As soon as the whirlwind of cooking and feasting is over, what do you do with the leftovers? I actually love to have leftovers, especially at Thanksgiving. I always have an abundance of food prepared, being able to send some home with my guests and having enough for a few leftover meals to carry us over for a few days. Especially since immediately following Thanksgiving, I’m gearing up for the Christmas holidays. No black Friday shopping for me as I’m busy putting away my fall decorations and bringing on Christmas!
So, while I’m focusing on the decorating part of the holidays, I’m thrilled to have a frig full of leftovers to create my three favorite and very easy leftover dishes; Nachos, Open Faced ‘Bruschettas’ (Sandwich) and Frittatas. These three quick recipes really work well with any leftovers. There are no real recipes to follow. It will all depend on the amount of servings, follow a basic method and have on hand a few pantry items such as your favorite quality tortilla chips, bread, and organic eggs.
In addition, don’t throw out that turkey carcass! Immediately after the Thanksgiving meal, remove all the meat from the carcass to store safely. That evening or the next day, drop the carcass, carrots, celery and onion in a large stockpot. Add enough water to cover and simmer away for about 2-3 hours, strain and you have homemade turkey stock!
Turkey Nachos: Great football game food! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Evenly layer the chips on a wide shallow baking pan. Lightly top with leftovers of your choice: turkey, stuffing, potatoes, veggies, cranberry sauce, etc. Top with another layer of chips and leftovers. Sprinkle some cheese on top. Heat in oven for about 15-18 minutes or until cheese is melted. I like to drizzle warmed gravy on top, srirachi sauce, sour cream and chopped fresh sage or cilantro.
Open Faced ‘Bruschettas’ (Hot Browns!): Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grill or toast thick slices of bread, about ½ to 1 inch thick. I like Costco’s Rosemary Olive Oil bread. Whenever I’m there I purchase a loaf or two, immediately slice and freeze (to avoid all temptation). Place the grilled bread on a baking sheet and top with leftover chopped turkey, stuffing, veggies, finishing with potatoes and a drizzle of gravy. Heat until warmed through, about 15-18 minutes. Serve warm with additional gravy. Best eaten with fork and knife!!
Fritattas: Following along with my Fun with Frittatas post, heat a large skillet with olive oil, toss in about 2 1/2 cups of leftovers and heat. Beat together 4-5 eggs (or mix of whole eggs/egg whites) with 1/4 cup of milk. Pour the egg mixture over the turkey and veggies and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes to set the bottom. Sprinkle on 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and place under the broiler to complete cooking, approximately 5 minutes or until the top has set and the cheese is lightly browned. Serve hot or room temperature.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.