Tahlequah Daily Press

November 27, 2012

What’s left in the fridge

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Turkey Day’s over, but the fridge is still full of dinner items that could be made into yet another tasty and filling holiday dish.

Kelly Baltes Davis told the Daily Press that turkey hash and Italian sausage is a favorite in her family.

“Make a sauce with 5 tablespoons butter, a half cup flour, 5 cups chicken broth and 1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes. Boil and reduce by half,” she said. “Then saute some red bell pepper and onion, mix in 1-1/2 pounds cooked sausage, the sauce, 5 cups turkey and a quarter-cup bread crumbs with onions and peppers. Pour that in a buttered casserole, top with more bread crumbs and bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes. Spicy and yummy!”

Common Thanksgiving dinner menus include turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, redskin mashed potatoes and an endless list of desserts. Several recipes featuring turkey can be found online, from a turkey cobbler to the traditional hot turkey sandwich.

To produce the cobbler, heat 4 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until it becomes frothy. Add two ribs of sliced celery and cook it until it becomes tender. Then add one bunch of thinly-sliced green onions and let it cook for 60 more seconds before adding 6 tablespoons of flour, which will be stirred until well blended. Add 2 cups of chicken broth and 1 cup of turkey gravy and continue cooking and stirring until it thickens and begins to bubble. Then add seasonings, 2 cups of thawed mixed-vegetables and 3 cups of diced turkey. The seasonings include a half teaspoon of salt, an eighth teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and a quarter teaspoon of poultry seasoning.  Pour the mixture into a buttered 9-inch square pan or 2-quart baking dish and heat the over to 400 degrees.

For the topping, whisk one egg in a medium bowl with a half-cup milk and 4 tablespoons of melted butter. In a second bowl, blend the 1 cup of all-purpose flour with 1 cup of cornmeal, 2 teaspoons of baking powder salt, 1 scant teaspoon of poultry seasoning and 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg and milk mixture until it becomes well-blended. Then drop spoonfuls of the dough all across the filling. Bake the dish for 30 to 35 minutes or until the topping becomes browned and the filling is bubbly. Serve with cranberry sauce on the side, a tossed green salad or fresh sliced tomatoes.

The hot turkey sandwich is a simple and common dish that includes use of leftover sliced or shredded turkey and gravy. Heat the gravy in a small saucepan, then arrange two slices of lightly-buttered bread on a plate and top each slice with turkey. Once the gravy is warm, drizzle or pour the gravy over the turkey and slices of bread and then sprinkle the display with salt and pepper. This dish can be served with other leftover items like cranberry sauce and warmed-over dressing or mashed potatoes.

Shepherd’s pie, as suggested by Olga Hoenes on the Daily Press’ Facebook site, is another way to enjoy leftover mashed potatoes. The English dish is traditionally made with lamb or mutton, but can be made with beef. The American version is a baked casserole, lined with cooked meat and vegetables to be topped with mashed potatoes.

The ingredients call for 1-1/2 pounds of ground beef, one chopped onion, 1 or 2 cups of chopped carrots, corn and peas, 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of potatoes, 8 tablespoons of butter, a half cup of beef broth, 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and other seasonings of choice. Peel and quarter the potatoes, then boil them in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. As the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan. Sauté the onions in butter until tender over medium heat about 10 minutes.  If adding vegetables, introduce them according to cooking time. Place any carrots in with the onions, and add corn or peas either when the onions are done cooking or after the meat has initially cooked.

Then add the ground beef and saute it until the pink in the meat disappears. Add salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Then add a half cup of beef broth and cook the mixture, uncovered over low heat for 10 minutes while adding beef broth as needed to maintain moisture. Mash the potatoes in a bowl with the remainder of the butter and season to taste. Place the beef and onions in a baking dish and distribute the mashed potatoes on top. Cook in the oven at 400 degrees until the mixture begins to brown and bubble, about 30 minutes.

Steve Cypert offered an easy recipe for leftover turkey and ham through the Daily Press’ Facebook page.

“Slice the turkey and ham into sandwich-size bits [and] follow up with several days of sandwich dinners,” he said.

Gloria Lovel Brewster said that in her family, the leftovers are quickly dispersed and never see the fridge.

“We distribute the leftovers among family members to take home with them,” she said.

Serai Davis likes to mix it up and suggested a zippy recipe: “Mix turkey with cranberry sauce for a tangy snack.”

Melissa Bethancourt is from southern Louisiana, and she puts a different twist on things: “I always make turkey gumbo with leftover turkey.”

Saen Hacker Hokenson’s husband always makes a pot pie with leftovers.

“All you need is two pie crusts – one for top, one for bottom,” she said. “Add leftover turkey, veggies and a can of cream chicken soup and bake.”