Sunday, November 25, 2007

turkey tetrazzini

Alicia Ross with Beverly Mills

It's a blessing or a curse. Either way, the inevitable Thanksgiving turkey leftovers are a matter of mindset, and we prefer the blessing mode. If there's already-cooked turkey in the kitchen, dinner is practically done.

Of course, if you plop plain leftovers on the table night after night, you may indeed begin to feel cursed. Our secret is to take the bounty left from the Thanksgiving feast and transform it into yet another feast.

Today's recipe for Turkey and Tortellini TetThe day-after turkey sandwich can be almost as good as the first bite on Thanksgiving.

Everyone makes a turkey sandwich differently—some top it with cranberry sauce, others use mayonnaise. I've always loved barbecue sauce.

But a turkey sandwich isn't the only way to use up your leftover turkey. Here are some other ways — 15 to be exact — to get the most out of your leftovers.

1. Turkey soup—OK, this one is a gimme, but that's why it's No. 1. Make your favorite chicken noodle soup using turkey, or spice things up and make a turkey tortilla soup.

2. Turkey enchiladas —Check out this recipe from "How to Cook a Turkey" by the editors of Fine Cooking magazine, or make an easier version by rolling shredded turkey with a can of Rotel tomatoes. Fill in warmtortillas and top with your favorite enchilada sauce and lots of cheese.

Turkey Enchiladas with Creamy Tomatillo Sauce

2 cups shredded cooked turkey Kosher salt
Vegetable oil, as needed
12 small (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup grated mozzarella
¹/³ cup grated provolone

Creamy Tomatillo Sauce

1 pound fresh tomatillos, husks and stems removed, rinsed
1 to 2 fresh jalapenos, cored and seeded
4 slices onion
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups turkey or chicken broth
¾ cup heavy cream
¾ teaspoon kosher salt

1. Start by making the Creamy Tomatillo Sauce. Position a rack as close to the broiler as possible, and heat the broiler. Arrange the tomatillos, chilies, onion and garlic in a small, shallow baking pan. Broil, turning to ensure even cooking, until tomatillos are soft and slightly blackened, about 10 minutes. Transfer the broiled ingredients to a blender and add the cilantro. Blend until smooth.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the tomatillo mixture and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of the broth and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Taste the sauce. If it's too tart, add more broth.Remove from the heat, and whisk in the heavy cream and salt. Let cool slightly before making the enchiladas.

3. Fill a large skillet with enough oil to submerge a tortilla.Warm the oil over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles immediately. Fry each tortilla briefly in the oil, about 10 seconds per side. The tortilla should stay soft; if it starts to harden, it has been in the oil too long. Drain on paper towels.

4. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. With a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of sauce on both sides of each tortilla. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of shredded turkey in each tortilla, and roll loosely.

5. Set the enchiladas side-by-side in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, pour the remaining sauce over them, top with cheeses and bake until bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Turkey omelettes — Here's a good one for Saturday morning. Fill the omelette with shredded turkey, a little fresh sage, or any other fresh herbs you have around, your favorite veggies, Monterey Jack cheese and crumbled bacon.

4. Turkey tetrazzini —Look in your old Betty Crocker or Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks for this day-after Thanksgiving staple. Or try this recipe— one of our favorites — from the Food Network.

Turkey Tetrazzini

10 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin (about 4 cups)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup all purpose flour
1¾ cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
¼ cup dry white wine
10 ounces spaghetti
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey
1 cup cooked peas
²/³ cup freshly grated Parmesan
¹/³ cup fine fresh bread crumbs

1. In a large heavy saucepan, cook the mushrooms in ¼ cup of the butter over moderate heat, stirring, until most of the liquid they give off has evaporated. Stir in the flour, and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add in a stream the milk, the broth, and the wine, stirring. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring, and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes.

2. In a kettle of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until it is al dente and drain it well. In a large bowl combine well the spaghetti, the mushroom sauce, the turkey, the peas, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in ¹/³ cup of the Parmesan, and transfer the mixture to a buttered shallow 3- quart casserole.

3. In a small bowl combine the remaining ¹/³ cup Parmesan, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tetrazzini, and dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits. The tetrazzini may be prepared up to this point one month in advance and kept frozen, covered. Bake the tetrazzini in the middle of a preheated 375-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden.

5. Turkey Cobb salad — Ready for some lettuce after all that gravy? A Cobb salad — still packed with bacon, avocados, tomatoes, blue cheese and eggs — will gently wean you off of your Thanksgiving gluttony. Just add shredded turkey to your favorite Cobb salad.

6. Turkey croissants — Spread mayonnaise and Dijon mustard over bottom halves of croissants. Top with sliced turkey and Swiss cheese, and bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

7. Turkey quiche — Make your favorite quiche recipe, replacing the ham or bacon with chopped turkey. Good for lunch or a light dinner with a salad.

8. Turkey pot pie — So filling on a cold night, and it warms up well the next day. You can find several good recipes on the AllRecipesWeb site.

9. Turkey chili — You've probably heard of chili with ground turkey meat, but how about leftover cooked turkey? This one's from Cooking Light magazine, and it cooks in the microwave. It makes 6 cups, with 187 calories per cup.

Tex-Mex Turkey Chili

1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sugar
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 10-ounce can Rotel tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained
2 cups shredded cooked turkey breast
¾ cup water

1. Combine onion, garlic, and oil in a 2-quart glass measuring cup. Cover and microwave on high 3 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring every minute. Add chili powder and next four ingredients; stirring well. Microwave, uncovered, at high 6 to 9 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring mixture every 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; stir well. Microwave, uncovered, at high 6 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

10. Turkey quesadillas — You can go the cheese and sour cream route, or try something a little different. Try filling your quesadillas with sliced turkey, brie and cranberry sauce.

11. Turkey pilaf — Combine chopped turkey with brown or wild rice, plus toasted almonds, cheese and asparagus.

12. Pesto turkey salad —Use your homemade pesto, or buy some at the grocery store for this recipe from "The Berghoff Family Cookbook." For eight sandwiches, combine 2 pounds chopped turkey with 1 cup mayonnaise, ½ cup diced celery, ¼ cup scallions, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and ¼ cup pesto. Serve on your favorite bread.

13. Turkey barbecue buns— Combine shredded turkey with your favorite barbecue sauce. Serve on hamburger buns with pickled peppers and coleslaw.

14. Turkey tacos — Use this mixture for tacos, burritos or tostadas. It's from AllRecipes.

Mexican Turkey

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 pound shredded cooked turkey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large fresh tomato, chopped
½ cup water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the onion until tender. Mix in turkey, and season with garlic powder. Stir in the tomato. Pour in water, sprinkle with cilantro, and season with salt and pepper. Cover skillet, and simmer 5 minutes, or until heated through.

15. Roasted turkey salad— Toss a large bowl of salad greens with sliced turkey, cornichons, capers, roasted red bell peppers, blue cheese and sugared walnuts. Mix with your favorite vinaigrette.

Add your comment

(2) readers have commented on this story so far. Tell us what you think below!

1. 11/22/2007 6:28:18 AM, AM, Tulsa
But Wait...we hate all things Mexican. Did the recipe come from an illeagal???

2. 11/22/2007 7:50:32 AM, a, tulsa
Turkey Tacos on Friday have long been tradition in our family starting before you buy tortillas in Oklahoma so we had to make our own.

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razzini is the perfect example. It's comfort food with a twist. Sure, you can make a traditional tetrazzini with spaghetti, but cheese tortellini is so much more interesting.

Nobody needs to know the whole dish takes just 20 minutes start to finish.


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