Feasting on leftovers of potato cakes and pot pies
BY CHRISTINE GARDNERfood@tylerpaper.com
Thursday we will enjoy, what most Americans consider, the grandest meal of the year. But to be perfectly honest, I think I am looking forward to the leftovers more than the actual meal.
Turkey soup, turkey spaghetti and turkey pot pie. Also potato cakes, cranberry sauce on morning toast and the favorite of many men that I know -- turkey and dressing sandwiches.
Generally I tend to tire of Thanksgiving leftovers sooner than most people in my family and will probably be ready by Sunday for fish, pizza, Chinese food or pasta.
However, this year I am looking forward to using Thanksgiving leftovers in many ways. Last year for FRESH Ideas I created the Italian Potpie that used leftover turkey, bread cubes from stuffing and other chopped vegetables mixed with a creamy, cheesy bechamel sauce. The recipe became quite popular and was the most requested recipe of the year. It can be found in the FRESH Ideas gallery on the Christine Gardner Tyler Paper Food Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
, and I can send it to you.
Of course, traditional pot pie is just as good and also will help use up any extra pie dough that's in the freezer.
I also love leftover mashed potatoes. You could put those on top of your potpie instead of crust or make a potato cake with some chopped turkey, an egg and chopped vegetables like mushrooms and green onions.
These cakes also are good with leftover sweet potatoes or add some of your sweet potatoes to pancake, muffin or cake batter for a seasonal twist. Someone was telling me about wanting to make sweet potato gnocchi. Gnocchi is the easiest fresh pasta to make. It's just a mixture of potatoes and flour and then small oval-grooved pieces of pasta are formed. There is a recipe on foodnetwork.com that Giada de Laurentiis demonstrated on her show last weekend.
Now to the cranberries, my favorite part of Thanksgiving and also the subject of next Wednesday's FLAVOR section. They are so versatile and can be used many different ways. Turn them into a glaze for pork, mix with some cheese for a dip or puree and strain into a drink. You also can use them for jam, cookies, pie or muffins.
Of course, the Thanksgiving cranberry sauce is best served with turkey and gravy and the meal wouldn't be the same without it. Drag your pieces of turkey through a helping of cranberry sauce or spread it on a roll and add a chunk of turkey. It's the absolute best.
Saturday at FRESH by Brookshire's I made a large batch of the Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce that was in last week's FLAVOR section. It's a recipe I have been making for about 20 years and everyone loves it.
I highly recommend following the recipe but if you don't have Grand Marnier or would rather not use the alcohol just spoon in a tablespoon of orange juice concentrate after the cranberries come out of the oven. It makes the tart sweetness of the cranberries sing and keeps you coming back for more. Triple Sec, Cointreau or even a 1/4 cup of orange soda would also work.
Many people have told me that it's the dressing or stuffing they cannot live without, and there can never be too much. I actually heard a radio talk show last week where the hosts and many callers debated the wonders of stuffing. All the ways it can be made with a variety of breads and ingredients, and if it is so loved how come we don't eat it more often. Why is it saved only for Thanksgiving? Can't we have stuffing in the spring or the 4th of July?
That can be said for many things on the Thanksgiving table. Why don't we eat it year round? Is it because we eat so much of it at Thanksgiving and the week after that we've had all we can take for the entire year?
Questions to ponder as you dig into that third helping of cornbread dressing or slather cranberry sauce on one side of a turkey sandwich and mayonnaise on the other. Maybe that is a combination our taste buds can only handle for a small window of time.
Christine Gardner can be contacted by emailing email@example.com
or writing to 410 W. Erwin, Tyler, TX 75702. She can also be found on Facebook at Christine Gardner Tyler Paper Food and on Twitter and Pinterest @TylerFlavor.