Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Real Foodies Eat Leftovers

Hope your snowy Thanksgiving was a good one! It was touch-and-go in the UrbanFarmJunkie kitchen, since I never know where to stick the dinged meat thermometer. I kept wondering and wondering why the 15.7-lb. bird stalled out at 140F and was even starting to reassure my guests that, hey, even if it was undercooked, the Skagit River Ranch turkey came from such a great clean farm and processing unit that I bet we still wouldn't get sick--but then I ripped the thermometer out and jammed it in another place where the sun didn't shine, and darn if the silly thing didn't top out at 190F in seconds flat. Sigh. Thankfully it was still delicious and I hadn't managed to reduce it to sawdust.

Although you might have managed to polish off or freeze any leftovers from the feast, I thought you might be interested in a couple ideas I've made use of. After Turkey Tortilla Soup and Turkey a la King, my seven-year-old did a little whining, but we are plowing ahead. One day I hope to be crowned Leftover Queen.

Newsweek ran an article on the great food divide in our country, where those with the $$$ eat well/local/sustainable/organic/you-name-it and those without the $$$ eat at McDonald's. There's some room in the middle, in my opinion. For folks like me, who try to buy and eat good food, but who also try to stretch each dollar. Depending on your source of info, Americans throw away 25-40% of their food. Moldy cheese, limp celery, greens-gone-juicy... Don't let this be the fate of your turkey day delicacies!

Leftover Cranberry Sauce
  • Spoon over brie and serve on crackers
  • Bake it into your favorite quick bread--Deborah Madison suggests using 1 cup of sauce to replace 2 c raw cranberries and 1/2 c sugar. Makes it nice and moist and not so tart.
  • Add it to a grilled cheese sandwich
  • Add some olive oil, salt, pepper, and a dash of vinegar to make dressing for a spinach salad.
Leftover Stuffing
  • Check out this Stuffing Frittata from the Food Network. I just made it and brought it to a brunch. The stuffing works like the bread stratas that have to soak overnight--only there's no soaking necessary!
  • My stuffing was made from leftovers in the first place: bread heels that I save in the freezer, hamburger buns, etc. The good news: a little freezer burn doesn't hurt, and neither does a little whole-wheat bread.
Leftover Mashed Potatoes
  • Use them to thicken soups
  • Fry them in cakes and serve them as you would potato pancakes. You may need to stiffen your potatoes with some egg and bread crumbs if they won't hold together.
Leftover Green Bean Casserole
  • Drop it at my house
Many happy returns to you all.

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