Not only was it my first year to cook the Thanksgiving turkey, it was my first year with Lots of Leftovers. Time to get creative – and not a sandwich in the mix!
[…don’t get me wrong. I love a good leftover turkey sandwich with Miracle Whip. But both Miracle Whip and sandwich bread go bad in Flat 493. And Miracle Whip never goes bad, so that shows how rarely we use it. (and mayo is a strict no-go)]
First up: Giada’s Italian Hot Brown Crostini. I saw this a few weeks ago on Food Network and Had To Do It. These were so good that they will show up again at some point as non-leftover meal! Bonus: it used up the end of a jar of sun-dried tomatoes.
Also for this meal, I reheated Whole Foods vegan maple-roasted Brussels sprouts and caramelized them with some pomegranate vinegar.
But the pièce de résistance…. using a Martha Stewart recipe for guidance, I mixed together leftover mashed sweet potatoes and stuffing to make croquettes that I fried and topped with some arugula pesto hiding in the fridge. What. The. Heck.
I don’t normally eat stuffing/dressing because onions and celery are the devil. But my sister-in-law forgot them, so she made some bread cube/butter/chicken broth goodness that went really well with my bourbon rosemary gravy — I mean, buttery carbs go well with everything (;
I had never fried anything before! It is another concept now way less scary that that I tried it once. Sadly, this exact creation will never happen again bc of the rando leftovers that went into it, but Hampton was suitably impressed – especially it was his clean-the-fridge pesto that topped everything off!
Next up: subbing turkey into a phyllo three-cheese-and-swiss chard torte that called for chicken. I had worked with phyllo exactly once before in my life, so I was afraid and used All The Butter. Next time, I know I can probably use a bit less. And I’ll let it sit longer. Please look at the actual recipe post for how pretty it *should* have been, but I’ll still take it! Totally worth buying a bundt pan for. And it was great meal prep for lunches for the week! It warmed up really well, and having a salad on the side justified all the cheese and butter. Another big Hampton-pleaser, too! AND it used up the phyllo that’s been hanging out in our freezer and some random ricotta.
The last of the packed-up turkey went into this Michael Symon-inspired mac and cheese with goat cheese, again as a sub for chicken. While the point of prepping lunches is technically to be healthier while saving money, it’s much easier getting Hampton to actually take a lunch when it’s something this cheesy and delicious. So… yeah, total justification with a salad on the side. Or in tonight’s case, some roasted veg that was going a little sad.
Next week: soup!! Very excited to get into the frozen stock now that we’ve used up the leftover meat. But more excited that I tried so many new techniques to clean the fridge — and they didn’t suck! Baby steps to adulting… and/or Chopped.