BY RICHARD MOOREY
WELL another Thanksgiving has come and gone and most of us as always have probably gone a little overkill in the portion department. I certainly am one of those people that ends big event meals with leftovers. Part of being a good eats enthusiast and host is not only making sure that all of the evening’s munchables are off the charts delicious but as important is making sure there is sufficient food . . . and that usually means enough to feed a small army.
This type of party planning typically means that you should have a supply of Ziploc and Tupperware ready to go so you can off load some of your leftovers on willing recipients of after dinner take away but also a game plan to turn some of what’s left into even more tastitude in the few days following Thanksgiving dinner.
Thanksgiving is for sure one of the most anticipated meals of the year (perhaps second only to Christmas . . . if its second at all) and while there isn’t much not to love about slow roasted turkeys, hams, whipped potatoes, turnips, rich gravy and decadent dressing after day two you may start craving something else on your dinner plate. This is where some creative cooking can bring new flavours to the table and let you make use of leftovers while creating new meals that will reduce the risk of suffering from the bland, the blah and the dreaded “Not again . . .”
Of course some of your standard left over options are always good cards to play in the game of leftovers. Dishes like a hot and hearty turkey soup, terrific thanksgiving sandwiches fully loaded with everything from turkey and cranberry to potatoes and stuffing and potpies made easy with puff pastry are always good go-to recipe ideas but you can be as imaginative as you want limited only by your culinary creativity.
Try deep fried Thanksgiving Arancini made of stuffing and loaded with turkey, cheese and potato or tender Thanksgiving perogies filled with the same ingredients. Perhaps appetizers like loaded Thanksgiving potato skins or Thanksgiving poutine will appeal to your family. If you fancy some international ethnic eats you may decide to give Thanksgiving Enchiladas a try or even turkey Shawarma with stuffing based Falafel.
Wherever your taste buds lead you this week there is definitely no shortage of delectable and irresistible ways to turn your Thanksgiving leftovers into tastitude and help to empty your post-holiday refrigerator inventory. Here’s a creative leftover twist on delicious to get you started.
Chef House’s Thanksgiving Samosas Pastry
3 cups AP flour
1 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup and 4 tbsp. ice cold water
1 cup leftover mashed potato
1 cup leftover stuffing
1/2 cup diced leftover turkey
2 tbsp. cranberry jelly
1 tsp. chopped Coriander
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
1 egg and 1 tbsp. milk
In a food processor, add flour. Add 1/2 of the chopped butter and process it until pea size granules form. Add the remaining butter and process again to form pea size chunks.
Sprinkle the ice cold water and process until the mixture is moist. The mixture will still look powdery, but when pressed between your fingers it should retain its shape.
Transfer into a bowl and knead for another 30 seconds. You will see chunks of butter. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.
In a separate bowl add the filling ingredients and combine well by hand. Set aside.
Place a non-stick mat or parchment paper on the counter and lightly dust with flour. Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch thick. Use a four inch round shaped cutter to cut circles. Place approximately one over full tablespoon of filling in the center. Bring the other edge together and press the edges with a fork. Place about an inch apart on a sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush generously with egg wash.
Bake in a 400F preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown.
Richard Moorey (aka Chef House) can be reached with email to firstname.lastname@example.org, through his website at www.evot.ca, or on his Facebook group Evolution of Tastitude. You can follow him on Twitter @House_74.