Aren’t we all looking for a way to repurpose left overs? I start searching for weeks before Thanksgiving to ensure that we can use every bit of the food I make for Thanksgiving. My husband is from the south, so we always have a few “classics”, and well as some twists on traditional fare.
I started this year, by making my own Cranberry Orange Sauce, which I split between our house and my sisters, unknowing that at her house there was a contest! I tied for 1st place!!! At our house, I heard, “that’s nice, where’s the canned. Win some lose some! I also handmade rolls!
We always have turkey, there’s no redirecting that ship! We did buy a Farmer’s market turkey (Small fortune, but VERY good!!! We’ll stick with our .47 from our local grocer!)
Gotta have mashed potatoes, and gravy, this isn’t a time of year to play around with a new mashed recipe, go with the standard, don’t mess it up! (Although, I did use my Instant Pot, and added garlic….don’t tell!)
As for other sides, the green ones, I have free range on. Typically I go with Brussels Sprouts, but I wasn’t feeling it this year, so I went with Fresh, “Frenched” Green Beans. It’s truly the ONLY way to eat them!
Now on to the Starches!!! We always have a Turkey CornbreadDressing and Sweet Potato Casserole. For the TurkeyCornbread Dressing, I’m told there is a recipe, but have yet to see it. I know most of what goes into it, but mine is never the same. Years ago, Craig’s mom came for a visit, and cooked us Thanksgiving dinner while we were working, and placed all of the “nasty’s” (Giblets and such) in the corner of the dish, stating “didn’t know if ya’ll liked those” We promptly cut out that corner and tossed it. One day I’ll be trusted with the recipe….it’s only been 17 years….got a few more to go!
My favorite is the Sweet Potato Casserole. Some may like the marshmallow topping of the “traditional”, but ours is much smoother, and tastier. I’ve mashed, riced and this year, pureed the sweet potatoes. They came out more like a soufflé. Then we add toasted pecans, coconut and a few other delights. Top it with a brown sugar crust….YUMMMEEEE!!
So that brings me to my post. For leftovers, over the years I’ve tried Turkey Soup, Turkey Salad, Turkey Egg Rolls, and a slew of other items, but nothing compares to my Thanksgiving Croquettes. While there’s really no recipe, it’s more of a technique. I will include what I did, but please take advantage of what you have leftover to make these delicious treats! We also tried to air-frying them. Craig said that style was his favorite.
Let’s not forget dessert! Pecan Pie Cheesecake
1 Cup cooked Turkey, diced
1 Cup cold mashed potatoes
1 Cup cold dressing (Stuffing, or whatever you call it!)
2 stalks celery, diced
2 stalks green onion
2 Eggs, beaten
Bread Crumbs, as needed
1-2 Eggs, beaten
Oil, Canola, or Peanut (high heat)
Mix together the Turkey, potatoes, dressing and vegetables. Add in the beaten eggs. If the mixture is too loose, add small amounts (1/4 cup) of bread crumbs until “tightened up”. Roll mixtures into equal sized balls. I use an ice cream scoop to portion out the same sizes. While I’m rolling the balls, I make sure that my oil in heating up. If your using a fryer, heat to 350F. If you’re using the store top, make sure you have a high heat thermometer, and set the to 350F. Once the balls are rolled, you will dip them one at a time into the beaten eggs, to coat, then into the Panko. Coat 5-6 at a time. Carefully drop 4-5 balls into the oil, one at a time. Wait until they are golden brown, and remove. All items are fully cooked, so you’re just warming them up. If you would like to temp them, aim to get them to 140-150F.
We eat them plain, but you could totally dip them in a cranberry sauce, warm or cold, Gravy, warm or cold, or ranch…..for that matter whatever strikes your fancy!
If you’re feeling guilty for the heavy food, lighten them up with a green salad!