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Don’t Call Them Leftovers!

25 November 2016  
It's the day after Thanksgiving. Take stock of your refrigerator contents.

In our family we don’t call what’s left after the feast ‘leftovers,’ we call them derivatives, looking forward to the many ways they can be used. Here are some fresh takes on what remains after the guests have gone.

Try a different kind of turkey sandwich this year.

Turkey Monte Cristo

For two sandwiches you will need.

4 slices bread
4 thin slices of turkey breast (If you had ham, use a thin slice of that instead or also.)
4 thin slices of cheese (any flavorful kind you have will do, Gruyere is great, Swiss is traditional.)
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter

Put eggs and milk in a flat bowl and beat together with a fork.

Heat 1 Tablespoon butter in a non-stick skillet. Dip one side of each slice of bread into egg mixture. Cook in skillet until it is golden brown.

Place two slices of bread with cooked side up, layer on a slice of cheese, two slices of turkey, (ham if using), then the second slice of cheese. Last put the second slices of bread with the cooked side down. Dip the sandwich in the egg mix, melt the second Tablespoon of butter, and cook the sandwich, turning when the first side is golden brown.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar if you like. Serve with cranberry sauce on the side and an assortment of olives and pickles.

Here are a couple of alternative methods to making Monte Cristo sandwiches:

Disney Cooking Blue Bayou

Try different cheeses in your Monte Cristo.

If you bought extra sweet potatoes because they were such a great price try—

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

3 medium sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika or mild chili powder
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Place the oven rack in the top third of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Either spray a baking sheet with cooking spry or line it with non-stick aluminum foil.

Cut sweet potatoes into 1 x 3 inch wedges. Put them on the prepared pan. Drizzle the oil over them, sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Stir around to coat. Make sure potato wedges are in one layer and not crowded. Cook in oven for 15 to 20 minutes, turning with a spatula a couple of times. Potatoes should be soft on the inside and crisp, golden on the outside.

Then there’s that pesky turkey carcass. This is an opportunity to make,

The Best Turkey Soup Ever

This is a two part process. First make your stock.

You will need:

A very large stock pot, at least 8 quarts.
A turkey carcass with most the meat pulled off
An onion, remove just the root end and any discolored skin, cut into eight pieces
Leftover vegetables such as carrots, celery, green beans, mushroom stems.
2 dried bay leaves
12 whole peppercorns
A good sized sprig of fresh thyme or 1 Tablespoon dried
A small branch of fresh rosemary, or1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon salt

Place the carcass (breaking it up as necessary to fit) in the stock pot along with the vegetables, onion and herbs. Also add any leftover skin, neck, cooking juices, giblets (except for liver which may give the broth an unpleasant taste.) Cover with cold water. Add salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for as long as you can, at least 3 hours.

When you are ready, let the broth cool a little. Line a large colander with a double layer of cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Ladle the stock into the bowl. Pour the last bit out of the pot. Let as much as possible drain into the bowl. Here you have a choice, if you are ready to make soup and you don’t mind having some of the turkey fat in your soup, simply skim off some of the fat and proceed to soup. If you want to defat your stock, or if you plan soup for the next day, cool in the refrigerator, the fat will rise to the top and be easier to discard. Discard all the bones and the used up vegetables. Set aside 2 to 3 quarts of stock for soup. Freeze the rest for later use.

Soup (quantities are only an approximation because you should use what you like and have on hand.)

4 slices thick cut bacon diced (easier if you freeze the bacon first)
2 medium onions, roughly diced
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
4 celery stalks, sliced thin
4 oz. carrot pieces
Any combination of, turkey gravy, stuffing (especially rice based), cooked sweet or white potatoes, mashed potatoes, cooked green beans, squash chunks etc.
4 cups or more of turkey meat, diced
2 quarts homemade turkey stock
1 teaspoon salt (taste before adding, it may not be needed)

In a large pot, cook the bacon, leave bacon and fat in the pot. Add the onions and cook till they are softened a little. Add the mushrooms slices, cook about 5 minutes. Don’t let anything get too dark. Add stock and bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.

Add celery, carrots and any other fresh vegetables you are using. Cook until just beginning to soften. Add the gravy, stuffing or cooked rice, mashed potatoes and any other already cooked vegetables. Add a little more stock as needed Let simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt to taste.

This soup will freeze well, and when heated later will remind you of family and friends.

Here are additional derivative recipes for your culinary enjoyment: http://www.prescottenews.com/index.php/features/columnists/on-sale-this-week/item/24568-on-sale-this-week-turkey-leftovers

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Cindy LaMaster