Piping hot and fresh out of the deep fryer, the juicy bird that sent your inner Pavlovian dog drooling looses its luster a couple days out. You overbought and overcooked, as most families do for Thanksgiving, so what will you do with the extra poundage? Most outreach programs for the needy don't accept leftovers (aside from canned goods and packaged non-perishables), so unless your neighbors could use some extra turkey, you can either reuse or toss. I vote for yummy recycling of your holiday favorites.
1. Leftover Turkey Casserole
Not only does this recipe use a multitude of common leftover Turkey day ingredients (think stuffing, turkey, green beans, and creamed soups), but also it's a great way to reswizzle day-old food into something new. If you're on day three or four of the same-old, give it a try for a fresh twist on the Thursday classics.
2. Turkey Tetrazzini
Leftover makeovers are only successful when you A.) like the food, but are just tired of it, and B.) use common ingredients for your new creation. Using spaghetti, milk, chicken broth, parmesan cheese, flour, and turkey qualifies this recipe for blue ribbon recycling. You might want to add some sautéed garlic and minced onion for a punch of flavor.
3. Emeril's Turkey Potpie
Who knows BAM! taste better than the Cajun cook himself? Turkey potpie is warm, juicy comfort food--perfect for the weary Black Friday sojourners. Most ingredients are from day before offerings. As with any shepherd's pie you can pick and choose what to toss in, so no worries if your party polished off the peas or sweet potatoes, just throw in something else.
4. Turkey Salad
After a full day of gluttony it makes sense to back off on Friday to avoid system overload. A salad is well in order. This particular blend of greens and toppings incorporate cranberries, canned fruit, potatoes, and mushrooms. Perfect for a light lunch the day after.
5. Pumpkin Pie Parfait
I'm the pumpkin pie's biggest fan. The nutmeg and cinnamon blended with pumpkin puree induce a free-for-all pie fest. As difficult as it is to improve upon this holiday fixture, here it is refreshingly redesigned in a light parfait. Using a few simple ingredients, keep the essence of pumpkin with a fresh twist.
6. Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake
If you're a first-timer at hosting Thanksgiving, you'll probably serve the jiggly blob of faux fruit only to see it wiggle its way into the garbage. Let the leftover cranberry sauce make a second debut in a coffee cake. Every cranberry naysayer will think twice about saying no to this tasty recipe.
7. Sweet Potato Pancakes
Cold turkey sandwiches the morning after Thanksgiving don't exactly hit the spot. Add a couple of ingredients to your sweet potato casserole to whip up some delicious pancakes. These warm, buttery discs are a welcome reminder of the day before yet different enough to stimulate your tasty buds.
8. Mashed Potato Soup
There's something about the consistency of mashed potatoes that doesn't allow for many immediate repeat appearances. While I love the spud, it gets old. Repackage it in a soup with some simple ingredients and you'll be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
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