After the family meal, we came home and fixed (a Texan word) another, even bigger, Thanksgiving meal. We roasted a twenty pound turkey just for the two of us. That’s right. Twenty pounds of plump poultry eatin. And just so he wouldn’t be lonely in the oven, I also made dressing, rolls, mashed potatoes from instant, a salad, and cookies. Keep in mind that the kitchen is still in renovation; that’s why I made cookies instead of a pie. Make sense?
Twenty pounds may seem a bit excessive for two people, but we love the leftovers almost more than the original meal. So here is our Leftover Diary. I can only hope that we do the bird justice.
Leftover #1: Classic Leftover Thanksgiving Sandwich – This is the day-after sandwich – there is still dressing, gravy, cranberry available. It is the sandwich, if you watched the show “Friends”, known as “The Moist Maker” because of the layer of gravy-soaked dressing in the middle; the theft of which induced Ross’s uncontrollable rage. But I digress. Here it is from the bottom on a toasted slice of whole-grain white, with a spoonful of gravy, slices of turkey, sliced cranberry jelly, a layer of dressing, a ladle of gravy, and another slice of toast on top. It is a sandwich only in the broadest interpretation of the word. It is neither portable nor handheld. Shown here on a paper plate because I was tired of washing dishes, but you will notice the fork and knife in the background.
Leftover #2: Sweet and Spicy Turkey on a Bun – This gem of a sammy was born out of pure imagination. It started with thick turkey slices over which I melted a slice of Muenster cheese. I layered that on top of the bottom bun and a generous spread of cranberry jelly. Then came some lettuce, purple cabbage, and sliced tomatoes. I topped all of that with a spicy Texas barbecue sauce. As a sandwich, it held it’s shape for about three bites, whereupon form gave way to flavor, and I resorted to eating it in pieces with my fingers.
Leftover #3: Shredded Turkey over Rice with Green Beans (Recipe Included) –
This is perhaps the simplest of all leftovers so far. Start by shredding up some of the turkey, and while you are at it, go ahead and clean the whole carcass, saving all bones for stock-to-come. Hopefully you have some leftover gravy. If you do, put a big ladle of that in a skillet with 1 cup of water and the turkey pieces. If you do not have gravy, make some. Use cream of chicken soup, a gravy mix, or make it from scratch with a good old fashioned roux. Let simmer until hot, stirring occasionally. While that is heating, make your favorite rice. We opted for white tonight. When the rice is done, spoon onto a plate and top with turkey mixture.
Easy Green Beans –
Cook fresh or frozen green beans by steaming or boiling until tender as desired. Drain off most of the water. While still in hot pan, drizzle over 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp lemon juice (more or less to taste). Top with a generous pinch of black pepper and Parmesan cheese. You’ll never eat green beans any other way.
(And there’s still more to come.)