Cooking with Connie: Thanksgiving Leftover Makeovers

Next week is Thanksgiving, so all the foods on my mind right now are the classics: roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, green beans, corn pudding, pumpkin pie.  Every family has its own traditional Thanksgiving menu and one thing is for sure; no matter what classics you serve…you will have leftovers!  Each year, I try to create a new and unique dish out of Thanksgiving leftovers.  This year, I’m trying my hand at chipotle sweet potato biscuits, and I’ll let you know how they turn out.  But, this week, I’d like to pass on a few tried-and-true Leftover Makeovers for you to try after your Thanksgiving feast.

  • Turkey Tetrazzini is a classic Leftover Makeover and this casserole freezes beautifully.  (Simply substitute turkey for chicken and cream of celery soup for cream of mushroom.  Add 1/2 c. green peas.)
  • White Chili is a hearty soup that can be frozen, as well.  The recipe serves 6 to 8, so there probably won’t be much left over!  But, if so, freeze flat in quart-size freezer bags up to three months.
  • Sweet Potato Waffles can be made with your leftover sweet potato casserole, using the sweet crunchy topping and all.  Freeze sweet potato waffles, separated by wax paper, in a gallon-size freezer bag for up to one month.  To reheat, toast them straight from the freezer.  Another tip is to freeze your leftover cornbread stuffing in 1 cup portions.  These can be thawed and used as filling for butterflied chicken breasts or pork chops.  (See column “Apple-Cornbread Stuffed Chicken Breasts”)
  • My friend, Heather, makes the yummiest sub sandwiches from Thanksgiving leftovers.  Layer sliced turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce on a sub roll spread with mayonnaise.  Unbelievably yummy!

If you have a Thanksgiving Leftover and you’d like me to suggest a Makeover, shoot me an email, and I’d love to give you some suggestions.  Cookwithconnie at gmail dot com or visit my blog Cook With Connie.

Happy Thanksgiving!

White Chili

2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3-4 cups chopped, cooked turkey
3 cans great Northern beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
3 (4.5-oz) cans chopped green chiles
1 t. ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1 t. salt
1/8 t. ground red pepper
6 cups turkey broth
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro

Toppings:  tortilla chips, corn chips, shredded Monteray Jack cheese, shredded Cheddar cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream

Heat olive oil and butter in Dutch oven over medium heat.  Cook onion and celery until tender.  Add turkey, 2 cans of beans, and next 6 ingredients.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 1 hour, stirring frequently, until thickened.  Process remaining 1 can of beans in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.  Stir bean puree into chili.  Remove from heat; remove and discard bay leaf.  Stir in cilantro just before serving with desired toppings.

Sweet Potato Waffles

Sweet Potato Waffles

2 ½ c. all-purpose flour
1 T. Plus 1 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1 ½ T brown sugar
½ t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
2 large eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups milk
½ c. vegetable oil
1 c. cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (or leftover casserole)
½ c. chopped pecans

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, and oil; fold in sweet potatoes and pecans; add to flour mixture, stirring with a wire whisk just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Cook in a preheated, oiled waffle iron until golden.  Serve with warm maple syrup.