Feasting on remains of feast

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 27, 2010

The feast is over, but the turkey remains. There is always the turkey sandwich, which is mandatory to eat the next day. But leftover turkey is not a bad thing. The following recipes are so good you will be happy that you roasted a big turkey this year.

Turkey Rice Pilaf with Spinach and Leeks

Makes 4 servings


1 cup chopped leeks, white and light green parts only

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 cups cooked turkey, cut into ¼ -inch-thick pieces

1 cup dry long-grain rice

1/3 cup mini penne pasta

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 tsp. minced garlic

Stir in:

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2/3 cup dry white wine


¾ cup slivered almonds

¼ cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tbsp. minced lemon zest


2 cups fresh spinach

¾ cup crumbled feta cheese

2 tsp. minced fresh thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté leeks in oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until soft, for one to two minutes. Add turkey, rice, pasta, butter and garlic; cook two minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in broth and wine. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Toast almonds in a skillet over medium heat until golden, for five to six minutes. Toss cooled almonds with olives, parsley and zest in a small bowl; set aside.

Stir spinach, feta, and thyme into pilaf and let stand off heat until spinach is wilted, for five minutes. Stir in almond mixture, and season pilaf with salt and pepper.

The following is an updated turkey casserole. It does not use canned soup!

Cheesy Turkey Divan

Makes 8 servings


2 cups broccoli florets


6 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups milk

2 cups shredded Cheddar

¾ cup shredded Parmesan, divided

3 tbsp. Dijon mustard

½ tsp. paprika

½ tsp. garlic powder

Salt and black pepper to taste

5 cups cooked, cubed turkey

Top with:

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/3 cup sliced almonds

Cooked rice or egg noodles

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 2-quart ovenproof baking dish with nonstick spray.

Blanch broccoli in boiling, salted water until tender, about three minutes; drain and set aside.

Melt 4 tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour; cook until browned and fragrant, two minutes.

Slowly pour in milk, whisking constantly to combine. Stir in Cheddar, ½ cup Parmesan, Dijon, paprika and garlic powder. Cook sauce until thickened, four or five minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Stir in turkey and broccoli; transfer mixture to prepared dish.

Top with panko, almonds, and remaining ¼ cup Parmesan. Melt remaining 2 tbsp. butter and pour over top of casserole.

Bake casserole until topping is golden, 25-30 minutes. Serve casserole with hot rice or buttered noodles.

Curried Turkey Salad

Makes 6 servings

For the dressing, whisk:

1 cup 2 percent Greek-style yogurt

¼ cup dry white wine

1 tbsp. curry powder

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger

1 tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

For the salad, plump:

1/3 cup dried cranberries

½ cup warm water


2 ½ cups cooked, diced turkey

¾ cup diced Red Delicious apple

½ cup diced red onion

1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

¾ cup chopped, roasted and salted cashews

6 croissants, halved (optional)

Green leaf lettuce (optional)

For the dressing, whisk together yogurt, wine, curry powder, garlic, ginger, lime juice, salt and pepper; set aside.

For the salad, plump cranberries in water in a small bowl; set aside.

Combine turkey, apple, onion and cilantro in a bowl. Drain the cranberries, add to salad, and discard the water.

Toss salad with dressing to coat. Stir in cashews just before serving. Serve salad on croissants with lettuce, if desired.