Leftovers leaving you lacking?

Published 12:01 am Saturday, November 24, 2012

What to do with all those Thanksgiving leftovers? This is hoping all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The best leftover dish is the first sandwich you make from what’s left of the turkey with good bread and mayo and cranberry sauce.

Perhaps you can make a good ham sandwich. As we travel across the south we listen to books on CD and we have been listening to Creole Belle by James Lee Burke. He writes stories of Louisiana and I have read many of them in the past. He mentions fixing and eating ham and onion sandwiches in his books, and I began to wonder if this was a Louisiana thing. After researching this I have found that no one really knows anything about a tradition of eating ham and onion

Use leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner to make intersting dinner combinations like this turkey and mushroom rissoto.

sandwiches in the bayou. As one reader said of the question about ham and onion sandwiches, “It is just fiction.” Anyway I got some good ham, a sweet onion, some good white bread and some mayo and made these sandwiches for days. They are really good! Some neighbors came by while I was making them and had some and really liked them. So give them a try! One of them had had them as a child in western North Carolina.

As far as other uses for the turkey I think I have something as good as a turkey sandwich. That is turkey and risotto. This recipe uses your turkey broth, risotto, leftover turkey, and some wonderful wild mushrooms with some nutty tasting cheese. The rice becomes plump with the turkey broth and the richness of the meat will help you recall the wonderful Thanksgiving meal that is now a memory.

From the November 2012 issue of ‘bon appétit’:

Turkey and Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4-6

8 cups Day-After-Turkey-Stock (recipe to follow)

4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 cups assorted fresh mushrooms (preferably wild, but white buttons will do) thinly sliced

2 cups Arborio rice

1 cup shredded leftover turkey meat

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Bring stock to a simmer in a medium pot over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, Cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a large pot over medium heat until it begins to foam. Add onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent and just beginning to turn golden, about five minutes.

Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally until soft, and any liquid released has evaporated, five to seven minutes.

Add rice; stir to coat. Add ½ cup warm stock and stir constantly until liquid is absorbed.

Continue adding stock by 1/2-cupfuls, stirring constantly, until rice is tender but still firm to bite, about 20 minutes. Add leftover turkey meat; stir to combine and to warm through, adding a little stock or water if necessary to keep mixture creamy, about three minutes.

Stir in Parmesan and remaining 1 Tbsp. butter into risotto. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide among warm bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley.


Day-After Turkey Stock

You can use this rich stock, made from the turkey carcass, for risotto or soup. You can also freeze it for the New Year.

Combine 3 chopped celery stalks; 1 chopped onion, 1 turkey carcass (broken into pieces), and water to cover (12-14 cups) in a stockpot. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until broth is reduced to 1/3, about 3½ hours. Strain; discard solids. Let cook; cover and chill. Do Ahead: Stock will keep chilled for three days or frozen for three months. Makes about nine cups.