Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey Leftovers: Beyond the Basic

Creative ways to use turkey leftovers is our timely topic today.  Sure, everyone likes the old standbys, soup, and sandwiches, but with these recipes, you really won't feel like you're eating leftovers....

Turkey Jambalaya--don't let the long ingredient list scare you off; this is a very simple recipe and a time tested crowd pleaser!
 serves 8-10

2 cups rice
5 cups chicken or turkey stock
1 lb smoked sausage, cut in 1/2 inch slices
1 lb ham, cubed
4 cups cooked turkey
1/2 stick butter
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2 tsp Beck's Devil Dust, or your favorite Cajun spice blend
1 large bay leaf
1/4 tsp thyme
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Hot sauce to taste

Cook rice in broth.  Meanwhile, in large Dutch oven, melt butter and saute ham, sausage, turkey, onion, pepper, garlic and parsley.  Cook about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add remaining ingredients except rice, mix and cook several more minutes.  Add cooked rice, stir thoroughly, and cook over low heat 15 more minutes, stirring frequently.

Our friend Chef Wally McIlhenny came up with this tasty trio:

Turkey Quesadilla:  fill a tortilla with turkey, bleu cheese, roasted poblano pepper and apples.  Cook  in a skillet on low heat til tortilla is lightly browned, filling is hot and cheese melts.  If you are making a large number, put them on a cookie sheet and heat in the oven at 350 until filling is heated and cheese melts, about 10 minutes.

Saffron, Leek and Turkey Risotto.  This is an excellent version of the dish.   To use the leftover turkey, add 1 1/2 cups of cooked turkey toward the end of cooking with the last ladle of broth.  Finish as directed.

White Bean, Spinach and Turkey Chili.  We liked this recipe, too, but we'd add a bag of fresh (or a defrosted pkg of frozen) spinach to the pot.

Hmmmm.   We might cook an extra turkey just to have enough leftovers for these dishes.

Nah.  By Saturday, we'll all be craving......what?  You tell us!

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