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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: So, What About All That Leftover Turkey?

By Sherrie Norris

Most cooks that I know will likely not be sitting in front of a computer today — or even have time to pull out their phones looking at a food column. Rather, they have had their menus and recipes chosen for weeks, and by the looks of local grocery store parking lots in the last few days, they have purchased all their needed ingredients for their family’s holiday feast, and are already in the process of some major prepping.

Still, there are those who are able to pull something together at the last minute without the stress that many of  us put ourselves through, and I applaud you if you have that ability.

Regardless, there might be need for some leftover ideas to help rid the fridge of the other eight pounds of turkey your crew doesn’t eat on Thanksgiving Day. We’ll try to help with a few ideas to clear it out before we transition next week into the most festive holiday cooking marathon of the year: Christmas.

I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving, filled with the comfort of family, food and fellowship. Special thoughts and prayers will be said for those of you who are missing loved ones around the table this year. I know what that’s like. 

Turkey Pot Pie

2refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

1/3 cup butter or margarine

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

1 can chicken broth

½ cup milk

2 ½ cups shredded cooked turkey

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

Heat oven to 425°F. Make pie crusts as directed on box for two-crust pie, using 9-inch glass pie plate.

In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until well blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened.

Stir in turkey and mixed vegetables. Remove from heat. Spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust.

Bake 20 minutes; cover edge of crust with strips of foil to prevent browning. Bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

For a glossy golden crust, beat an egg with a spoonful of water and brush it over the surface of the top dough before baking for a glossy, golden crust.

Leftover Ham Hot Pockets

1 refrigerated or homemade pizza dough

1 lb. ham, thinly sliced

 ½ lb. cheese slices of choice

1 egg

1 Tbsp. water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper Divide pizza dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into about an 8-inch oval.

Place 1 slice of cheese in the middle of each oval. Place 3-4 slices of the thinly sliced ham on each slice of the cheese.

Fold dough over, creating a crescent shape. Using your fingers or the prongs of a fork, tightly seal the edges to make the “hot pocket.”

Whisk egg with water and brush each pocket evenly with the egg wash. Cut 2-3 slits on top of each pocket to let steam escape while baking. 

Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the hot pocket is nicely golden brown.

Serve warm or cool and store.

Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole

1 ½  cups turkey, shredded

3/4 cup cranberry sauce

2 cups mashed potatoes

1 cups corn

1 cups turkey gravy

2 Tbsp. milk

2 cups stuffing

Chicken broth or melted butter to taste

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Combine turkey and cranberry sauce and spread evenly on the bottom of an 8×8 glass baking dish.

Evenly press on leftover mashed potatoes and sprinkle corn over the top. Mix together milk and leftover gravy and spread evenly over potatoes and corn. Sprinkle on leftover stuffing and lightly drizzle chicken broth over the top (this will keep the stuffing from drying out). Cover with tin foil and bake at 400-degrees for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

Mashed Savory Sweet Potato Patties

4 cups mashed sweet potatoes 

2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

1/4   cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

3/4 cup bread crumbs, divided

2 large cloves of garlic finely chopped (or 2 Tbsp. minced garlic)

2 Tbsp. freshly chopped parsley

1 egg

Salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

To mashed sweet potatoes in a large bowl, add the cheeses, green onions, ½  cup of bread crumbs, garlic, parsley and egg. Season with salt and pepper, and mash all ingredients together well. Place remaining 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs onto a plate.  With hands, mix 1 Tbsp. of mixture into round patties, about ½ -inch thick. Dredge patties in the bread crumbs, evenly covering both sides, and set aside until ready to cook. 

Heat about 1 Tbsp. of oil in a medium-sized nonstick pan over low-medium heat. When oil is hot, add patties in batches of 4 or 5, and cook for about 6 minutes on each side, or until golden and crispy, using a small spatula to flip them very carefully. Add more oil in between batches if needed.

Turkey Soup

2 quarts vegetable or turkey stock

1 turkey carcass

1 (10-ounce) box frozen mixed vegetables

1/2 cup rice

2 cups cooked turkey, cubed

1 tsp. seasoning of choice

2 tsp. dried thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the stock and turkey carcass in a large soup pot over low heat and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Add the remaining ingredients and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes. Remove bones before serving.