Is it December already?! Yikes?! 31 days and counting till I get to say goodbye to this crazy 2014 year and all its wonderful ups and challenging downs! But before that there are still tons of things to do including enjoying all the delicious holiday leftovers from the end of last month and all this month. And that’s what this Monday Munchies is all about – leftovers or rather what you can do with leftovers. Oh, by the way, our home rarely sees stuffing, dessert, green beans, appetizer, and olive leftovers so I’m afraid you are on your own with those. 🙁
Let’s Talk Turkey
I have to admit I am a little foul in my attitude toward fowl. Other than my cousin’s A-MAZ-ING smoked turkey and the occasional McD’s nugget binge or two, I am not really the biggest chicken, turkey, hen, etc. fan. So I will do just about anything to hide the bird taste when I use it. (Although this year I tried a new method of cooking turkey that was to die for moist and yummy so much so my mother who has a ban on all food fowl went back for 2nds!! Stick around and I will share later this month on what I did.) So with any leftover bird, I try to mask it in or with something else. Except dark meat, I know its bad for me, but I do like that semi plain. After years of mass turkey remains from Thanksgiving and Christmas, I have mastered the art of leftover repurposing when it comes to the bird. Here are a few ideas:
Turkey Rice Soup (you need the neck and giblets for this to make a turkey based broth for the soup)
Turkey Enchiladas (think my green sauce enchiladas as I made in this Monday Munchies but add turkey to them)
Hot Turkey Sandwiches (see below for how to)
Cranberry Turkey Sliders (see below for how to)
Turkey and Cheese Omelets
Turkey Salad Sandwiches (make a basic Waldorf chicken salad but substitute turkey)
and so many, many more.
Pretty much any where you would add chicken in a dish, you can substitute turkey.
Hot Turkey Sandwiches
For this I use a lot of leftovers – Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, and Rolls – however you can substitute thick bread in place of rolls and the mashed potatoes are optional.
Basically take your leftover turkey and shred it into a pot. Add your leftover gravy to the pot and heat it and the turkey until warm. While that cooks, place a roll split open or a slice of bread on a plate. Reheat your mashed potatoes and spread them on to your open faced bread/roll. Spoon the heated turkey and gravy mixture over the mashed potatoes, letting it spill over. Season with salt and pepper and then serve with knife and fork. Its not a pretty dish but it sure is yummy good.
Cranberry Turkey Sliders
In this repurpose I use leftover cranberry relish, leftover rolls and leftover slices of turkey and it is super simple. I slice the rolls and spread cranberry relish on the bottom slice of the roll. Then lay the turkey slices on top of the relish. Top with another spoonful of relish and then the top part of the roll. Only thing left is to eat it.
I know my family approached this repurpose with apprehension but, in the end, they learned what I already knew. Cranberry plays very, very, very well with turkey and allows the turkey to still be a key player without an overpowering fowl taste. Yet the cranberry doesn’t steal the flavor show either. It is a REALLY GOOD pairing.
Cranberry Relish Anyone
My grandmother developed the best, I mean best, cranberry relish ever. People have said we should bottle it and sell it under our own label so it typically becomes an eat alone leftover. But on occasion I use it in my Cranberry Turkey Sliders. But it can also be used as an ice cream topper, a waffle topper, spread on toast or even mixed in to Turkey Cranberry Salad similar to a Waldorf. For the regular cranberry sauce that is a traditional Ocean Spray staple, all you would need to add is the turkey shredded, cranberry sauce, walnuts, apples, celery and mix. The tart of the cranberry helps mellow the turkey fowl flavor without robbing the turkey of its taste.
Mashed Potatoes and Yams
I’m a big potato fan so these really don’t get made in to repurposed leftovers. But one that I have heard of and look forward to trying this year is a potato and yam pancake or fritter. Basically, the idea is to make a traditional potato pancake which uses shredded potato and fry it in a skillet. Except in this case, the mashed potatoes substitute for the shredded and I personally would add mixed cheeses. The yams you would pair with sweeter flavors like orange zest, shredded apples, etc. But in both cases you would follow a traditional potato pancake recipe.
Ham…Did Someone Say Ham
This is more of a palette teaser than anything as I will feature my all time favorite leftover idea for ham in a future Monday Munchies. But for now, let your mouth water with decadent, flavorful and super easy Ham Spread Sandwiches and Sliders. But, just as with turkey, ham can be used in just about anything – ham and cheese omelets, ham sandwiches, split pea soup, ham and vegetable stew, ham and beans chowders, morning ham hash for breakfast, sugar fried ham (this is super yummy and super sweet – like candied ham) and so many, many, many more.
Hopefully this will give you some ideas on what to do with leftovers so you don’t get sick of “Holiday Meals” from eating them over and over and over again until its all gone. I’d love to know some of the ideas you have for your leftovers! I’ve always believed if you have an idea and I have an idea and we share, we now have 2 each! Leftovers of holiday magnitude need LOTS of ideas. Comment below and share yours!