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Thanksgiving Leftovers

One of the best things about Thanksgiving is leftover turkey. In fact, we so look forward to turkey leftovers that I prefer not to go to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving dinner and when we must, I roast my own turkey the next day. They’re so inexpensive around the holiday that I often roast two when I host.

Maybe it’s because we don’t often eat turkey any other time of year that we do our best to overdose on it in the days following the Thanksgiving. With these yummy ways to enjoy turkey, you’ll be roasting an extra bird, too. Here are our favorite ways to enjoy leftover holiday turkey:

1. Turkey sandwiches, four ways: I prefer to keep it simple with roast turkey slices on toasted sourdough and plenty of mayo and freshly cracked pepper. My husband likes a croissant sandwich made with turkey salad (diced turkey, chopped almonds, onion, celery and mayo) while my daughter like a hot turkey sandwich (open-faced, thick-sliced white bread topped with turkey and gravy). One of our favorite sandwich shops makes a delicious turkey sandwich that is dressed with cream cheese blended with some cranberry sauce. It’s called a Pink Cloud.
2. Turkey Croquettes: Diced turkey mixed with mashed potatoes, garlic powder, salt, pepper, raw egg and a bit of flour. Refrigerate until firm. Form into patties and coat with bread crumbs. Fry in hot oil. Drain on paper towels.
3. Turkey Tetrazzini: Thicken rich turkey broth with a slurry of milk and flour. Add cream cheese and stir until blended. Add chopped turkey, frozen peas and cracked pepper and salt. Toss with cooked, buttered egg noodles. (I like to add sliced mushrooms that have been sautéed in butter, too.)
4. Turkey Pot Pie: Cook diced celery, carrots, potatoes and peas in some rich turkey broth. Thicken with a slurry of milk and flour. Add black pepper and salt. Pour mixture into pie crust or casserole dish. Top with raw pie crust dough, biscuit dough or store-bought crescent roll dough. Bake at 350 degrees or until top crust is golden brown.
5. Turkey Noodle Soup: In a large pot, sauté garlic, chopped onion, celery and carrots in some butter or vegetable oil. Add rich turkey broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender. Add egg noodles and continue to cook until soft. Salt and pepper to taste.
6. Turkey Enchiladas, Taquitos, Tacos, Tostadas, Quesadillas or Nachos: Use your favorite recipes, substituting turkey in place of chicken.
7. Barbecue Turkey Buns: Simmer diced or shredded turkey with barbecue sauce. Serve on buns.
8. Turkey Cobb Salad: Make your cobb salad, but add diced turkey instead of chicken. Top chopped salad greens with crumbled bacon, chopped hard-cooked eggs, shredded cheddar cheese, diced turkey and bleu cheese.
9. Turkey Curry: Make curry sauce with carrots, celery and onion and cook until vegetables are tender. Add chopped turkey and stir until heated through. Serve over hot rice.
10. Turkey Hash: Saute diced onion, chopped bell peppers, minced garlic and diced cooked potato in butter. Add chopped cooked turkey. Season with salt, pepper.
11. Turkey Lasagna: Add chopped turkey to your favorite lasagna recipe, in place of the meat.
12. Turkey broth: Boil the turkey bones with chopped onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and a bit of sage, then simmer for several hours. Remove bones and vegetables. Simmer for another half hour to reduce slightly. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Skim off fat.

Writing this article made me hungry for more turkey. My aunt said I was cruel for not following President Obama's example of pardoning our turkey, but since it came frozen, I didn't see the point of sending it back to the farm.

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