By Catharine L. Kaufman
The Kitchen Shrink
After anguishing over the Thanksgiving menu, now families have to figure out what to do with the leftovers from 45 million turkeys. Let me help you navigate your way through Leftover Land with some suggestions for creative recycling.
Have a yen for Asian
Whip up some Chinese, Japanese or fusion dishes. Try turkey and veggie fried rice, lo mein or a chow mein, turkey lettuce wraps with hoison dipping sauce, turkey egg foo yung, or a turkey stir fry with black bean sauce, broccoli, snap peas and shitake mushrooms. Do Japanese with a turkey and Udon noodle soup or a turkey teriyaki salad.
Mince the turkey and make a “Bolognese” sauce over linguini. Bake a turkey lasagna or turkey parm. Add chunks into a bubbling pot of pasta e fagioli or toss slices with egg noodles in a creamy Alfredo or vodka sauce. Put strips of turkey on a pizza, make a panini with mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil or assemble a turkey antipasto platter.
A fowl fiesta
Add turkey cubes to a skillet of chili, whip up turkey tacos with shredded cabbage and salsa, or a turkey taco salad with chopped tomatoes, avocadoes and corn and black beans.
Toss a Greek salad with breast chunks, feta cheese and black olives. Add strips of turkey to couscous with roasted peppers and garlic. Make a Persian stew with turkey cubes in a walnut and pomegranate sauce, or a Greek-style lemon and turkey soup (Avgolemono).
Some Jewish fare
Put the carcass in a soup pot; add some carrots, celery root, onion, chopped parsley and parsnips for a hearty turkey and matzo ball soup. Whip up a turkey fricassee or sweet and sour turkey cabbage rolls. With Chanukah around the corner, how about a twist on the classic potato latke by adding some shredded turkey into the mix?
A turkey shepherd’s pie would do a triple recycling job – the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. Turkey pot pie, a mac and cheese turkey bake, a turkey Cobb salad or a classic turkey salad jazzed up with spicy mayo, chopped celery and capers stuffed in avocado halves make great lunches or dinners.
Portion the leftover pieces and store in freezer-friendly containers or storage bags. Do breast slices for kids’ lunches or sandwiches, thigh chunks for chicken salad, or legs and wings for snacks. These can keep in the freezer for several weeks.
You can always bring your turkey leftovers to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, that’ll also teach the kids a lesson in generosity of heart, repairing the world, and show them an attitude of gratitude.
Here’s one of my favorite concoctions, a turkey wild mushroom strudel that makes a great side dish or main meal. Gobble, gobble!
Turkey and Wild Mushroom Strudel
2 sheets of Artisan puff pastry
1 cup of chopped turkey (your choice, breast or thigh)
1 pound of assorted mushrooms (oyster, crimini, shiitake, button, your choice)