Tag Archives: thanksgiving leftovers

Turkey and Cabbage Soup

30 Nov

Soup is always comforting on a dreary, rainy, Cleveland day.  It’s warm, it’s healthy, and it’s fast and easy.  Since I had a boatload of beautifully gelatinous and flavorful fresh turkey stock to use up as well as some cabbage and turkey, I decided to whip up a quick turkey and cabbage soup.  Zak really loved this.  Though I thought it could do without the mushrooms, it was really delicious.  It had a really nice interplay of textures, as the cabbage and potatoes had a little bit of crunch to them and the rest of the vegetables were quite soft.  Overall, I thought it was a really comforting, tasty, healthy dinner served with a slice of buttered homemade sourdough bread.

Turkey and Cabbage Soup

6 cups homemade turkey stock (same as homemade chicken stock but with a turkey carcass)

2 cups water

2 tbs. unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

1 medium carrot, sliced

1 stalk celery, sliced

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1/2 tsp. dried sweet basil

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1 small potato, diced

1/4 head cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups)

3/4 cup leftover turkey, chopped (preferably white and dark meat)

1 tbs. red wine vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a medium stock pot, melt butter.  Add garlic and onions and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Add carrots, celery, and mushrooms, and sauté until vegetables are tender, 5-7 minutes.  Add potato and dried sweet basil and sauté until lightly browned, 7-9 minutes.  At this point, the onions, carrots, and celery should be very tender and the onions almost caramelized, while the potatoes should have a light golden brown color on their edges.  Add cabbage and stir to coat with butter and moisture from vegetables.

Add turkey and stir to combine.  Add turkey stock, water, and red wine vinegar.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes.  Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey and Jalapeno Croquettes

29 Nov

My parents always have a second Thanksgiving the weekend after our actual family Thanksgiving to provide themselves some leftovers and the opportunity to make their very favorite dishes exactly how they want them.  Zak and I attended on Sunday and were sent home with some leftovers of our own (including a turkey carcass … helllooooo turkey stock!), and I wanted to find some creative ways to use them up.

Inspired by my success with arancini, I thought I would try something similar with mashed potatoes.  A quick Google search confirmed that this was something that was commonly done and I adapted this recipe very loosely from Paula Deen.  I really loved this as an alternative to another meal of reheated turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy.  The outside was crispy with just a touch of salty goodness and the inside was creamy, spicy, cheesy, and decadent.  It tasted a bit like a jalapeño popper with the added bonus of some delicious turkey morsels and extra creaminess from the potatoes.

Should you not want to turn the oven on, you can flatten these into patties and I imagine you would be able to skip heating the centers in the oven.  I really loved the large portion of creamy mashed potatoes, though, and would stick to the recipe if you think you might feel the same way.

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey and Jalapeño Croquettes

Loosely adapted from Paula Deen

Turkey and Jalapeño Croquettes:

2 1/2 cups leftover, chilled mashed potatoes (I didn’t use this recipe, but it would work very well here)

1 jalapeño, finely diced

1 cup leftover turkey, finely chopped (preferably white and dark meat)

1/2 cup very sharp cheddar cheese, grated

4 eggs, beaten, divided

3-4 tbs. all-natural, whole wheat flour (optional)

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 1/2 cups Ritz crackers, finely crumbled (about a sleeve, minus a few that may accidentally fall in your mouth)

1/4 cup canola oil

Nonstick cooking spray

Combine mashed potatoes, jalapeño, turkey, cheddar cheese, 1 beaten egg, and kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  If necessary, add a few tablespoons of flour to thicken mixture so texture is easily malleable and stays together when formed (my mashed potatoes were on the less firm side originally so I used about 1-2 tbs. of flour).  Using about 1/4 cup of mashed potato mixture, form tubes roughly 1″ in diameter.  Chill in freezer until set, roughly 30 minutes.

Dip each croquette in remaining beaten eggs, then roll in crushed Ritz crackers.  Repeat.  If croquettes seem loose, chill in freezer or refrigerator until well set.

Preheat oven to 350º.

Heat canola oil in large, deep skillet.  Working in batches that allows 2-3″ of space around each croquette, fry until golden brown (roughly 3-4 minutes per side).  Place on a tinfoil lined baking sheet or large pie pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Place in oven and bake until heated through, roughly 15-20 minutes.¹

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