Home Cooking Recipes
home cooking recipes                                            home cooking recipes
Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour

Make Thanksgiving leftovers bold, not boring

What little turkey survives the swordplay at the Thanksgiving table can jump into the freezer, of course. But, even if you postpone the confrontation between you and the freezer containers, you will have to pull yourself together and face them sometime. If you are like most of us, it is into the freezer and out of mind. Best to use the leftovers as soon as possible as Santa is on his way and he leaves even more uneaten food in his path.

Turkey is one of our blander meats, so it takes very well to exotic flavorings. But before we think of that, we must make stock from the giblets (if you haven't simmered them for making gravy on the day of thanks) and from the carcass, because we all know that it is better to be safe than sorry and remove the meat from the bone as soon after cooling as possible.

Both of these stocks make great soup, are great in gravy, and add flavor when cooking pastas, rice or vegetables.

Turkey Giblet Stock

The giblets are the organs found in the bag that comes with the bird. To add additional flavor cook the neck and the wing tips as well. Some people don't care for the strong flavor of the liver. If you are one of them don't include the liver. Stock can be made 2 days ahead and it keeps well frozen.

Necks and giblets from turkey, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 fresh thyme sprigs
4 whole black peppercorns
5 cups water
3 cups chicken broth

Pat neck and giblets dry. Heat oil in heavy pot until hot but not smoking, then brown neck and giblets, turning occasionally. Add celery, carrot, onion, garlic, thyme and peppercorns; sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned. Add water and broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced to about 3 cups, 45 to 60 minutes. Pour stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discarding solids. If using stock right away, skim off and discard any fat. Makes about 3 cups.

Plain & Simple Turkey Stock

1 turkey carcass, chopped into small pieces
Skin from carcass
Turkey neck
Trimmings from carcass or serving platter
1 onion, cut in large dice
1 carrot, cut in large dice
2 celery stocks, cut in quarters
Bouquet garni*

Place turkey in a soup kettle and cover with cold water by about 1-inch (about 3 quarts). Bring to a simmer and skim off the scum that comes to the surface. Add remaining ingredients, reduce heat and simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Strain, chill and degrease. There should be about 12 cups.

*Bouquet garni: tie up in a square of cheesecloth a sprig of thyme, parsley stems, bay leaf and 3 peppercorns.

Curry Wraps with Curry-Chutney Mayo

A new twist on the turkey sandwich. Pre-packaged coleslaw can replace cabbage.

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup mango chutney
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder (preferably Madras-style)
4 flour tortillas, 9- to 10-inches
2 cups diced cooked turkey meat, divided
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, optional
1/3 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts, divided
1 1/3 cups chopped green and red cabbage, divided

Mix mayonnaise, chutney and curry powder in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread 2 tablespoons curry-chutney mayonnaise in 2-inch wide strip down center of each tortilla. Top with turkey, cilantro, peanuts and chopped cabbage. Fold sides of tortillas over ends of fillings, then roll up burrito-style, enclosing fillings completely. Cut each turkey wrap in half on the diagonal. Makes 4 servings.

Casserole of Penne, Turkey & Mushrooms

Because the Gruyere is somewhat salty, don't use brined roast turkey or use a less salty cheese. Also use old-fashioned gravy (no cider or soy sauce).

12 ounces penne
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sliced shallots or green onions (about 5)
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
1 1/2 cups turkey gravy
1 1/2 cups packed, coarsely grated Gruyere cheese (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups diced cooked turkey meat

Position rack in top third of oven; preheat to 350 F. Butter 13- by 9- by 2-inch glass baking dish. In large kettle of boiling water cook pasta until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet. Add shallots; sauté 1 minute. Add mushrooms and thyme; sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 12 minutes. Add pasta, gravy, 1 cup cheese and cream to mushroom mixture; stir to blend. Mix in turkey and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining l/2 cup cheese. Bake until sauce is bubbling. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Sherried Chicken or Turkey Bits

Handy to have on hand to serve as hors d'oeuvres or to cream and serve on hot biscuits or toast.

Chicken or turkey meat still on the bone.

Place in a jar and cover the meat with sherry. Cover and refrigerate for 10 days before using. To serve, skin, bone and cut meat into bite-size pieces or slim slices to fit cocktail crackers. Serve cold.

Now we must think about our December holiday!

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