Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Ten days of Turkey

Are you sick of Turkey yet?

Hopefully you had the sense to put any leftovers in to the freezer yesterday; though it seems like it will last forever, it will not and it would be a shame to waste those leftovers. I put my leftovers in the freezer this morning. I can get away with that because I didn't cook my turkey until Friday night-- mom made the Thanksgiving turkey-- I wanted some of my own here at home.

So of course everyone knows you can make sandwiches out of turkey (day1) and you can make soup out of turkey (day 2) and you can continue to have just plain ole turkey and taters with gravy (day3). That covers 3 days of eating but there's still more meat left over and you've run out of ideas. Here are a few ways you can use it up over the next few days, weeks or months (it will be good for 6-8 months in the freezer if packaged properly).

(day 4) Pampered Chef Turkey Ring-this is my personal favorite use of Turkey leftovers. It is pretty easy, super tasty and looks fantastic! We had it for dinner last night.

(day 5) Turkey Tacos- Tonight's dinner. This is a recipe I adapted from the Fresno Fair Soft Tacos that are so super yummy except they use beef and mashed potatoes. The first time I made this I had turkey and mashed potatoes. I tried it with what I had and the kids liked it so here it is:
chop up one pound of leftover turkey into bite sized pieces and toss in a lightly oiled skillet. Add 2-3 T taco seasoning, 2-3 T water, 3/4 cup chopped iceberg lettuce, 1/2 cup mashed potatoes. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Prepare your corn tortillas by frying quickly in hot oil, drain. Fill cooked shells with taco mixture, sprinkle with taco sauce if desired. Serve with cheese, pico de gallo, shredded cabbage and beans.

(day 6) BBQ Turkey Sandwiches-take some of your dark meat and let it simmer on the stove with some of your favorite BBQ sauce until it can be shredded apart easily. Serve on toasted buns with an apple/cabbage/craisin coleslaw and french fries on the side.

(day 7) Asian Turkey Salad- You can prepare this early in the day and serve it cold or serve it fresh and hot. This is an adaptation from a Pampered Chef recipe (can you tell I used to be a Pampered Chef rep.?!)
Cook five packages of Ramen noodles according to package directions except don't add the seasoning mix (can substitute 3/4 pound of vermicelli pasta). Drain noodles and set aside.

While noodles are cooking prepare Dressing: 1/2 c vegetable oil, 6 T rice vinegar, 6 T soy sauce, 4 t sugar, 1/4 t ground pepper, 2 t ground ginger, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 t dried cilantro or 1 T fresh cilantro, 1/4-1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts or cashews (optional). Shake together in a tightly sealed jar.

In large skillet heat 1 T oil, 1 t sesame oil, 1 1/2 cup julienne or diagonally cut carrots, 1 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery, 1 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper. Allow to cook and soften over medium high heat for 4 minutes stirring occasionally. Turn off heat. Add 1 pound leftover turkey cut into 1/2 inch pieces, hot noodles and dressing. Toss to coat and serve.

(day 8) Pampered Chef Turkey Club Pizza- Use your leftover turkey instead of deli turkey on this pizza.

(day9) Turkey Tetrazini (from the Joy of Cooking Cookbook, page 604 & 606)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in the center of the oven.
Cook according to package directions 3/4 lb egg noodles.
Melt in a large saucepan over medium-low heat:
4 T butter
Add and whisk until smooth:
1/2 c all-purpose flour
Cook whisking constantly for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Add:
2 cups chicken or turkey stock
and whisk until smooth. Whisk in:
1 1/2 cups milk
Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture just to a simmer, whisking constantly and cook for 1 minute. Stir in:
one pound of leftover turkey cut into bit-sized pieces
Season to taste with:
salt and pepper
several drops of lemon juice
2-3 pinches of ground nutmeg
Heat in a medium skillet over medium-high heat:
1 1/2 T butter
add and cook stirring until tender:
8 ounces sliced mushrooms (2 1/3 cups)
Lightly grease a 13x9 baking pan. Drain the pasta well and stir into the chicken mixture along with 1/2 cup slivered almonds and the cooked mushrooms. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese. Bake until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is golden brown, 25-35 minutes.

(day 10) by this time I'm sure you only have little tidbits left over so this is when we like to make Rachel Sandwiches. Combine: 1 lb turkey pieces and 12 ounces of sourkraut for the sandwich filling. Lay out 12 slices of rye bread. Spread the bread thinly with butter on one side and russian dressing on the inside, divide the filling between 6 slices and put a slice of swiss cheese on each. Top with the other 6 slices of buttered/dressed rye. Grill on a skillet over medium heat until the cheese is melted and the bread toasted. Serve immediately with dill pickles (optional).

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