Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful for leftovers

Thanksgiving essentials. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

Thanksgiving has come and gone and I have to say, as much as we enjoy the big meal with family, we like the leftovers best. We always have a turkey carcass, and in the years when we host, Mr. A Cook will take all the meat off the bones, then boil up the carcass with some celery, carrots, turnips and potatoes for turkey soup (while I'm loading the dishwasher for the 2nd or possibly 3rd time). It's tradition, much like a few more that I discovered this Thanksgiving. Here's a round-up of some useful leftover traditions, each with an international flair - Chinese, Italian and Canadian.

Not sure plain steamed rice has ever graced my Thanksgiving table, but it makes complete sense on Felicia Lee's T-day table. Felicia is an engaging and elegant writer and tells her family's feast story on her blog, Burnt-Out Baker. Her Turkey Jook, a creamy rice soup, is on my must-make list.

Chef Riccardo Ullio of Fritti. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

 Atlanta Chef Riccardo Ullio of Fritti serves staffers turkey calzone after Thanksgiving. It’s a homey dish and he shared an outline of his recipe with the encouragement “to use your leftovers however you would like.”

To make Chef Riccardo’s turkey calzone, make a filling with white and dark turkey meat, fresh bufala mozzarella, ricotta cheese and onions. Take a round of pizza dough and spread the filling over one half of the stretched dough, then fold the other half to form the calzone. Roll the edges over and pinch with fingers to seal. Place the calzone in the oven at 450 degrees and bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the dough is browned. Remove the calzone from the oven and set aside to cool. Dress with turkey gravy and mangiamo!

Chef Robert Gerstenecker of Park 75 at the Four Seasons Hotel/Atlanta. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
 I met Chef Robert Chef Robert Gerstenecker of Park 75 at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta last spring when he invited Atlanta food bloggers to tour the apiary and gardens atop the hotel. He grew up on a farm in his native Canada and takes a rustic approach to turkey leftovers with turkey and dumplings, a stew that will use up the turkey, dressing, gravy and any roasted vegetables that may have escaped the T-Day feast.

Turkey n' Dumplings
Yield: 8 generous servings

1 ¾ cups turkey stuffing
½  teaspoon baking powder
¼  teaspoon baking soda
¼ stick butter
¼  cup chopped fresh herbs such as chives and parsley, or 2 tablespoons dried herbs, optional
2 large eggs

For the dumplings:

1. Mix together stuffing, baking soda, baking powder, salt and egg. Melt butter and pour over mixture. Cover and refrigerate this mixture while you're making the filling.

Turkey & Gravy Filling
3 cups leftover gravy
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cups diced, cooked leftover turkey meat
2 ½ cups leftover mixed vegetables

For the turkey & gravy filling:
1. Heat gravy and season with thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes, and then stir in the meat and vegetables. Return the filling to a simmer, and transfer to a 4-quart baking dish with a lid.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
3. To assemble: Once the hot filling is in the dish, scoop the dumpling mixture into small balls and place on top of the turkey filling.  Put the lid on top, and bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes.

What will you make the leftovers from your Thanksgiving feast?

Text and images copyright 2011, Lucy Mercer, with the exception of the chef's photos.


Cheese In My Hair said...

Fantastic, thank you for sharing!

Felicia said...

Lucy, thanks for the shout-out! Leftover turkey was always one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving -- I love it the way I loved Play-Doh as a kid--think of all the fun things one can make with it! I've go to try that turkey and dumplings recipe sometime; sounds clever and tasty.

Anonymous said...

Did you make the jook? I've eyed jook before, and I think I might like it but I haven't tried to make it thus far. I'd be interested to know what another Southern gal makes of it!

Bell :)