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Put Thanksgiving leftovers to good use with recipes

As soon as Thanksgiving is over, jump headlong into the Christmas spirit by celebrating the 12 days of turkey. Leftovers, that is.

Whether you're in the mood for quick and easy sandwiches, warm soups or comforting stratas, we've got the recipe for you. Get started right after the Thanksgiving meal has been cleared by storing leftovers properly. White Lily flour company suggests storing leftover foods in shallow containers and refrigerating them within two hours of cooking.

Cooked turkey should be eaten or used in leftover recipes within three days, and all leftovers should be reheated thoroughly to 165 F. If you're not going to use the cooked turkey within three days, it can keep for three months in the freezer.

Pressed Cuban

Turkey

Sandwiches

A traditional Cuban sandwich is made with roast pork and thinly sliced ham. This recipe subs in leftover turkey and ham. For best results, use two cast-iron skillets or a sandwich press.

2 soft Portuguese rolls or soft French sandwich rolls, sliced lengthwise

Prepared mustard, to taste

1 large dill pickle, thinly sliced lengthwise

4 ounces roast turkey, sliced

4 ounces ham, thinly sliced

3 ounces sliced Swiss or provolone cheese

Butter, softened

Spread each roll with mustard. Arrange half of pickle, turkey, ham and cheese slices on each roll, press together gently. Spread outsides of rolls with butter. Place sandwiches in cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Put second skillet directly on sandwiches. Press down, and grill 5 to 10 minutes on each side or until cheese is melted and sandwich is flattened and browned.

Makes 2 sandwiches

Source: Cottage Living

Sweet Potato

Turkey Hash

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1⁄4-inch dice

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 small red onion, peeled and chopped

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded

and diced

1 pound skinless, cooked turkey breast, cut into 1⁄2-inch dice

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Place sweet potatoes in a saucepan, add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until sweet potatoes are just barely tender. Drain well and set aside.

Heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and red pepper and cook about 4 to 5 minutes until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add sweet potatoes.

Cook, stirring 6 to 7 minutes, until sweet potatoes are crispy. Add remaining oil and turkey, season with salt and pepper, cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes.

Make 4 holes, 3 inches each, in the hash and break an egg into each hole. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 4 to 5 minutes until eggs are cooked to desired degree of doneness.

Sprinkle with chives, parsley and additional salt and pepper if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: "The Foster's Market Cookbook," by Sara Foster (Random House, $35).

Turkey Ragout on

Biscuits

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1⁄2 cup diced onion

1⁄2 cup diced red bell pepper

1⁄2 cup diced green bell pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

2 cups water, divided

1 (2.75 ounce) package country gravy mix

2 cups cooked turkey, cut into bite-size pieces

1⁄4 cup fresh chopped parsley

freshly ground black pepper to taste

6 frozen biscuits, baked

Heat vegetable oil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add onion, red bell pepper and green bell peppers. Cook three minutes, add garlic and thyme leaves. Stir in cooked turkey and fresh parsley. Pour in 11⁄2 cups water. Bring to a boil.

In a 2-cup measuring cup, measure 1⁄2 cup cold water and stir in gravy mix until smooth. Pour into boiling water. Stir until slightly thickened. Add additional pepper as desired. Pour over baked biscuits.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: White Lily

The Gobbler

2 tablespoons leftover cranberry relish

1 white flour tortilla

2 lettuce leaves, such as romaine or butter

6 ounces leftover stuffing

6 ounces pulled leftover turkey meat

2 tablespoons leftover turkey gravy

Spread cranberry relish on top portion of tortilla. Place lettuce then spread stuffing, turkey and gravy on tortilla. Roll and cut in half.

Source: Whole Foods Market

Turkey Noodle Soup

For Stock:

1 turkey carcass, broken or chopped into large pieces

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

2 yellow onions, chopped

5-6 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dry thyme

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

4 quarts water

For Soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

3⁄4 cup diced onion

4 ounces (dry) egg noodles

1⁄4 cup chopped parsley

1⁄2 bunch fresh spinach, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

In a large stockpot, combine all stock ingredients. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer, uncovered, for 3-4 hours. Strain stock.

Heat olive oil in saucepan. Add carrots, celery, and onion. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add turkey stock and bring to a boil. When boiling, stir in egg noodles.

Continue to simmer until noodles are cooked. Remove from heat, stir in parsley and spinach. Season to taste. Soup may be chilled and kept, covered, for 2 to 3 days.

Serves 6 to 8.

Source: Whole Foods Market

All-American Turkey and Stuffing Bake

2 cups prepared stuffing

1⁄4 cup water or chicken broth

11⁄3 cups French's Cheddar or Original French Fried Onions

1⁄4 cup chopped celery

6 to 8 (1/4 inch thick) slices cooked turkey breast

1 cup prepared turkey gravy

4 slices American cheese

Mix stuffing, broth, 2⁄3 cup French fried onions and celery in two-quart greased baking dish. Arrange turkey on top, slightly overlapping slices. Pour gravy over turkey. Bake, covered, at 375 F for 30 minutes or until casserole is heated through. Top turkey with cheese slices and remaining onions. Let stand 2 minutes until cheese softens.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: French's Turkey Citrus Avocado Salad

Dressing:

1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1⁄8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Salad:

1 bag (8 ounces) field greens salad blend

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 orange, peeled, sectioned and halved

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

1⁄4 small red onion, cut into thin wedges

11⁄2 cups cubed leftover cooked turkey

1⁄4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

For the dressing, beat orange juice, oil, mustard, salt and red pepper in a small bowls until well blended. Set aside. For the salad, place lettuce in a serving bowl or on a large serving platter. Top with cilantro, orange, avocado, red onion and turkey breast cubes. Drizzle with dressing and top with pumpkin seeds, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: ConAgra Foods. Spicy Cobb Club

2⁄3 cup crumbled blue cheese

1⁄4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Tabasco brand chipotle pepper sauce, divided

4 slices leftover turkey breast

6 slices sourdough bread, about 1⁄2-inch thick, toasted

4 lettuce leaves

1 medium tomato, sliced

1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced

1 hard-cooked egg, sliced

4 bacon slices, cooked

Combine blue cheese, mayonnaise, cider vinegar and 11⁄2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce in a small bowl. Stir until well blended and smooth. Brush turkey slices with remaining Tabasco sauce.

Spread bread slices with blue cheese mixture. Place lettuce on 2 bread slices, top with turkey pieces and tomato slices. Top with 2 bread slices. Arrange avocado, egg and bacon on bread, top with remaining bread slices. To serve, cut each sandwich in half.

Makes 2 sandwiches.

Source: Tobasco Chopped Turkey Salad

with Cranberry Vinaigrette

1 head romaine or green leaf lettuce, chopped

8 ounces cooked turkey, chopped

1⁄2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 avocado, pitted and cut into chunks

2 navel oranges, peeled and sectioned

4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

1⁄2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted

Cranberry Vinaigrette

Place lettuce on large serving platter or individual salad plates. Arrange next six ingredients on top. Drizzle with Cranberry Vinaigrette, see recipe 10.

Source: Cottage Living magazine Cranberry Vinaigrette

1 cup fresh or canned cranberry sauce

5 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Whisk together cranberry sauce and vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly add olive oil until well blended, add salt and pepper. Store, refrigerated, in an airtight container.

Makes 1 cup

Source: Cottage Living magazine Turkey Pot Pie

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, well washed and thinly sliced

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

1⁄2 pound button mushrooms, quartered

1⁄2 pound shiitake mushrooms, brushed clean, stemmed and sliced

11⁄2 cups turkey or chicken stock

3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

2 cups leftover turkey meat, cut into bite-sized pieces

1⁄2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon dried thyme

sea salt, to taste

ground black pepper, to taste

1 9-inch whole wheat pie crust

1 prepared pie top

Preheat oven to 400 F. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large heavy skillet. Add the leeks, carrots and celery and cook over medium heat until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Add remaining butter to skillet and saute mushrooms over medium high heat about 10 minutes. Combine with leek mixture in skillet. Over medium high heat, stir the flour into skillet and cook for 1 minute.

Add the stock slowly, while stirring, and bring to simmer. Stir until nicely thickened. Add the turkey, cream and thyme and season with salt and pepper. With a slotted spoon, fill pie crust with filling.

Pour in any remaining liquid until crust is almost filled to the top. Moisten edge of pie crust and place pie top on top, sealing the edges with a fork. Cut slits into the top of the pie. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until pie crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Whole Foods Market

Thanksgiving Weekend Strata

Strata, a savory bread pudding, is a great way to use up leftover stuffing. It's best prepared the night before it's baked.

2 cups leftover bread stuffing

2 cups cubed whole grain bread

2⁄3 cup whole milk

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon hot sauce (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1⁄2 tablespoon butter

2 cups white or assorted mushrooms, quartered or sliced

1 white or yellow onion, chopped

1⁄2 cup green onions, thinly sliced

11⁄2 to 2 cups cooked leftover turkey, diced

6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

1 large apple, cored, diced

1 cup leftover cranberry sauce (optional)

Butter a 9x12x2-inch baking dish. Combine the leftover bread stuffing and the cubed bread in a large bowl. Place half of the mixture at the bottom of the baking pan and set aside. Whisk together the milk, eggs, mustard, hot sauce, salt and pepper and set aside.

Heat the butter in a pan and saute the mushrooms and onions quickly on a high heat. Combine the mushroom and onion mixture with half of the green onions, leftover turkey, Cheddar cheese and diced apples. Arrange this mixture evenly on the stuffing and bread mixture in the baking dish. Place the remaining stuffing and bread mixture on top.

Slowly pour the liquid mixture into the baking dish making sure to distribute evenly. Sprinkle the remaining green onions on top for garnish. Press down on the bread cubes, if necessary, to ensure that all bread is coated with the liquid. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake uncovered for 60 minutes or until the top is golden and an inserted knife comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. If desired, additional shredded Cheddar cheese can be sprinkled on top about 10 minutes before finished. Top the strata with cranberry sauce and enjoy.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Whole Foods Market