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Don't just reheat Thanksgiving surplus — rethink it!

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By Terri Pischoff Wuerthner

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, 8:56 p.m.

Here they come again: Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, all the makings of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It's food we look forward to, then quickly tire of after the feast. Cut-up turkey and its pairings don't seem as attractive the next day, the day after that or (especially) the day after that.

So, give your leftovers fresh appeal by repurposing them.

Not in sandwiches or with microwave reheating, but in recipes that will make you embrace the extras you usually feel guilty about not using. Recipes so good, in fact, that you might deliberately create leftovers just so you can make them.

The turkey and leftover stuffing will morph into Savory Turkey and Mushroom Bread Pudding. The bird will also team with squash in Turkey and Squash Ravioli in Brown Butter-Sage Sauce. Sweet potatoes will join forces with cranberry sauce in Golden Sweet Potato Mold With Cranberry-Grand Marnier Drizzle, and with apples in Creamy Sweet Potato Soup With Crispy Leeks.

That cranberry sauce will make a repeat appearance in Cranberry-Gingersnap Ice Cream Pie. In fact, you might end up buying cranberry sauce year-round for this dessert, simple and quick to put together. There's nothing wrong with a little Thanksgiving in July.

Terri Pischoff Wuerthner is a contributing writer to The Washington Post.

Turkey and Squash Ravioli in Brown Butter-Sage Sauce

Wonton wrappers are ideal for making ravioli. The round ones used here are sold as gyoza or nasoya wrappers. This recipe would be a good place to use the dark meat ­— the leg and thigh — which is often overlooked on the turkey platter. Leftover squash finds a home here, too.

Make ahead: The ravioli can be prepared several hours in advance. Refrigerate them with waxed paper between the layers, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Cook at serving time, removing them from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before you boil them.

For the filling:

2 tablespoons olive oil

3⁄4 cup finely chopped onion

2 medium-size cloves garlic, minced

1 1⁄2 cups leftover turkey, cut into small pieces

1 cup mashed, leftover squash

1⁄2 cup mascarpone cheese

1⁄2 cup chopped, fresh parsley

1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried sage

1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt

3⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the ravioli:

60 round wonton wrappers (one 12-ounce package)

Water

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped, fresh sage

3 tablespoons chopped pecans

To prepare the filling: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, cook the onion and garlic together until it is softened and lightly browned, for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the turkey, squash, cheese, parsley, thyme, sage, salt and pepper, stirring to combine thoroughly.

To prepare the ravioli: Set out a cooling rack.

Lay out 10 wonton wrappers on a work surface. Place about 1⁄2 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each wrapper.

Working with one wrapper at a time, brush or dab water along the outside edge and fold the wrapper into a semicircle, pressing gently to expel air and seal the edges. Pick up each ravioli and use your thumb and forefinger to pinch it along the curved edge to ensure a tight seal. Repeat with the remaining wrappers to use all the filling, placing the filled ravioli on the cooling rack as you work.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Working in 4 batches, add the ravioli and cook for about 4 minutes, until they are tender and rise to the top. Use a large, slotted spoon or skimmer basket to gently lift the ravioli from the water and transfer them to the rack.

When the ravioli are cooked, heat the butter and sage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and begins to brown, for about 5 minutes. Add the ravioli and toss gently to coat.Transfer them to a serving platter and sprinkle with the pecans. (If the skillet isn't large enough to hold and comfortably coat all of the ravioli at once, place the ravioli on the serving platter and pour the Brown Butter-Sage Sauce over them, tossing gently to coat, then sprinkle with the pecans.)

Makes about 60 ravioli or 6 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 540 calories, 34 grams fat (14 grams saturated), 100 milligrams cholesterol, 17 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams dietary fiber, 850 milligrams sodium

Cranberry-Gingersnap Ice Cream Pie

The smooth ice cream and sweet-tart cranberry sauce work perfectly with the buttery, crispy crust. Use this recipe to take care of leftover cranberry sauce and ice cream — if there is such a thing as leftover ice cream.

Make ahead: The pie can be made a day in advance, wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and stored in the freezer.

11⁄4 cups crushed gingersnaps (about 25 cookies)

4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 quart vanilla ice cream (or frozen yogurt for a lighter pie)

11⁄2 cups leftover cranberry sauce, or one 14-ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce (see note)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon freshly grated tangerine or orange zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Process the gingersnaps in a food processor or blender until they are the texture of cornmeal. (If using a blender, you might have to do this in batches.) Transfer to a medium-size mixing bowl, add the butter and use your fingers to combine thoroughly.

Firmly press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan, lining the bottom and sides, and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature.

Allow the ice cream to soften for 10 to 15 minutes so it will be easier to spread.

While the ice cream is softening, combine the cranberry sauce, sugar, zest and vanilla extract in a medium-size bowl to make the topping.

Fill the crust with the ice cream, leveling and smoothing the top.

If you like a bicolor effect, spread the topping over the softened ice cream, and use a flexible spatula to swirl it a little, so that white streaks from the ice cream are visible. If you prefer a solid red topping, freeze the ice cream-filled crust for about 2 hours, then cover the entire pie (or just the center, if desired) with the cranberry mixture. Freeze for at least 2 hours and for as long as 5 hours, until the ice cream is firm.

Remove the pie from the freezer 15 to 30 minutes before serving (depending on how long the pie has been frozen) to soften a bit.

Note: Canned, whole-berry cranberry sauce often contains few cranberries and a lot of dull-purple-color sauce. To perk it up, add a cup or so of fresh cranberries if you have them on hand, and cook them together with the canned sauce and sugar over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the berries pop. Then add the vanilla extract and citrus zest, cool the mixture and use it to top the pie.

Makes one 9-inch pie of 10 to 12 servings.

Nutrition information per serving, based on 12: 260 calories, 11 grams fat (6 grams saturated), 25 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams protein, 37 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams dietary fiber, 25 milligrams sodium

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup With Crispy Leeks

If the day after Thanksgiving finds you with leftover sweet potatoes and chicken broth, use them for this creamy, golden soup enhanced with fresh chives and crisp leeks.

Make ahead: The soup can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered and refrigerated. The leeks should be cooked just before serving.

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

2 cups peeled, cored and chopped tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Pippin

2 medium-size cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

4 cups mashed sweet potatoes

4 cups whole milk

2 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken or turkey broth

1 cup thinly sliced leeks, white part only (from 2 or 3 medium-size leeks), rinsed well

1⁄4 cup chopped or snipped chives

Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, add the apples, garlic, thyme, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the apples are golden brown and softened. Transfer to a food processor or blender and return the saucepan to the stove top (not over heat).

Add the mashed sweet potatoes to the food processor or blender, and puree until very smooth. (If using a blender, you might have to do this in batches.)

Return the mixture to the saucepan, add the milk and broth and cook over medium-high heat, whisking until the soup is thoroughly blended and lump-free. Bring it to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat so it is just barely bubbling.

While the soup is cooking, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat in a medium skillet. Add the leeks and cook until they are golden brown and slightly crisped, for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often.

Serve the soup hot, sprinkled with crispy leeks and chives.

Makes 10 cups.

Nutrition information per 1-cup serving, made with plain, mashed sweet potatoes: 230 calories, 10 grams fat (6 grams saturated), 30 milligrams cholesterol, 6 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams dietary fiber, 300 milligrams sodium

Golden Sweet Potato Mold With Cranberry-Grand Marnier Drizzle

This mix of sweet and savory ingredients puts leftover Thanksgiving sweet potato and cranberry sauce to good use. The baked sweet potato mold is dressed up with a slightly tart orange-flavor cranberry drizzle. It unmolds easily, but if you don't want to bother unmolding it, you can cook it in (and serve it from) a baking dish attractive enough to bring to the table.

Make ahead: The cranberry drizzle can be made a day in advance and reheated in a medium-size saucepan over low heat just before serving.

For the sweet potato mold:

Nonstick cooking spray

5 to 6 cups leftover sweet potatoes (from 2 pounds sweet potatoes), at room temperature or warmed

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup chopped onion (from 1 medium-size onion)

2 medium-size cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

1 cup whole milk

3 large eggs, beaten

1⁄2 cup dried, unseasoned bread crumbs

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon celery seed

1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme

1⁄4 teaspoon ground white pepper

Hot water

For the cranberry drizzle:

11⁄2 cups leftover cranberry sauce, or one 14-ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce (see note)

1⁄4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (may substitute additional orange juice)

To prepare the sweet potato mold: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Use nonstick cooking spray to generously coat a 6-cup mold or, if you don't want to unmold the potatoes, a 2-quart baking dish. Have ready a baking pan large enough to hold the mold or baking dish.

Use a potato masher or fork to mash the sweet potatoes in a large bowl.

Melt the butter in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is golden brown; reduce the heat if the onion and garlic are darkening too fast.

Add the contents of the skillet to the mashed sweet potatoes, then add the milk, eggs, bread crumbs, lemon juice, salt, celery seed, thyme and pepper, and stir to combine.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared mold or baking dish and use a flexible spatula to smooth the top. Set the mold or baking dish into the larger pan and transfer it to the oven. Carefully pour hot water into the larger pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake uncovered for 45 to 55 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

To prepare the cranberry drizzle: While the mold is baking, combine the cranberry sauce and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil, stirring often.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat so that the mixture is barely bubbling. Stir in the Grand Marnier and cook for 5 minutes.

When ready to serve, unmold the sweet-potato mixture. Spoon some of the drizzle over the potato and pour the remaining drizzle into a serving dish to pass at the table.

Note: Canned whole-berry cranberry sauce often contains few cranberries and a lot of dull-purple-color sauce. To perk it up, add a cup or so of halved, fresh cranberries if you have them on hand, and cook them together with the canned sauce and the orange juice until the berries soften, for about 5 minutes. Then add the Grand Marnier and proceed with the recipe.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (based on 12): 200 calories, 5 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 4 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrates, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams dietary fiber, 260 milligrams sodium

Savory Turkey and Mushroom Bread Pudding

This hearty bread pudding repurposes Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing. It's pretty (and tasty) enough to serve for brunch if you have guests staying past Thanksgiving Day.

Make ahead: The bread pudding can be assembled several hours in advance and refrigerated. Let it sit at room temperature for about a half-hour, then bake according to the directions.

6 tablespoons (3⁄4 stick) unsalted butter, plus 1 table-spoon unsalted butter at room temper-ature, divided

1 pound white or cremini mush-rooms, sliced

4 large cloves garlic, minced

1⁄2 cup chopped, fresh parsley

2 teaspoons dried sage

1 ⁄2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 1⁄2 cups leftover turkey, cut or shredded into bite-size pieces

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 large eggs

2 cups whole milk

11⁄2 cups half-and-half

1⁄2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided

6 cups leftover cooked bread stuffing

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with the 1 tablespoon of room-temperature butter.

Melt the 6 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the mushrooms, garlic, parsley, sage and thyme, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently and reducing the heat if the mushrooms stick to the pan.

Add the turkey, salt and pepper, stir to combine, and remove from the heat.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, half-and-half and half of the cheese in a large bowl. Add the stuffing, breaking up any large pieces, and stir until well-blended. Add the mushroom mixture and stir to combine.

Transfer to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the pudding is browned and set in the middle. Serve hot.

Makes 6 entree or 12 side-dish servings.

Nutrition information per serving, based on 12: 400 calories, 25 grams fat (13 grams saturated), 18 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 145 milligrams cholesterol, 0 grams dietary fiber, 390 milligrams sodium

 

 
 


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