Nov 20, 2015

Stretching That Thanksgiving Turkey

It's Thanksgiving again, which usually means leftovers. It's always a challenge to use them up in a delicious and creative way, not any more.

Many of the recipes below call for turkey stock, so put your turkey carcass to good use this year and make homemade turkey stock yourself, it's easy, frugal, and it tastes better than store bought. 
Here's the recipe:

Homemade Turkey Stock
12 cups cold water
1 turkey carcass, broken into 3 or 4 pieces
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 unpeeled onions, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
6 stems parsley

In large stockpot, combine water, turkey pieces, celery, carrots, onions, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns and parsley. Bring to boil; skim off any foam. Reduce heat and simmer for 4 hours.

Strain through cheesecloth-lined sieve set over large bowl; let cool. Refrigerate until fat solidifies on surface, about 8 hours; remove fat. Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 4 months. Makes about 12 cups.

Turkey Salad Platter, Cobb-Style
3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup torn watercress leaves
3 roma tomatoes, cubed
1 small red pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups cubed cooked turkey
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or green onions

Ingredients for dressing:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
1 pinch granulated sugar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Procedure for dressing: 
In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar; whisk in oil in thin steady stream.
Procedure for salad:
Arrange romaine on large platter; top with watercress. Arrange tomato, red pepper, turkey, avocado, cheese and eggs in lines on top of lettuce/watercress. Sprinkle with chives or green onions. To serve, drizzle with dressing. Makes 4 servings.

Turkey Noodle Soup Hawaii-Style
1 package (14 oz) fresh Udon noodles
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms, caps only
1 tablespoon grated gingerroot
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups turkey stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups shredded cooked turkey
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
Cilantro leaves for garnish

Rinse noodles in hot water to loosen; drain in colander. Set aside.

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; fry onion, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, ginger and salt, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 3 minutes.

Add turkey stock and soy sauce; bring to boil. Add turkey; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add noodles and green onions; simmer for 2 minutes. Add bean sprouts. Garnish with coriander leaves. Makes 4 servings.

Leftover Turkey Chowder
2 tablespoons butter
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 onion, diced
8 ounces Yukon Gold potato
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups turkey stock
2 cups diced cooked turkey
1-1/2 cups milk

In large Dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat; cook carrots, celery, onion, potato, thyme, salt, sage and pepper, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 6 minutes.

Stir in flour; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Whisk in turkey stock and 2 cups water; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir in turkey and milk and bring just to simmer (do not boil); simmer gently to heat through, 5 minutes. Serve with hot crusty bread and butter. Makes 4 servings.

Classic Monte Cristo Sandwich
4 eggs
2/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (Kumu Farms)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch salt
8 slices of thickly sliced (1-inch) Hawaiian sweet white bread
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons mayo
4 ounces cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
leftover turkey, thinly sliced
4 teaspoons butter, more if needed

In large shallow dish, whisk together eggs, milk, chopped thyme, pepper and salt; set aside.

Spread 4 of the bread slices with mustard; top with cheese and turkey. Top with remaining bread spread with mayo

. Dip into egg mixture, turning to soak well.

In large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat; cook sandwiches, turning once, until browned and cheese is melted, about 6 minutes. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Turkey & Wild Rice Casserole
I am a big fan of wild rice. It's hard to come by here on this little island, so I usually order it on Wild rice and turkey are a natural together, but this recipe also works with chicken for the rest of the year.

1 onion
5 carrots
5 stalks celery
1 cup wild rice
3 cups turkey stock
1 pound leftover cooked, shredded turkey
10 tablespoons butter (divided)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
3-4 cups cubed bread (dry, sturdy, or day old bread works best)
1/2 cup parsley, chopped, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Chop the onion, carrots, and celery. Place in a large baking dish. Add the wild rice and turkey stock. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.

When the rice is almost done, melt four tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, salt, and poultry seasoning and cook for one minute. Add the milk slowly, whisking to form a thick, creamy sauce.

For the toasted bread topping, melt the remaining six tablespoons butter and toss with the bread cubes.

When the rice is done, remove foil, add turkey and creamy sauce, and stir to combine. Arrange the bread in a layer on top. Turn the heat up to 450˚F and bake uncovered for another 20-30 minutes until the bread cubes are golden brown. Top with salt, pepper, and parsley for garnish. Makes 6 servings.

Creamy Turkey-Pasta Casserole
There's something wonderful about combining leftover turkey and pasta with lots of cheese.

16 ounces penne, ziti, or rigatoni pasta
2 cups Cream Sauce (recipe below)
8 ounces sour cream
3 cups leftover cooked, shredded turkey
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cook the pasta till just before al dente. Drain and rinse pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process.

If you're making Alfredo sauce from scratch, see recipe below.

Mix pasta with the cream sauce, sour cream and turkey. Combine ricotta, garlic, eggs, Parmesan and parsley and mix throughly. Season the pasta mix with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the ricotta mixture to the pasta and stir to combine. Top with a thick layer of mozzarella cheese
Bake in a 9x13 casserole dish at 350˚F for 30 minutes or until bubbly, then broil at 450˚F for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

Cream Sauce
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Over medium low heat, melt the butter and pour in the heavy cream. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the Parmesan cheese in portions and stir to mix. Makes 2 cups.

Turkey-Stuffed Cabbage Leaves
1 large head green cabbage
1 pound leftover turkey meat, shredded
1/2 cup uncooked red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 large egg
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
28 ounce canned crushed tomatoes, or marinara sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine or turkey stock
Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped, for garnish

You want a large cabbage so you have 8 large outer leaves to wrap around the turkey mixture. Remove whole leaves from the cabbage to yield 8 large leaves and plunge into boiling water. Cook until soft enough to fold, about 4 top 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water and lay out on clean kitchen towels to continue cooling. When cool, cut off thickest part of vein from bottom of leaves, leaving leaves intact.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine turkey, onion, rice, egg, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper; mix well.

Place about 2 tablespoons of the turkey mixture onto the center of each leaf. Fold in sides of leaves and then roll up tightly from one end to other, making sure filling is fully covered by leaf.

Combine the wine, or turkey stock, with the crushed tomatoes. Add seasoning (salt, pepper, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, garlic, whatever you like) to taste. Pour half of the tomato sauce into an ovenproof casserole dish large enough to hold all the cabbage rolls, packing them tightly to prevent opening during cooking; pour in remaining tomato sauce. Bake at 375˚F for about 1 hour. Remove from oven and serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve with rye bread and butter on the side. Makes 4 servings.

For other Thanksgiving recipes, check the Recipe Index.

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