Before we get to the subject at hand, which is leftovers, I have to fix an error in last week’s recipes.
I hadn’t even read my copy of the Record when I began to get e-mails from several of you asking, basically, “What were you thinking? One and a half teaspoons of ground photos? What exactly does that mean?”
Well, truth is, I have no idea what that means, nor do I know how it got in there. Neither does anyone at the Record office, where they carefully double check what I send to them.
My only explanation is computer gremlins; I’m convinced they do exist, and I believe that some of them have taken up residence on my hard drive.
I’m sure no one trying out the Smashed Sweet Potatoes recipe ground up any photos for the mystery ingredient, but some of you did wonder what it should have been. The answer is “cinnamon.” Please change the ingredient to 1½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon, and enjoy these outstanding sweet potatoes, with my sincere apologies for any confusion.
And now, to change the subject, do you remember when “leftovers” was tantamount to a dirty word?
My mother and grandmother never threw out what they called “perfectly good food,” resulting in many a strange meal and plenty of whining about “leftovers, again?”
I admit to following in their footsteps; my reluctance to toss food is well-known in our extended family, and I’ve caught my daughters literally dashing to the kitchen to trash the leftovers before I can get them in smaller containers and hidden in the fridge.
But, when it comes to Thanksgiving leftovers, forget all the bad connotations.
In my mind, leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving dinner.
I eagerly look forward to turkey sandwiches, both hot and cold. Hot one night, with leftover mashed potatoes, dressing and gravy; cold another night, with goat cheese, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, on toasted sourdough bread, with cold cranberry sauce on the side.
When it’s cold, drippy and gray outdoors, as it often is in the time following Thanksgiving, what could be more pleasant indoors than a piping hot bowl of turkey soup, rich with turkey broth and packed full of vegetables and/or perhaps lentils. Or, how about turkey enchiladas, turkey pot pie, turkey and dumplings, turkey quesadillas; the list of turkey leftover possibilities grows longer every year.
We may have to consider cooking two turkeys tomorrow, I think.
I’d like to wish all our readers a very happy, turkeyful, Thanksgiving.
I’m assuming that you have homemade turkey stock, made from the carcass and vegetables, but if not, by all means use purchased turkey broth for these soups.
TURKEY LENTIL SOUP
1 T. olive oil
1 or more garlic cloves (I use 4-5, but I love things garlicky), chopped
1 large onion, chopped
7 oz. button mushrooms, sliced (I also use criminis, if
I have them available)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
6 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (or use canned)
4 cups turkey stock
2/3 cup red wine
3 oz. cauliflower florets (or broccoli, if preferred, or both)
1 carrot, chopped
1 cup red lentils
12 oz. cooked turkey, cut into chunks
1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
1 T. fresh basil, shredded, plus extra sprigs for garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook over med. heat, stirring for 3 min., until slightly softened (be careful not to burn the garlic). Add mushrooms, bell pepper and tomatoes; cook another 5 min., stirring. Pour in the stock and red wine. Add cauliflower, carrot and lentils. Season to taste with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 25 min., until vegetables are tender and cooked through.
Add the turkey and zucchini to the soup, cook for 10 min. Stir in shredded basil, cook 5 min., then remove from heat and ladle soup into warm bowls. Garnish with fresh basil; serve immediately. Serves 4.
Light, tasty, quick and easy; what more can you ask of a turkey soup recipe?
HOT AND SOUR TURKEY SOUP
8 cups turkey stock
¼ cup cornstarch
2 egg whites
2 cups thinly sliced bok choy or Napa cabbage
A dozen or so snow peas, trimmed and cut in half diagonally 2 large shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed, caps thinly sliced
1 cup shredded cooked turkey
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 T. soy sauce (preferably low-sodium)
1 t. oriental sesame oil (or chili sesame oil for a bit of kick)
2 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup of cold turkey stock and cornstarch until smooth. In another bowl, stir the egg whites with a fork just to blend.
Bring remaining stock to a boil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Gradually add the cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens. Gradually stir in the egg whites in a thin, steady stream. Add bok choy, snow peas, mushrooms and turkey; simmer 2-3 min. Mix in vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into warm bowls, sprinkle with green onions and serve. Serves 4.
Another quick, easy, delicious leftover turkey dish; all it needs on the side is a tossed green salad and perhaps a slice or two of crisp, herbed bread.
TURKEY SPINACH TETRAZZINI
4 oz. spaghetti, broken into 3- to 4-inch lengths
1½ cups bite-size pieces of cooked turkey
1 pkg. (9 oz.) frozen creamed spinach, thawed
1 cup ricotta cheese (part-skim is OK)
¼ cup drained oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, chopped
5-7 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1-3 garlic cloves, minced
Cook spaghetti pieces in boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking water.
In a large bowl, mix together the spaghetti, turkey, creamed spinach, ricotta, tomatoes, 4 T. of the cheese, garlic and reserved cooking liquid. Season with ground black pepper.
Spread the mixture in a 9-inch pie plate and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake in a preheated 500-degree oven until heated through and top is light golden, about 10 min.
Serves 2-4, depending on size of pie slices.
Margaret Walton can be reached at email@example.com.