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A New Spin on Those Thanksgiving Leftovers

I love leftovers. They are the ultimate in fast food. If you’re getting a little tired of turkey sandwiches though, you have other options. (In fact, it is a Thanksgiving tradition in my family to buy an extra-large turkey so we can whip up a huge batch of gumbo the day after Thanksgiving.) If you have a lot of turkey left over after the holiday, the possibilities are endless. Add turkey to any recipe where you would usually use chicken, or try one of these great recipes. Enjoy!

Turkey Quesadillas

(per quesadilla)

  • 2 large flour tortillas
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese (I like a mix of pepper jack and mild cheddar)
  • 1/4 cup cooked turkey
  • 1/4 cup leftover dressing
  • Blue cheese salad dressing
  • 1 teaspoon oil

I use my favorite cast iron griddle for these so I don’t use a lot of oil. Heat the oiled griddle and place one tortilla on it. Add cheese, turkey, and leftover dressing, then top with the other tortilla. Cook one to two minutes, then flip over and cook about three minutes on the other side—enough so that the cheese is melted and each side has a bit of browning and crispiness to it. Remove to a plate and cut into quarters. Dip in blue cheese dressing.

Curried Turkey Salad

  • 3 cups cooked turkey, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 large stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup halved red grapes
  • 1/2 apple, unpeeled and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • Several large stalks fresh parsley, snipped
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon style mustard
  • About 3/4 cup mayonnaise

Toss first seven ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. In a smaller bowl, add curry powder, parsley, mustard, and mayonnaise. Whisk until smooth and completely mixed. Gently stir into turkey mixture. Serve on a bed of lettuce, crackers, or your favorite sandwich bread.

Turkey Turnover

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • Several springs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 prepared pie pastry

Place the oil in the skillet and heat. Add mushrooms, onions, and thyme and sauté until the onions are soft. Stir in flour and coat vegetables. Stir in cream and cook until thick. Add turkey and salt and pepper to taste. Roll out one piece of the pie pastry and put half of the turkey mixture to one side of it. Fold over and press edges to seal. Repeat with the other pastry. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for about fifteen minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown.

Turkey Gumbo

  • 5 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 32 ounces sliced frozen okra
  • ½ cup rice
  • 28 ounces cooked, diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon gumbo file
  • 1 dash pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 ounces chicken broth
  • 3 cups turkey, cooked and diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion and garlic in the butter. Add two quarts chicken broth, celery seed, okra, and rice. Simmer thirty to forty minutes and then add tomatoes. In a separate container, mix flour, file, pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and the remaining eight ounces of chicken broth. Stir into gumbo slowly. Add the turkey and season to taste. Serve over additional rice.

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