Home Cooking Recipes
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Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour

Turkey the second time around

The Pilgrims may have invented Thanksgiving but old Tom turkey has come a long way since they sat down and carved one of Tom's ancestors to share with their Indian friends. Today's turkey is big of breast and cheap of price--one of the least expensive and most versatile meats you can serve today.

Anyone who says they get tired of leftover turkey just hasn't considered all of the good, nourishing meals that come as an afterthought to the Thanksgiving feast. Here are a few ideas you may have missed when packaging the leftovers for the freezer.

Turkey Chili

A quick and easy way to feed the family. Add fresh jalapeno peppers if you have them.

1 green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cans kidney beans, drained
1 large can stewed tomatoes, crushed
1 cup red wine
3 cups cooked turkey cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon chili powder, or more
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté green peppers, onion and garlic in oil for 5 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, wine, turkey, chili powder, red pepper flakes and salt. Increase heat and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered 25 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Serve garnished with chopped onion, grated cheese or fresh cilantro, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Turkey, Mushroom & Cheese Quesadilla

Using preshredded cheese and presliced mushrooms makes this recipe quick and easy but it is probably less expensive to do a little shredding and slicing yourself.

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 ounces turkey or chicken, sliced or shredded
1/4 cup chopped onion
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4 flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded light Mexican or other sharp cheese

Heat oil and add cumin, half of the salt and half of the pepper, sprinkle over turkey. Lightly warm the turkey in olive oil or butter, remove from pan and set aside. Add onion, mushrooms, garlic, jalapeno and the remaining half of the salt and pepper; sauté 5 minutes. Remove from pan; wipe pan and return pan to medium heat. Sprinkle each tortilla with about 1/3 cup cheese and some of the mushroom mixture. Arrange turkey evenly over mushroom mixture. Carefully fold each tortilla in half. Place 2 filled tortillas in pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and cheese melts. Repeat procedure with remaining quesadillas. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Turkey-Artichoke Calzones

Can be reheated in microwave or toaster oven. Let calzones come to room temperature before wrapping to keep dough from getting soggy.

1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups thinly sliced fresh spinach leaves
1 1/4 cups (5 oz) shredded sharp provolone cheese
1 cup shredded cooked turkey or chicken breast
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons cornmeal
1 can (13+ oz.) refrigerated pizza crust dough

Preheat oven to 425 F. Pat artichokes dry. Combine artichokes, salt, pepper and garlic in a large bowl. Add spinach, cheese and chicken; toss gently to combine. Brush oil over baking sheet, sprinkle with cornmeal. Unroll dough onto prepared baking sheet, cut into 6 equal pieces. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Pat each portion into a 6- by 5-inch rectangle. Spoon 2/3 cup spinach mixture into center of each rectangle. Fold one corner of each portion over spinach mixture to form a triangle. Press edges together to seal. Bake 12 minutes or until golden. Makes 6 servings.

Turkey & Veggies over Noodles or Spaghetti Squash

Use any vegetables left from Thanksgiving or by a frozen vegetable mixture such as carrots, cauliflower and broccoli.

2 cups cubed cooked turkey
2 cups mixed vegetables
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese, or other cheese
1 jar sliced mushrooms, drained, or cook fresh
Noodles or spaghetti squash, cooked

Cook vegetables until just tender; drain. Meanwhile melt butter in saucepan. Add onion and cook until tender. Remove from heat and stir in flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Gradually stir in milk (a wire whip works well) to eliminate any lumps. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Add cheese and continue heating until melted. Stir in turkey, vegetables and mushrooms. Heat until turkey and vegetables are hot. Serve over pasta or cooked spaghetti squash. Makes 4 servings.

Turkey is a versatile old bird!

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