While everyone loves Thanksgiving, there are definitely fewer fans of leftovers. While many intrepid cooks look forward to the challenge of using up every last bit of turkey, others cringe at the thought of trying to get their kids to eat *another* turkey sandwich. Relax! There are things to do with that leftover turkey that you havenít tried yet, and, best of all, your son will be able to help you in the kitchen!
Turkey croquettes are a wonderful choice to use up all those bits of turkey that are not fit to serve on a plate or in a sandwich. You wonít realize any turkey waste when you make croquettes. Best of all, these freeze fabulously. You simply package them into the serving sizes you want and then defrost when youíre ready to eat them. Also, you can throw in any ingredients you want Ė itís a great way to sneak some extra vegetables on to your kidsí plates! This recipe (minus the vegetables and the potatoes) is adapted from one my Cuban father-in-law regularly makes. Iíve substituted some of the Cuban spices with salt and pepper here.
Combine one pound of leftover turkey with any of the following:
1 celery stalk, chopped fine
1 onion, small dice
1 carrot, small dice
ľ cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Ĺ cups mashed potatoes (this one is completely optional)
True croquettes are made by putting the turkey through a meat grinder and combining the ground turkey with the other ingredients, rolling them into cylinders, then coating them in bread crumbs. At this point, you would want to freeze them. When ready to eat, you can either bake them (I spray with cooking spray first) or, if you really want an authentic flavor, fry them in a little oil.
I do recognize that not all people have meat grinders, though, and these croquettes taste just as good when you shred the turkey, combine it with the other ingredients, and form it into patties, rather than logs. They will still freeze quite well.
Croquettes are a kid favorite for several reasons. First of all, they are finger food! Second, you can eat them in so many ways. They taste wonderful on sandwiches or with a variety of dipping sauces. Moms love them because they are so easy. Once youíve made them, you have a ready supply in your freezer. You can either fry them or bake them straight from the freezer Ė no defrosting is necessary!
If youíre ready to try something different with your turkey leftovers, grab your son, head into the kitchen, and get busy making some croquettes!