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This Thanksgiving, I wanted to ensure that we had tons of leftovers that we could enjoy in the days afterward. And I was excited about transforming those traditional holiday dishes into other creations. Even though it was just the four of us this year (and the only thing my children ate was turkey and a tablespoon of mashed potatoes!), I cooked for an army and could have invited the whole neighborhood!
Obviously turkey played a starring role in our leftovers. I also made sour cream mashed potatoes, and a creamy corn side dish with crumbled bacon on top. The recipe for the confetti corn came from Southern Living Magazine and can be found here.. Creamy Fried Confetti Corn
For the mashed potatoes, I use Yukon gold, unsalted butter, sour cream, salt and pepper. I make up my own recipe every time and just eyeball the ingredients. Sorry no exact recipe to share this time!
The first foray into leftover-ville was to make brunch the following morning. I came up with turkey hash, and hashbrown potato cakes. They both turned out delicious! I also served them with pineapple mimosas, since I had pineapple juice and leftover champagne in the fridge. Yum!
For the hash, put olive oil in a frying pan, add chopped onion or shallots, peeled and chopped sweet potato, peeled and chopped Yukon gold potatoes, some chopped green and red bell pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Sautee until browned, then add the leftover chopped turkey until heated through. There is no exact recipe, you just add what looks good to you. Make sure to use enough oil because otherwise the potatoes will stick as they are browning. I added some chopped parsley from my veggie garden to serve. I can’t believe the parsley hasn’t died yet even though it’s been below freezing for several nights. It’s still going strong!
As for the potato cakes, I was inspired by my Eastern European roots and my love of potato pancakes. I sauteed one shallot in olive oil and added that to about 1 1/2 cups of the cold mashed potatoes. The oil and heat of the shallots help to soften the potatoes as you mix it in. Add salt and pepper to taste. I find that when dealing with leftovers, you often have to add a little more seasoning. In the same sautee pan, add 1/4 cup olive oil and heat over medium high. Make sure the oil is hot enough to fry. If not the potatoes will dissolve and not stick together. Put some all purpose flour in a flat dish, and take about 1/4 cup of the potato mixture, and press it very lightly into a patty in the flour. Flip gently over to flour the other side. Place very gently into the hot oil. I normally fry about four at a time. You do not want the pan to be over crowded. Brown on one side, then flip and brown on the other side. Remove from the pan onto a paper towel-lined plate to soak up the extra oil. I served them with a dollup of sour cream as I would traditional potato pancakes. They are very light, airy, crunchy goodness.
The next creation was to turn the corn side dish into corn chowder. It already had the basic classic ingredients; corn, bell peppers, onions and bacon. We like our chowder with some potatoes as well, so I chopped some Yukon gold and cooked them in about 2 cups of chicken broth. I heated the confetti corn in a sauce pan, then added the hot broth and potatoes. Stir well, then make a “beurre manie,” French for butter and flour mixture. It will thicken the chowder without creating lumps of flour floating around. You basically mix 1 Tbs softened butter and 1 Tbs flour together, then whisk into your chowder. To be honest, I did have to sprinkle in a little more flour to get it to the right consistency. I added a tiny bit at a time and whisked like crazy while I did. No lumps, thank goodness! Simmer for a couple of minutes and serve. I love chopped chives on chowder. Luckily there were a few stragglers in the garden. I served the chowder with a toasted buttered slice of my Grandma’s Thanksgiving bread (see my previous post for that recipe). I can honestly say it was the best corn chowder I have ever made!
This last recipe is not a left-over. Just something my husband loves every Thanksgiving that his mother made when he was growing up. Born and raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, my husband’s blood runs red with cranberries and Wisconsin Badgers football. The cranberry bread recipe calls for orange juice, but both of us not being fans of that flavor in it, I substitute milk. I also decided to make something to serve alongside it this year. Cream cheese frosting! It is my grandmother’s recipe and I thought it would compliment the tartness of the cranberries.
2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 T orange zest (I omitted), 1 1/2 cups cranberries, 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 3/4 cup orange juice (I used milk instead)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a loaf pan (I use cooking spray). Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the cranberries. Beat the sugar, egg, and butter until smooth. Stir in the orange juice or milk. Beat in the flour mixture until mixed. Bake for about one hour.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat together 1 stick softened unsalted butter with 8 oz of softened cream cheese, and 2 cups of powdered sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Makes about 2 cups.
I feel like I have gained 10 pounds since Thursday! But that’s what the holiday is about. Not worrying about your waistline and overindulging more than you normally would. I’m sure I worked off some of it from all the cooking! I hope some of these ideas and recipes have inspired you. Bon appetit ~