A Different Kind of Black Friday & Thanksgiving Leftovers

(Looking for a menu and for Thanksgiving dinner … I’ve got three fabulous menus with links to all the recipes.)

shopping_kitchen_storeSome people flock to the stores on the day after Thanksgiving. Not me; Black Friday is a day to relax and putter. It starts with a cup of coffee and emptying the dishwasher. Next comes the grand sorting of the leftovers. I’m sure Martha would be horrified. I imagine she has everything wrapped up in her well-organized refrigerator before she heads to bed on Thanksgiving night.

But I’m not Martha. After all the cooking and company, when it’s over on Thursday evening, I throw a cover on it and put it out on the porch. As far as I’m concerned, the screened-in porch is among the world’s greatest inventions. In the summer, it’s perfect for mosquito-free evenings. When cool weather hits, it’s an extra refrigerator. If it looks like the temperature will dip below freezing, I jam the leftovers into coolers. When I run out of coolers, I cover whatever’s left with old beach towels and quilts and hope for the best.

Dishwasher empty and a second cup in hand, it’s time to make turkey stock.
1 turkey carcass
4 quarts water
1 large onion, quartered
2 carrots, cut into large chunks
2 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Pick any large pieces of meat from the turkey carcass to use for sandwiches or Tetrazzini. Put the bones, vegetables, bay leaf and thyme in a large soup pot, season with salt and pepper and add the water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, skimming the foam as it collects on the surface. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3-4 hours.

Remove the bones and vegetables from the pot and discard. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve. Cool, skim any excess fat and make soup immediately and/or refrigerate or freeze for another day. Makes about 3 quarts.

While the stock simmers, I figure out what to do with the rest of the leftovers. I’m happy to share my thoughts. If we play our cards right, we won’t have to do much cooking for at least a week.

First, there is the turkey. You can start with everyone’s favorite sandwich, piled a mile high with turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. For a bit of a change, swap out the stuffing for a nice piece of cheese and pop it in a pan for Grilled Cheese and Turkey. Don’t forget the cranberry sauce or …

… your sandwiches will be even better with Cranberry Chutney.
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon or to taste cayenne
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup leftover cranberry sauce
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dry red wine
3-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion, carrot, ginger and spices, season with salt and pepper and cook until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more.

Stir in the cranberry sauce, apple, raisins, wine and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chutney reaches a jam consistency, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Not just sandwiches; top warm brie with a dab of chutney for a lovely hors d’œuvre.

For quick and easy Turkey Tetrazzini, sauté some onions, mushrooms and baby spinach and toss with bite-sized pieces of turkey. Boil up a few handfuls of spaghetti (one to two ounces per person), toss it with the turkey, vegetables and a cheesy white sauce and pour into a casserole. Smooth the top and sprinkle the top with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and golden.

Cheesy White Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups whole milk
Pinch nutmeg
1 cup grated fontina cheese

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and herbs, season with salt and pepper and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce thickens, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Add the nutmeg and fontina cheese and whisk until smooth. Makes about 2 cups.

Unless you prefer turkey potpie or shepherd’s pie. You probably have some leftover roasted vegetables. I always overdo it on the veggies; what about you? Toss those vegetables with some turkey and a little gravy and throw it all in a casserole dish. Top with puff pastry and call it potpie. Top it with mashed potatoes and call it shepherd’s pie. Then again, maybe the turkey is destined for a big pot of chili. If that is the case, then …

… those roasted veggies will be perfect in a cozy soup. Throw them in the blender with your delicious, freshly made turkey stock and give it a whirl up. Add just a touch of cream and you have a lovely lunch or light supper.

But what about the spuds? They’ll be delicious in Cheesy Mashed Potato Cakes.
2 cups cold mashed potatoes
1/4 cup each grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano cheeses
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sour cream

Combine the mashed potatoes and cheeses and pat into 8 (1/2-inch thick) patties. Put the flour in a shallow dish and season with the salt and pepper. Lightly coat the potato patties with flour.

Heat the oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the potato cakes in the skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, turning once, until heated through and golden, about 10 minutes per side. Serve immediately with a small dollop of sour cream.

Potato Cakes are delicious for brunch or as a side with salmon or steak. You’ll probably be ready for a piece of fish or beef by Saturday night.

Have a delicious Thanksgiving and holiday weekend! Bon appétit!

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One Year Ago – Cranberry Clafoutis
Two Years Ago – Black Friday Enchiladas (Enchiladas with Turkey & Black Beans)
Three Years Ago – Snowy Pecan Balls
Four Years Ago – Chocolate Truffles
Five Years Ago – Smoked Salmon Mousse
Six Years Ago – Roasted Beans
Seven Years Ago – Winter Soup with Pasta, Beans & Greens
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What about you? What are your favorite Thanksgiving leftovers? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye,

What to Do with the Thanksgiving Leftovers Weekend Special

shopping_bags_01On this Black Friday and long holiday weekend, many Americans will spend hours in the mall. Others will spend time with family, friends and football … and leftovers!

Leftovers – Delicious dishes for the Thanksgiving weekend. It’s a snowy weekend in New Hampshire – time for something warm and cozy … soup, casserole or a spicy chili!

Soup is my favorite Thanksgiving leftover. Start by removing any large pieces of turkey that might be left on your bird. Don’t pick it clean; leave some meat on the bones to ensure a nice rich stock. Throw the bones into the stock pot to simmer into stock. Use some right away for soup this weekend and freeze the rest for another day.

If you love soup, try my …

Turkey Noodle Soup with Spinach
Thai Curried Noodle Soup with Turkey & Vegetables
Spicy Turkey Noodle Soup

If you don’t feel like making soup, then how about …

Stir-fry Vegetables with Turkey
Penne Gratin with Turkey & Butternut Squash
Black Friday Enchiladas (Turkey & Black Beans Enchiladas)

Then again, a big pot of chili is perfect if you’ve got a crowd at your house! Make your own fabulous chili or give one of mine a try!

Autumn Vegetable Chili – keep it vegetarian or add some turkey to the mix.
Chili with Red Beans and Butternut Squash (the original recipe calls for pork – substitute with turkey and throw in your leftover veggies!)
Chili with Red Beans and Butternut Squash (the original recipe calls for pork – substitute with turkey and throw in your leftover veggies!)
My Favorite Chili with Turkey (instead of chicken), Black Beans and Corn
Chicken (swap out with turkey) & Black Bean Chili

If you haven’t already, try an old Nye tradition … the first one up on Friday morning gets the last piece of Thanksgiving pie!

Bon appétit and have a great weekend!

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

What do you do with your Thanksgiving leftovers? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus. © Susan W. Nye, 2014