Turkey Noodles - © illcookforsmiles.com

Encore Implementations To Levitate Your Leftovers

It never fails. The Christmas Family Feast comes and goes. And you’re left with enough leftovers to fill a second fridge. But I’ve curated a list of the best leftover-leveraging recipes I’ve ever come across. Which I will now share with you…

Turkey Pilaf - thecookreport.co.ukA simple, delicious Pilaf designed specifically to use up Turkey Feat leftovers!

I love to use leftovers in ways other folks might not think about. And press-gang them into cuisines outside the Christmas/New Year’s ‘box’.

House lights down, spotlight on…

Stuffing Waffles

Stuffing Waffles can be the ‘bread’ or ‘bun’ in any number of sandwich- or waffle recipe- adaptations. You can serve them savoury or – surprisingly? – sweet. Remember: Cranberry Sauce is a sweet/tart bellwether staple! If this idea piques tour interest, stay tuned for a follow-up post coming later this week, on creative ways to use that unappreciated waffle iron.

Make Scalloped Potatoes a Main

You’ve got scalloped potatoes to die for, but you need to give them a promotion to bring them back within mere days of the big feast. So make them a main by adding shredded turkey, leftover broccoli and/or cauliflower (cut down into mini-florets), and any leftover root veggiesgreen peas or corn kernels you might have. Reheat the additions in the empty space in the casserole dish, with the potatoes. Cover with foil. Serve the additions onto the plate or bowl first and spoon potatoes and sauce over them.

Turkey Potato Hash

Make up a classic Breakfast Hash with shreds or cubes of leftover turkey, little clumps of stuffing, and green peas or corn kernels, if you have them. Leftover fried Brussels sprouts are excellent in this dish. ‘official recipes I’ve seen cal for coarsely chopped sweet or yellow onion, and sweet pepper.

Turkey Pilaf

I’ve found a good recipe to start you off. But feel free to add whatever leftovers you want, to enliven the colours and flavours of the dish. Just try to make all ingredients about the same size: medium dice (1/4 in. / 5-6 cm). That’s a hallmark of proper Pilaf. One thing I’ve learned over many years of cooking: Nobody doesn’t like a pilaf. Variations of the dish exist in every cuisine that considers rice a staple.

Asian Turkey Noodles

Taylor-made for our theme today: “This easy pasta dish features leftover turkey, sautéed vegetables, and egg noodles, all cooked in creamy sauce.” I love a classic noodle dish with lots of that ‘creamy sauce’. It’s one of those comfort foods from my childhood that always make me feel better when I’m down. Hold the Chicken Soup. Give me Creamy Chicken or Turkey Noodles any day of the week!

Turkey Curry

For me, the number-one benefit of making my own curries is that I can engineer the spices and supporting flavours to suit myself. And those I feed. Use the suggested recipe here as a rough guide. Indulge yourself. I love a rich, saucy curry as the ultimate break from ‘classic’ North American textures and flavours.

Turkey Pho

The go-to Vietnamese soup that looks like a stew and eats like a main. No fooling around! It’s got to have Thai Fish Sauce, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and anise. Go ahead and use boxed turkey stock from the store. No shame! Use up those leftover veggies! Be sure to serve with traditional flat rice noodles. And fresh cilantro for a generous garnish.

Turkey Ramen

The Japanese take on Pho. A meal in itself, with a generous handful of shredded Turkey meat. Dark meat works particularly well here. This may seem too close for comfort to the Pho, above. But when you survey the suggested recipe, you’ll see it’s really very different – in flavours, veggies and other additions. A good opportunity to plop-in some cubed leftover root veggies, broccoli or cauliflower!

Christmas / Holiday Nachos

My favourite Festive Feast Leftovers dish! Set up a tray of white or yellow corn chips. (Please! Don’t default to Fritos. They just don’t work!) Lay down a bed of shredded Cheddar or Monterrey Jack Cheese. Top with whatever strikes your fancy. Shredded Turkey, sprinkled stuffing. Scatter leftover green peas and corn kernels over the top. Rather than refried beans, fry up some leftover mashed potatoes in a no-stick pan. Dose them gently with Chili Powder if you like. Give them a nice crisp on the bottom. Switch out the guacamole and use leftover Cranberry Sauce instead! Keep the Sour Cream. It’s great with this dish!

Bonus Link:

If you’re still looking for the perfect leftover-leveraging recipe, try the massive selection at BBC Good Food. Some amazing, delicious recipes. Also some way-out foodie fantasies – which might grab you, nevertheless!

What we’ve learned:

1. There’s an almost-infinite number of options for using up leftovers creatively.

2. There’s no leftover dish – be it a casserole, a soup, a stir fry or a tray of nachos – that can’t benefit from a sprinkling of green peas and/or corn kernels.

~ Maggie J.