Leftovers are a fantastic part of every holiday.
Turkey sandwiches are a favorite among those who answered my question on Facebook and Twitter: “what is your favorite way to eat Thanksgiving leftovers?”
Jay Yates of The Veranda in Starkville was the first to reply: “Turkey sammich on white bread with mayo and lots of pepper.” He also likes to boil the carcass, add andouille, and make gumbo!
Jean Kilgore said she makes turkey sandwiches and potpie with her leftovers. Barbara Middleton likes her turkey on wheat bread. Marcelle Robertson likes leftover turkey on white bread with mayonnaise, salt, pepper and onion.
This year, my mom bought homemade rolls from Christine May and a deep-fried turkey from The Tracks. We have been making turkey sandwiches on homemade rolls all weekend. What a fantastic way to enjoy leftovers!
Christie Colvin said one of her friends from high school would eat dressing sandwiches! That’s a little different, but if you love dressing, I guess that’s the way to go!
Cindy Alderman said she loves “leftover turkey with leftover dressing, leftover sweet potato casserole, and whatever dessert was, well, leftover.”
Marsha Woods makes turkey salad with her leftovers.
Much like a fall chicken salad, turkey salad can be a fun alternative to typical holiday leftovers.
Marsha’s Turkey Salad
4 cups turkey (diced or shredded)
1/2 small jar dill relish
1 onion, chopped
3 boiled eggs (optional – Marsha doesn’t like them)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Mix all ingredients until well blended. Great on sandwiches or with snack crackers.
Also try this recipe:
Fall Turkey Salad
1 cup shredded cooked turkey
1/2 cup cubed cooked ham
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
1 hard-cooked egg, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Combine the turkey, ham, cranberries, egg, and basil in a mixing bowl. Stir in the mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pamela Awad likes to make a turkey vegetable soup. Tom and Brenda Hamby said turkey leftovers “makes a mean soup with veggies.”
Pamela said she doesn’t really use a soup recipe, except for inspiration!
“It is a great leftover thing,” Awad said. “I just make broth with the carcass and a couple of celery ribs, a carrot, a med onion a little salt, maybe a bay leaf — keep it simple at this point.”
After the broth has simmered a couple of hours, take the meat off the carcass, strain out all the vegetables and put the broth back in the pot with 2 or 3 cups meat, a chopped carrot, 2 sliced ribs of celery, 1 cup diced onion (you can saute all these in a little butter and it really brings out the flavor). Add some kind of starch such as rice, barley, noodles, take your pick. Awad said she wanted to use barley last week but could not find any. She said you can also use a bean — garbanzo is mild, so is great northern. Beans are a great starch that also has protein! Lots of people add corn, but Awad does not, for personal reasons.
“Lots of people like to add cream,” Awad said. “Likewise, I do not, because my son will not eat it! We have a funny household!”
Awad said you can add leftovers like butterbeans, green peas, roasted vegetables like turnip and butternut squash and sweet potato.
“Dang! I did not have lunch and Ii am sitting here salivating,” Awad said. “You see why I don’t use a recipe? Once I get started it’s hard for me to stop. I believe you should always make it your own anyway.”
Another great recipe for Turkey Vegetable Soup:
Turkey Vegetable Soup
1 leftover whole roasted turkey carcass
2 medium onions, cored, peeled and chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
3 medium stalks celery, cleaned and chopped
2 bay leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Water, to cover
Any leftover turkey meat, diced
2 cups cooked diced potatoes, rice or pasta
2 cups cooked sweet peas
2 cups cooked carrots, diced
2 cups any other cooked vegetables
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup cooked macaroni
1 cup chopped green onions, green part only
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Loaf of crusty bread
Place the turkey carcass in a large stockpot. Add 1/2 of the onions, carrots, and celery. Add bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cover the turkey with 3 quarts of water. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 1 hour.
Remove stock from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve, saving the liquid (about 2 quarts) and turkey meat, discarding the vegetables.
Saute remaining onions, carrots, and celery until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add to strained stock. Add the remaining vegetables, and garlic to the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the meat from the turkey carcass and dice. Add the meat, herbs, and cooked macaroni to stock. Heat through.
Ladle the soup into each serving bowl and serve with the crusty bread.
Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share? Contact Gwen Sisson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This food column was featured in the December 1, 2016 edition of The Winona Times.