Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Holy macaroni, I am fatigué. Yesterday was full of cooking, cooking, cooking, and a fair amount of eating as well. There was a turkey, of course, rubbed in thyme and rosemary butter, and spiked with cider gravy. And potato puree, strained strenuously through a ricer and laced with cream and butter. I roasted carrots and radishes (with honey and apple cider vinegar) and broccoli florets (with roasty lemon juice and Parmesan).

I vow this year was the last I use bagged stuffing: I’ve done so before out of habit and tradition, but last night I finally had reason to check the salt content, and, well; I already doctor the dish with apples and onions and herbs, why not cut my own bread too? I don’t think the transition will be difficult, although I hope there won’t be backlash from the diners.

There was canned cranberry sauce on the table too, although I am not ready to give that up any time soon.

I will also mention (as much for my benifit, when I reference this post during next year’s Thanksgiving planning), that I stirred up homemade turkey stock three days ahead, and fashioned a sheet of key lime pie (we are in Florida, after all), a cranberry cake, and a tarte tatin a day ahead.

So now I am a touch kitchen-weary, as I am willing to bet you are too. As a result, today’s post will be more of a roundup of ideas than any concrete recipe. I hope these prompts spark delicious snacks and meals, to use up those stellar Thanksgiving leftovers.

The work is done; now it’s time to relax, and enjoy a weekend of scrumptious surplus. I know I will.


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The Classic: turkey, cranberry sauce, a swipe of warm gravy, arugula, white bread

The Sweet and Savory: bleu cheese, sliced turkey, cranberry chutney, toasted walnut raisin bread

The Grilled Cheese: melty cheddar cheese, squash puree, shredded dark meat turkey, white bread

The Vegetarian: thyme-and-butter sautéed mushrooms, melty swiss cheese, wheat toast

The Comfort Sandwich: roasted, fork-mashed sweet potato, apple slices, warm stuffing, cranberry sauce, baguette

The BLT: bacon, lettuce, turkey, mayo

The Spanish: sweet potato puree, white meat turkey, goat cheese, Marcona almonds


leftover turkey soup

Turkey Noodle Soup: turkey (or chicken) stock, carrots, celery, onion, shredded white meat turkey, noodles

Black Bean: black beans, red pepper, onion, garlic, dark meat turkey, paprika, avocado

Turkey Pho: I direct you here.

Winter’s Coming: winter greens of your choice, turkey (or chicken) stock, shredded turkey, sweet potato, parsnip

Aromatic: leeks, bok choy, ginger, cinnamon, shredded turkey, turkey (or chicken) stock


thanksgiving leftover salad

Turkey Hash: peppers, onion, fried egg, turkey, herbs, potato wedges

Turkey Crêpe: shredded turkey, sautéed mushrooms, emmental cheese

Turkey Quiche: turkey, cheese of your choice (perhaps one, hard one soft), winter greens

Turkey Salad: white meat turkey, leftover grains, leftover roasted vegetables, leftover nuts, a sprinkle of hard cheese, the dressing of your choice

Frittata: shredded turkey, cheese, vegetables, herbs: customize

Baked Eggs: stale bread, spinach, mushrooms, leeks, egg, parmesan.

For many more good and creative ideas, see Food52, Serious Eats, The New York Times, Grub Street, and Bon Appétit.

Before our flight back to New York this evening, I pledge to enjoy soaking up the sun. No cooking today!

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