turkey, chopped
Sour cream or mayo
Chopped celery
Chopped onion
Spices on hand

Leftover mashed potatoes, chilled
Fat of choice (I prefer butter or sausage/bacon grease)

Mix it all together and turn yourself around... Oops, wrong directions! Ha ha ha. I like to add curry, but chili powder works well too, or just plain is fine.  I've also added chopped nuts and dried cranberries to this mixture with great success in past years.  Chill.

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium high heat.  Form mashed potatoes into flat circles about the size of your hand/palm/preferred spatula-flipper.  Place on greased, heated skillet.  Let cook about 3-5 minutes or until browned on one side, then flip and do the hokey pokey again.  Just kidding.  Remove when browned, keep warm.  Top with turkey salad. Enjoy!

Leftovers Shepherd's Pie (also good for leftover pot roasts)

Leftover turkey
Leftover mashed potatoes
Leftover gravy
Leftover stuffing and vegetables (optional)

Combine turkey and gravy, and vegetables if you're using them.  Add more liquid if necessary (where's that broth? make more gravy!).  Pour into baking pan, top with stuffing then mashed potatoes, then sprinkle cheese on top.  Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes, covered. 

 Still have some turkey? Try this last recipe:

Turkey Enchiladas

Leftover cooked turkey
Corn tortillas
Tomato sauce (2-3 14 oz cans)
Chili powder (if you have it)
Black olives, chopped (if you have some leftover, I don't!)
Cheese (about 1 cup, more if you REALLY like cheese)

Sides and toppings:
Hot cooked rice
Pinto beans
Chopped lettuce
Sour cream

Chop turkey.  Soften tortillas in micro, a stack of 10 takes about 1 minute.  Put a couple tablespoons turkey into each tortilla, roll and place seam side down in a baking dish.  Mix chili powder with tomato sauce if you're using it.  When dish is full, pour tomato sauce over the top, sprinkle with olives and cheese, cover and bake in a 325 F oven for 30-45 minutes.  Serve hot with rice and beans (topped with more cheese!) and sour cream, salsa, and lettuce on the side.  It's just like the restaurants, I promise!

Hopefully this gives you some ideas of what to do with all that food!  And I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Bon appetit!

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