Don’t get me wrong, I really like to entertain and have folks laughing and eating at my table. But, the day after, when there are leftovers, is perhaps the warmest and coziest part of Thanksgiving, when you can enjoy the good food without all of the buzz of entertaining. My favorite way to use Thanksgiving leftovers is to make a kind of Shepard’s pie, building layers of flavor and ending with the mashed potatoes. Spread half of the gravy on the bottom of a pie plate or a 9 x 13 inch pan. Layer with turkey, stuffing, broccoli or other green vegetable and end with the other half of the gravy and the mashed potatoes on top. Grated cheese is optional. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour uncovered. Serve with a green salad.
Another way to use the flavor inherent in leftovers is to make something completely different so that you don’t recognize the original dish in the slightest. The following recipe fits that bill. When I tested this recipe I used a gorgeous orange cauliflower from the farmer’s market. It was sweet and full of flavor. It’s not necessary to use the orange kind, but I wanted to mention how lovely it tasted.
Thai Turkey and Cauliflower Soup, Curried Crackers, Fried Carrots
The soup is just perfect on their own, and if you want to jazz it up, try the easy Fried Carrots and the Curried Crackers for a real treat.
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup onion, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
4 cups cauliflower
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups turkey, cooked and diced (or 2 pounds)
6 cups chicken or turkey stock
1, 16 oz. can of coconut milk
In a medium stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onions, garlic, pepper and ginger. When the onions are translucent, add the cauliflower, curry powder, salt and pepper and cook until the cauliflower is tender. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer covered for 1 hour.
These crackers don’t stay crispy for that long however, the dough freezes well. Only bake what you’ll use immediately.
3/4 cup broth from soup
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (reserve 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Transfer broth to a mixing bowl and add 1/2 cup of the flour. Mix with your hands or a wooden spoon until a dough is formed. While continuing to mix, add the reserved 1/4 cup of flour 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is moist and malleable but not at all sticky. The dough should resemble clay. Press the dough into a round, cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the dough from the freezer and cut the dough into 6 equal portions. Using your hands, flatten each portion of dough to a thickness of 1/4-inch and lightly coat each portion with flour. Pass each portion of the dough through a pasta roller set on the #2 setting. Change the pasta roller setting to #4 and pass each portion of dough through the pasta roller. You should now have very thin long strips of dough, approximately 14 to 16 inches long and about 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide. Place each strip of rolled out dough (diagonally) onto a parchment lined baking sheet and, using a pastry brush, brush the strips lightly with some of the extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle the strips with some of the kosher salt. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, turning the sheet pan after 10 minutes, until the crackers are dry and brittle.
Yield: 6 (14 to 16-inch long) curry crackers, break into desired lengths
2 cups peanut oil
3 carrots, peeled
1/2 cup flour
Freshly ground black pepper
In a deep saucepan, heat the oil to 350º F. Julienne the carrots with a hand peeler or a mandolin. You can also slice them very thinly. Toss the carrots with flour, salt and pepper enough to coat the carrots with flour. Carefully place the carrots into the hot oil. **The pan must be deep because the oil will bubble and rise to three times it’s normal height.** Cook until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes. Remove and place on a paper-towel lined plate and salt and pepper to taste.