Largely in preparation for Thanksgiving, farmers in the United States annually produce 7.9 billion pounds of turkey, 709 million pounds of cranberry sauce, 1.8 billion pounds of sweet potatoes, 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkin and 795 thousand tons of green beans. No wonder there are lots of Thanksgiving Day leftovers. Click inside for some recipes.
Largely in preparation for Thanksgiving, farmers in the United States annually produce 7.9 billion pounds of turkey, 709 million pounds of cranberry sauce, 1.8 billion pounds of sweet potatoes, 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkin and 795 thousand tons of green beans.
No wonder there are lots of Thanksgiving Day leftovers.
“There’s a balance between how much you make and how many days you want to see it,” said Diane Morgan, author of “The New Thanksgiving Table” (Chronicle Books, 2008). “There are plenty of ways to utilize the foods so it doesn’t seem like you’re eating the same meal.”
With the economy in the garbage disposal this year, making the most of Thanksgiving leftovers is critical for many families.
Morgan, a teacher and freelance food writer from Portland, Ore., starts with the turkey carcass.
After picking off the meat, she breaks it into chunks and puts the bones in a big soup pot or slow cooker filled with cold water.
“I usually chunk carrots, celery, onions and add them with a bay leaf. Let it simmer for several hours and you have great stock.” She freezes it in 4-cup containers and uses it as a base for soups and gravies.
A chapter on leftovers in her book has recipes for turkey, black bean and cumin chili; turkey and vegetable chowder; New Mexico turkey and tortilla soup; and turkey hash topped with eggs.
“With leftover turkey you can make some real comfort foods. Use it in sandwiches, soups, chowders, eggs, enchiladas, Tetrazzini, turkey potpie. Some people put stuffing, turkey and cranberry sauce on a sandwich or turn stuffing into a bread pudding.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 117 million households in the nation, and each one is a potential gathering place for a Thanksgiving celebration.
“Although there are many regional differences, most people have turkey and some form of wild rice or bread stuffing,” said Morgan, who has traveled the nation researching how Thanksgiving is observed. “Sweet potatoes tend to be pretty universal, and so are cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.”
Thanksgiving is a holiday held sacred by many Americans.
“There are no rituals, no presents,” said Morgan. “It’s a holiday with historical roots that we choose to preserve. The food is what brings us together with family and friends.”
Cast Iron Skillet Turkey Hash With Soft-Cooked Eggs
From “The New Thanksgiving Table” by Diane Morgan
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 pounds red-skinned, Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 ribs celery, halved lengthwise, the cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 large red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 cups coarsely chopped roast turkey
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, plus extra for garnish
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 large eggs
Tabasco or other hot sauce
In a 12-inch skillet or saute pan, preferably cast iron, melt the butter over medium heat and swirl to coat the pan. Add the potatoes and onion and saute for about 1 minute until just coated with butter. Cover and cook 7 minutes to steam the potatoes, stirring once.
Add the celery and bell pepper, stir briefly, then cover and cook 3 minutes longer. Uncover the pan, raise the heat to medium-high, and add the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are lightly browned.
Gently fold in the turkey, tarragon and parsley and cook for about 2 minutes just until the turkey is heated through.
Using a large spoon, make 6 shallow depressions in the hash, spacing them equally around the pan, with one in the center. Carefully crack an egg into each hollowed-out spot. Cover the pan and cook the eggs for about 5 minutes until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny.
Serve immediately, garnishing the top of each egg with a sprinkling of tarragon. Pass the hot sauce at the table.
Makes 6 servings.
Vietnamese-Style Salad Rolls
2 ounces cellophane noodles (at Asian markets or in the ethnic-food aisle of most supermarkets)
1 head soft-leafed lettuce, such as Bibb or butter, leaves separated, washed, and dried
2 cups shredded cooked turkey
2 cups veggies, such as shredded cabbage, grated carrots, or cold leftover cooked green beans
1 cup whole fresh herb leaves (mint, cilantro, and/or basil)
1/3 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Cover the noodles with hot tap water in a small bowl, then set aside for 15 minutes while you arrange the lettuce, turkey, veggies, herbs and chopped peanuts in bowls or on plates.
When noodles are slippery and transparent, drain them well, then use clean scissors to cut them into 2-inch lengths and add them to the arrangement.
To make the sauce, whisk the peanut butter with 2 tablespoons of hot water until smooth, then whisk in the soy sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice.
To assemble a roll, put a lettuce leaf on a plate and pile the ingredients in a little heap across its middle, topping it with peanuts and a spoonful of sauce. Fold the sides in and roll the leaf up around the filling, cigar style. Don’t let go — just devour the whole thing straight away or it will fall to pieces.
Makes 4 to 6.
From Better Homes and Gardens
Nonstick cooking spray
2 to 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked turkey
1 (16-ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups bottled salsa
1 cup shredded colby and Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 (7-to-8-inch) whole wheat or regular flour tortillas
1 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
For filling, in a large bowl stir together turkey, half the cranberry sauce, beans, 1/2 cup of the salsa, 3/4 cup of the cheese, sour cream, green onions, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper. Spoon about 2/3 cup filling on each tortilla. Roll up tortillas around filling. Place, seam sides down, in prepared dish; set aside.
For sauce, in bowl stir together remaining cranberry sauce, remaining salsa and hot pepper sauce. Spoon over filled tortillas. Cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes. Uncover; top with remaining cheese. Bake 5 to 10 minutes more or until heated through and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with additional cilantro and green onions.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
From Robin Miller and the Food Network
2 to 3 cups leftover stuffing
1 cup shredded cheddar (regular or reduced-fat)
6 large eggs
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Coat an ovenproof nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Put stuffing in the bottom of pan to warm and stir to break up a little. Sprinkle cheese over top.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk, mustard powder and nutmeg. Pour mixture over stuffing and cheese to cover stuffing. Sprinkle parmesan over top. Cook on stovetop over low heat 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to broiler and broil about 2 minutes, until egg is cooked through and cheese is golden and bubbly.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper and fresh parsley. Serve with sliced tomatoes.
Makes 4 servings.
LIMITS ON LEFTOVERS
Refrigerate cooked leftovers within two hours at a temperature of 40 degrees. As a general rule, leftovers should be eaten, frozen or discarded within three or four days. Here are guidelines for how long to store prepared holiday foods in the fridge:
Turkey, 1 to 2 days
Giblets, 1 to 2 days
Meat and meat casseroles, 3 to 4 days
Vegetable casseroles, 3 to 4 days
Gravy and meat broth, 3 to 4 days
Stuffing, 3 to 4 days