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So Many Leftovers …

29 November 2010

What creative ways does your family recycle holiday leftovers?

Here are four of my favorite ideas:

1. Turkey Casserole

This has always been my dad’s favorite. Spread mashed potatoes on the bottom of an oven-proof rectangular or oblong dish, then a layer of dressing/stuffing, topped with a layer of shredded turkey. Cover with gravy. Add another layer of mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with swiss cheese, if desired, and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until heated through and bubbly, then five minutes under the broiler.

2. Morning-After Biscuits

This is my friend Jessica’s favorite morning after-Thanksgiving breakfast. I’d never heard of this before 4 days ago but it’s destined to be a new tradition (oxymoron?) in my family. Simply take leftover dinner rolls or biscuits, cut in half and spread with butter, then place cut side up on a baking sheet under the broiler for about a minute. Watch constantly so they don’t burn! Serve with jam or honey.

3. Mini Sandwiches                                                    

Mini Sandwiches

Combine day-old dinner rolls with leftovers from the cold cuts platter to make cute little sandwiches. Use a selecton of different meats like turkey, salami, prosciutto and cheeses like provolone and pepper jack and slather bread generously with mayo and mustard.

4. Turkey and Vegetable Stir-fry

In my opinion, holidays are not complete without a crudite (crude-ee-tay) platter. Crudite is French for cut-up vegetables. I love to cut up broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers and carrots and have this very healthy finger food available for guests to snack on as the meal being prepared.

However, you can pretty much guarantee it won’t be the most popular item around so there will always be leftovers! Toss leftover veggies and some turkey in a wok or hot pan along with some easy homemade stir-fry sauce or a packet from the grocery store. Add water chestnuts and cashews, if desired. Serve over rice, rice noodles, or that leftover spaghetti languishing in the back of the fridge.

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One Comments to “So Many Leftovers …”

  1. Rice isn’t necessarily an American holiday staple, but we eat it a lot in my family! I learned some great tricks for what to do with leftover rice from my Chinese and Korean friends:

    1. Store rice in the freezer – Put single-serving portions of leftover rice (still a bit warm, if possible, but not too hot) in small plastic sandwich bags or zip-lock bags. When cool, seal with a twist-tie or zip-lock, and store in the freezer. To heat, run the bag under warm water to remove and and put in a bowl, then zap in the microwave for few minutes. It will be moist (not dried-out like when it’s stored in the fridge) and taste like it was freshly-made!

    2. Egg-fried rice – To perk up day-old rice, stir-fry with a bit of olive oil or vegetable oil, onions, garlic, and other chopped vegetables (if desired), and an egg or two cracked right over the rice in the pan. The egg really softens up the rice and holds it together, and the other ingredients add great flavor! You can also use a dash of sesame oil and soy sauce if you like. 🙂

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