Debbie Dance Uhrig
By this time some of you are tired of turkey. Seriously, I love it, but I don’t want to eat it every day. I really had fun writing this new recipe. Take a close look at the leftovers from Thanksgiving Dinner, including the relish tray. You don’t have to do boring dishes with the sides and desserts. Get Creative! Actually about 8 hours ago I was taping a radio segment giving ideas on how you’re going to use every leftover in sight.
I think my wildest idea on the air was using pumpkin pie filling in homemade pancakes and diluting down certain cranberry sauces with juice and making a sauce for those cakes! Actually it doesn’t sound all that bad. Our family eats a great deal of oatmeal. Try putting dollops of cranberry sauce on top of the oatmeal bowl.
Of course the deep freeze is the perfect place for most of us to use for our holiday must-go. When my grandpa Richardson was still alive mom would put meals in his freezer from the Thanksgiving dinner. Imagine living alone and having mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy and turkey ready to reheat. For those who take their lunches to work this is a fine opportunity to have fast easy meals.
This evening we had leftover pork that needed a home. I grabbed the cast iron skillet, a bag of mixed frozen vegetables and potatoes. On top of the stove I made a dense cream sauce with thyme, and a few other spices. Everything was poured into the skillet and folded together. A few pieces of leftover cheese were poked in at the end. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.
After the 30 minutes add 8 Grand Biscuits on top and bake an additional 10-14 minutes. My husband and son thought this was delicious. You also could also try the following with leftovers: A layer of meat in the bottom, green bean casserole or corn over the top of the meat, gravy and leftover mashed potatoes on top. That’s a quick fix Shepherd’s pie!
Just freezing bags of pre-cooked turkey, burger and sausage is going to help get you through the next four weeks. With all the nibbling at work and heavier richer foods we can afford to lighten up on the cooking at home.
One of the things I vowed to stop doing this past year is using canned soups. Thus far I’m not having any problems. As you will see in the new casserole recipe, I made a thick cream sauce and built from there. For those who struggle to make bases like this; put the liquid to thickening ratios inside the spice door! When you look at the vegetables for the dish choose your favorites. I looked at the relish tray for ideas. The main spice was fresh ground ginger. No, I wouldn’t substitute on this with powdered ginger, you’ll be disappointed. My husband says it was a nice surprise in the taste department. If you wanted to play more with the top of the dish how about Chow Mein noodles?
Get creative and have a little fun. Take a nap and get ready for the new week. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Post Holiday Turkey Casserole
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup diced celery
1 cup sliced carrots
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 cup flour
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
6 ounces Kluski noodles, cooked & drained
2 cups diced cooked turkey or chicken
1 cup mayonnaise
Additional wine if necessary 1/4 cup at a time
2 cans (8 oz.) sliced water chestnuts
1 cup crushed Ritz style crackers
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon butter
Green onions, bamboo shoots, sweet onion, red peppers, julienned sugar snap peas, green pepper or pimentos. Sherry could also be used instead of wine. If wine or sherry is not your preference use stock.
Bring 1-2 quarts of water to a boil and cook Kluski noodles until tender. Drain and set aside.
In a saucepan melt the 3 tablespoons butter; add the celery and carrot, and sauté. After the vegetables have started getting tender add the mushrooms and the dry white wine. Continue cooking stirring in the peas, salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of flour over the mixture; blending, stir in the heavy cream until mixture becomes thick and boils. Remove from the heat at this time. Stir in the mayonnaise, combining all ingredients. Lastly stir in the turkey, water chestnuts and cooked noodles. If the dish seems too thick bring in additional wine, about 1/4 cup at a time. Pour casserole into a greased 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Melt the tablespoon of butter for the topping and stir it into the almonds and crackers. Sprinkle topping evening across the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, heating thoroughly.
The original thought behind this casserole was to use up leftovers from the holiday dinner. Many homes have relish trays with celery and carrots, and other family favorite vegetables. Another name for this casserole might be Oriental Chicken.