Readers suggest creative uses for Thanksgiving leftovers

There are so many options for all of those delicious trappings that may be lying around in your fridge

Staff writerNovember 27, 2013 

Right about now, your Thanksgiving dinner prep is well underway.

But come Friday — your fridge will be stocked with leftovers galore and you can put your feet up and coast on Thanksgiving odds and ends for a few days.

If you’re sick of reheating leftovers (who isn’t?), keep reading. Our readers submitted recipes for how to creatively use up the leftover cranberry sauce, the stray bits of turkey and that last scoop of green bean casserole.

In Linda Dick’s kitchen, turkey chow mein is on the menu. She combines her cooked turkey with assorted veggies and chow mein noodles and calls it good. Harry Domek turns his into a Thanksgiving pizza (he even sent me photos). Kathy Wood makes a sweet vegetable soup she calls Pilgrims’ Delight.

We’ve also culled our wire services for the best recipes for leftovers. A few you could try:

Open-Face Turkey Sandwich: This isn’t your typical leftover special. This sandwich embellishes with the good stuff — gravy with sauteed mushrooms and shallots. A bit of parsley adds color, but you can skip such fanciness … maybe a scoop of green bean casserole instead? If there is no gravy left, you can stir some together in no time, following the method here. Then it’s a simple matter of heating up and assembling.

Turkey Soup With Fall Vegetables and Wild Rice: Grab your largest stock pot, toss in the turkey carcass — even the bones — along with onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves, garlic and thyme. Simmer for two hours, then strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Shred leftover turkey, add any kind of leftover vegetables and a cup of prepared wild rice, and you’ve got a soup to feed an army.

Potato Croquettes With Dill-Creme Fraiche: This recipe is a great way to repurpose those fried onions you didn’t use up in the green bean casserole.

Wichcraft’s Roasted Turkey Sandwich: Everyone loves day-after-Thanksgiving sandwiches, but sliced roasted turkey is downright addictive when it’s layered Wichcraft-style. One of the signature dishes at Tom Colicchio’s sandwich cafes in San Francisco, New York and Las Vegas, it combines turkey with a tangy onion relish, creamy avocado and crisp bacon on a ciabatta roll. The onions are slowly cooked into a state of syrupy mellowness in a bath of brown sugar, and balsamic and red wine vinegars.

Turkey Pot Pie With Cheddar Biscruit Crust: When leftover turkey gets the Epicurious treatment in Tanya Steel’s popular recipe site’s new “Epicurious Cookbook” (Clarkson Potter, $27.99, 400 pages), it’s in the form of a hot pot pie capped with a cheddar biscuit topping that’s so good you’ll be tempted to bake the topping as stand-alone biscuits.

News Tribune wire services contributed to this report.

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