Forget about Thanksgiving dinner. I can’t wait until the day after Thanksgiving for leftovers. When else during the year can you look forward to turkey soup, turkey chopped liver, smoked turkey sandwiches, and above all turkey hash in a single day? All this month, on www.barbecuebible.com, we’ve been telling you how to cook turkey on the grill. Make sure you manage to squirrel away a pound or so of the cooked turkey meat for hash.
Our word hash comes from the French verb hacher, "to chop." (Yeah, it’s the same etymological root as that chopping device favored by George Washington, the hatchet.) Hash originated as a way to use up leftovers, but it now turns up not just at hash houses (a nickname for diners) but at high-falutin’ restaurants from coast to coast.
The most common version of hash contains corned beef and potatoes, but you can make hash with an almost endless variety of ingredients. Rural New Englanders combined corned beef, potatoes, and beets to make red flannel hash. In seafaring communities it was common to find salt cod and fish hash. Hachis parmentier, garlicky chopped lamb and potatoes, is classic comfort food in France.
From the LA Times
The annual Thanksgiving feast is a time when home cooks enjoy pulling out all the stops and preparing copious amounts of tradition-loaded dishes to share with friends and loved ones. This excitement often leads to preparing enough food to satisfy roughly twice the number of guests you plan on hosting. But that's not necessarily bad, because it has spawned another equally beloved culinary tradition: Thanksgiving leftovers.
If the traditional Thanksgiving feast is inherently American, then the ongoing use of the surplus it generates is really a nod to the custom universal to good cooks, of making the most out of each ingredient's every part.
Experimentation and exploration are the true loves of any successful cook. This year I challenge you to move beyond your typical leftover-based dishes and to consider broader possibilities. Don't let anything go to waste, not the vegetables or the stuffing or the bones and trimmings of leftover turkey. This doesn't mean repeating the same old things over and over. Use this as an opportunity to push yourself beyond comfortable dishes and explore new flavors. And look afresh at the familiar and see what new forms it might take.
These recipes provide you with a starting point. They are ideas that take into consideration what kinds of leftovers you might have on hand and what kinds of meals you plan to serve.
Comfort food with a crust. Need I say more? Thanksgiving, for me, is all about the sides. I do love my gravy, but I prefer it over my rustic herb stuffing. Forget the turkey and save it for a big batch of turkey potpie or a morning hash.
This recipe has been part of my repertoire for the past 20 years. It has evolved over the years but one thing has remained constant; there is very little fat and no cream in the recipe. And in making this dish, over and over again, the cream is not even missed. The filling is delicious but what really makes this dish is the crust. And this gluten free crust is a winner (thanks to Shauna).
In doing all of my planning, marketing, and organizing on Sunday’s, I always find a lot of inspiration in cleaning out my vegetable bin. Soups, stir fry’s, salads, stratas, and frittatas, are dishes created from neglected or almost “not edible to eat” veggies. Food rarely gets wasted in our home and it gives me great joy to not see money thrown into the compost bin.
To all of my friends and readers who have supported me over the years, I am grateful to you for your support, questions, advice, and friendship. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
Many of my childhood Turkey Day recollections remain centered on gravy. I know it sounds strange but I loved gravy as a kid. I remember pouring it, in somewhat epic proportions, making a gravy soup of everything on my plate. There never seemed to be enough to go around as the gravy boat made its way around the table; all my family members taking their equal share. Undoubtedly the gravy was also scarce for the upcoming endless week of heated up turkey and stuffing as well.
Now, as an adult, there is only one thing I love more than Thanksgiving dinner…ironically, it’s the leftovers. I welcome the challenge of creating something completely different from what was served the night before, especially because the gravy is still always lacking. Besides making a hearty turkey pot pie, there are a lot more possibilities to Thanksgiving reruns than tired turkey sandwiches and reheated potatoes.
Turning the usual excess of turkey meat into a soup is a great idea, helping to warm all those who ventured to the mall on the day-after. I believe of all the squash out there, butternut is definitely one of my favorites. I love its color and sweet taste. Putting this together with fresh corn kernels and tortillas and then pureeing those, makes for a nicely textured, sweet tasting soup. Your family will not believe this combination came from the turkey served only a day or two before.
Usually on Thanksgiving between 20-25 people come over for dinner. This year we had a smaller group. With 10, we had time to talk and there wasn't quite as much work getting the meal ready. Out of habit, though, we bought the same size turkey we always buy, a 25 pounder. So we assumed we'd have a lot of food left over, enough for several days of sandwiches.
When we looked in the refrigerator on Friday, we were surprised that we had very little cranberry sauce, almost no stuffing, and only enough white meat for a couple of sandwiches. But, happily, we did have a lot of dark meat and almost a gallon of turkey stock we'd made Thanksgiving night.
For our day after Thanksgiving dinner, I didn't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and I wanted a good comfort meal. Dumplings with anything is always great, but with richly flavored turkey stew, there's nothing more satisfying.
For those who love Mexican food, there's nothing better than finding a good Mexican restaurant to frequent regularly. That's because foreign cuisine can seem tough to tackle at home, especially the unique Mexican. But sometimes the craving hits without notice and you want something more than salsa and chips. For me that's when I get the urge to make authentic Mexican food at home. I have yet to master the cuisine, but rather than hit the fast-food chain with the bell or an expensive restaurant, I make my favorite dish in my own kitchen. Chilaquiles is the dish I've found really easy and successful for a beginner in south-of-the-border cooking.
Chilaquiles, a Mexican dish purposely invented to repurpose day-old tortillas, is also the perfect dish for using leftover turkey or chicken. Made up of fried tortillas, shredded chicken, tomatillo salsa, and cheese, it can resembles a lasagne when layered in a casserole dish. But for faster results, chilaquiles can also be put together in tortilla stacks and placed in a hot oven just to melt the cheese and warm it through. When I first tasted chilaquiles at a restaurant, it hit my comfort spot immediately. Once I found a recipe by Daisy Martinez, I knew I had to try making it for myself. It's a dish that can make a person or—if you're willing to share—an entire family very happy.
From the Editors: For those of you looking for a fancy side to grace you holiday tables, give this recipe from Top Chef Master Ludo Lefebvre a try. Filled with the best produce of the season it not only looks pretty, but will add a spicy flair to your dinner as well.
4 side-dish servings
2 cups water
3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
1 Ceylon cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 firm but ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and stemmed
8 baby turnips, peeled
8 baby beets, peeled
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup Duck Stock (or other homemade stock)
Fleur de sel and freshly groung pepper
Stir the water, 3/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a heavy medium saucepan to blend. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the sugar mixture; add the bean. Bring to a boil over medium-hight heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the pears. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the pears are crisp tender, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a bowl; cool. Cut the pears lengthwise in half. Using a melon baller, remove the core. Discard the poaching liquid.
Sometimes you want a gallette instead of a pie. You’re shocked hearing that from me? Well, don’t be. Apparently I enabled a gallette to be the winning “pie” at the last pie contest. And you know why? Because of the increased caramelization possibilities of more exposed crust and the ability to make a really big one for a wow presentation.
Like this one here which served almost 20. Also, I find that for bakers who are nervous about the whole cooking fruit inside a crust + thickener thing, cooking the apples separately can be an easy anxiety fix.
To size up the recipe just use more dough to make a bigger circle for your gallette and prep more apples. For this gallette that was 14″ across I made my Ratio Dough using 15 oz of flour. I used 10 small apples. You actually don’t need to use many more apples than for a regular pie, they’re just spread out in a much thinner layer.
It's already in full swing. Thanksgiving turkey mania. You know what I'm talking about. The endless, frenzied debate over how to cook the perfect turkey. With all the food magazines, cooking shows and turkey hotlines available, I know you'll find more information than you ever wanted on the bird. That's why I'm posting about Thanksgiving side dishes: They're much less controversial. You can't brine sweet potatoes or deep fry cranberry sauce. At least, I don't think you can.
Last year I shared four Thanksgiving side dishes with a twist: Perennial favorites like sweet potatoes and string beans got a makeover. They looked fabulous. But we can't make the same veggies this year. Well, except for the String Beans with Prosciutto, Pine Nuts, and Lemon. I have to make those again. Don't worry though. I've got a few new ones for you that won't disappoint.
Let's start with Festive Stuffed Acorn Squash. A robustly sweet and tangy filling of shallots, cranberries, prunes and pecans is nestled inside of a hot roasted acorn squash half. If you've just wrinkled your nose at the word "prunes," trust me, they're the ideal foil to tart cranberries. But if you just can't abide the thought of them, swap them for sweet Medjool dates. Everyone loves Medjool dates.
When I decided to move across the country, my parents believed that I would quickly get over my folly of living in the Golden State and return to life in New England. Unfortunately for them, California felt like home the minute I crossed the border and I haven't looked back since. The only time I regret being so far away is at Thanksgiving.
It's all about the food and a fairly simple concept of sharing one's bounty. A day to give thanks for the good things in your life. Everyone eats too much, drinks too much, maybe says things they shouldn't, but in the end it's a holiday of inclusion. Even when I was single, I've never had to celebrate Turkey Day alone. Unlike Christmas, with its unwavering traditions, which usually include immediate family only, on Thanksgiving I've found it's "the more the merrier."
After 20 years, my parents still hope that I will return for a Thanksgiving. That they could travel here, never occurs to them. They know we're not coming, but that doesn't stop them from complaining about it. It's just too expensive and difficult. Every year travel horror stories on the news prove that it's not worth the trouble just to share turkey and cranberry sauce. Over the years, my family has come to indulge us with a Thanksgiving dinner on our early Fall sojourns East. Believe me, it tastes just as good in late October. They pull out all the stops and never fail to include the one item I still sorely miss – my mother's meat stuffing.
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