Turkey Leftovers – What to do with ’em

I can’t decide.  Do I like Thanksgiving dinner better or the leftover dinner the next day?  Nope, still can’t decide.  The good thing is that I don’t have to.  We had both.

Now that both the big meal and the equally good leftover meal are in the past, if you haven’t already taken those bones and made stock with them, today is the day to either deal with them in the form of stock or get them well wrapped and into the freezer until you do have time. I talk about how to make stock with your turkey bones in my latest column.

Corn, Bacon and Potato Soup was the final product of our turkey stock last night for dinner.   It works because stock made this way is not as heavily poultry flavored as when you begin with raw bones.  It becomes a mild background flavor rather than the main event.  The oyster crackers are a traditional way of thickening chowder.  I suppose this soup could be considered chowder if you weren’t such a traditionalist and didn’t require salt pork to call it so.  They are salty and so is the bacon.  Therefore, additional salt may not be needed.  Taste at the end to be sure.

Corn Bacon Potato Soup

Corn, Bacon and Potato Soup
2 cups diced onions, about 1 large onion
4 slices bacon, diced
4 cups diced red potatoes, about 6 to 8 small to medium potatoes
several grinds of fresh black pepper
1 cup oyster crackers
4 to 6 cups turkey stock (or chicken broth)
1 cup whole milk
3 cups frozen corn kernels (but if it were in the middle of the summer, I’d definitely use fresh!)
pinch of salt to taste

Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat and add the onions and the bacon.  Saute for 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the bacon has rendered fully.  Add the potatoes, pepper and oyster crackers and saute for another several minutes or until things begin to brown slightly.  Add the stock and bring the soup to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the milk and corn, bring to a simmer again and taste for salt.

Serves 4 to 6

Hope it was a good one for you all!

Two-for-One: Risotto Cakes

If you find you have leftover risotto from the Risotto with Cherry Tomatoes, Green Beans & Basil, try these risotto cakes. This recipe is a little looser than most, as when I tested it, the amounts I had leftover and the amount of bread crumbs needed varied quite a bit.  Also, if you are planning on using the risotto above for leftovers the next day, leave the beans out, as they don’t work well in this recipe.

For every person:
1 cup cooked risotto
1/2 egg
2-4 tablespoons of bread crumbs
2 teaspoons of olive oil

Combine all ingredients using the smaller amount of bread crumbs.  If you are only cooking for one person, crack the egg into a bowl and scramble it.  Only use half of the egg.  The risotto mixture should be firm and not too sticky.  To do a test run, heat up a skillet to medium high heat, add a little oil and drop a small patty onto the skillet.  If it sticks or flattens out too much, it needs more bread crumbs.  When you are satisfied with the amount of bread crumbs, form the mixture into 2 1/2 – 3-inch wide patties about 1/2 inch thick and place them carefully into the hot skillet.  Turn when they are golden brown on one side and brown the second side.  About 4 minutes each side.

Serve with a green salad and fresh tomato slices with herbs.

Chef Annie
Enjoying tasty leftovers for lunch

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