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Do you want something other than a plain turkey sandwich the day after Thanksgiving? Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst says turn turkey into turkey ramen or a turkey bánh mì, leftover bread into savory leek and bread pudding, and mashed potatoes into mashed potato and turkey croquettes.
Kathy’s Note: Use homemade turkey or chicken broth or use a good organic low-sodium canned broth.
For the broth:
6 1/2 cups turkey or chicken broth
2 tablespoons miso paste
2 tablespoons very thinly sliced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
For the ramen:
6 ounces ramen noodles
1 to 1 1/2 cup leftover cooked turkey, cut into small cubes or thin slices
1 cup watercress or winter greens
1 cup leftover cooked vegetables, like winter squash or Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced or cubed, optional
1/2 cup fresh scallions cut into 1 inch pieces, white and green sections
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Make the broth: heat the stock in a medium pot. In a bowl mix the miso, ginger and soy sauce. Add a few tablespoons of the hot broth to the bowl and mix until smooth. Add the miso mixture to the stock pot. Let simmer over low heat.
Meanwhile bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil over high heat. Cook the ramen noodles until just tender; drain.
Kathy’s Note: Bánh mì may just qualify as the ultimate sandwich. This Vietnamese favorite features using leftover cooked turkey—instead of grilled beef. The thinly sliced turkey is layered on a crusty baguette spread with a daikon-carrot slaw, slices of jalapeño pepper, fresh cilantro, and mayonnaise.
The Daikon-Carrot Slaw
8 ounces daikon, peeled
1 medium carrot, peeled
1/2 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (nuoc nam)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 crusty baguette, 20 to 24 inches long
2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro sprigs
About 3/4 pound thinly sliced leftover cooked turkey
Tender lettuce leaves, such as Boston lettuce
Make the slaw: Grate the daikon and carrot on the large holes of a cheese grater and mix in a bowl. Add the vinegar, sugar, and salt, and stir well. Let sit for about 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the oil, fish sauce, and soy sauce and set aside.
Preheat the broiler.
Cut the baguette down the middle lengthwise and place in a broiler pan. Place it under the broiler for about 2 minutes, or until warm. Place the baguette halves on a clean work surface and spoon the fish sauce mixture on 1 side and the mayonnaise on the other. Sprinkle the cilantro sprigs on top of the mayonnaise and place the turkey on top of the other side. Distribute the daikon slaw on top of the turkey, add the lettuce leaves, and carefully put the 2 sides of the bread together. Cut into four 6-inch sandwiches. Serve with hot pepper sauce.
Kathy’s Note: The inspiration for this rich creamy dish came from “Ad Hoc at Home” by Thomas Keller (Artisan). This is a great way to use up leftover bread, vegetables or even turkey.
About 10 to 12 cups leftover bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups cooked leftover vegetables like leeks, onions, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, cut into thin slices
1 cup thinly sliced leftover turkey, optional
3 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
If your bread is still soft you need to toast it in the oven on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes or until dry and golden. Mix the dried out bread with the leftover vegetables and turkey if using.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs. Add the milk, and cream and half the thyme, chives, parsley and nutmeg.
In the bottom of a large 9 X 13 inch baking dish, sprinkle ¼ cup of the cheese. Spread half the bread/vegetable mixture on top and sprinkle with another ¼ cup cheese. Spread the remaining bread/vegetable mixture on top and top with another ¼ cup cheese. Pour in enough of the milk/cream mixture to cover the bread and press gently on the bread so it soaks up some of the milk mixture. Let sit 5 minutes.
Pour the remaining milk/cream mixture on top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and herbs, salt and pepper.
Serves 6 to 8 as a main course.
Kathy’s Note: Using leftover mashed potatoes and turkey you can make a very authentic style croquette in no time.
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes at room temperature
2 eggs, well beaten, plus 1 egg
1/2 cup cooked turkey, cut into cubes
1/2 cup grated Manchego, Parmesan or cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup milk
About 1/2 cup flour
About 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil for frying
In a large bowl mix the mashed potatoes with 2 of the beaten eggs, turkey, cheese, and salt and pepper.
Place the flour on a plate. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the breadcrumbs on another plate.
In a medium bowl whisk the milk with the remaining egg and season well with salt and pepper.
Use your well floured hands to form the mashed potato mixture into a small ball the size of a golf ball. Dip the balls into the seasoned flour, then the egg/milk mixture, and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat using all the mixture. You can make the croquettes up to this point several hours ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before cooking.
Heat about 4 inches of the oil in a deep skillet until it reaches about 375 degrees. A drop of breadcrumbs added to the hot oil should sizzle but not burn. Adjust the temperature.
Drop a few of the croquettes at a time into the hot oil and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and cook the rest. Serve hot.
Serves 3 to 4.
Total time: 1 hour; Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Kathy’s Note: This is an adaptation of a recipe from Kathy Gunst’s book “Notes from a Maine Kitchen” (Down East Books; 2011). You can use any or all of these flavors to spice up canned cranberry sauce as well—simply stir in the ginger, pineapple, orange zest and pecans. This recipe also appeared in the November/December issue of Yankee magazine.
3 large oranges
1 cup pecan halves or your favorite nut
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries (no need to thaw)
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon very thinly sliced crystallized or candied ginger (optional)
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
Preheat your oven to 350° and set a rack to the middle position. Prepare the oranges: Use a vegetable peeler to remove strips of zest from one orange, then finely chop enough of this zest to yield 3 tablespoons. Use another orange to finely grate enough of the outer layer of zest to yield 1 tablespoon. Then squeeze all of the fruit to yield 1/3 cup of fresh juice.
Place the nuts on a piece of foil or a small baking sheet and bake until you can smell the roasted nuts and they’re just beginning to turn a light golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove and let cool. Coarsely chop, and set aside.
Meanwhile, put the sugar and 2 cups of water into a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook about 15 minutes, or until the syrup begins to thicken slightly and turn a gold color.
Add the maple syrup and cook 2 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook, stirring, until the berries begin to pop their skins, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the orange juice, rind, and zest; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the fresh and candied ginger and the pineapple and stir well. Cook another 5 minutes, or until the sauce appears slightly thickened (it will thicken more as it cools). If it appears too thin, remove the cranberries and fruit with a slotted spoon and boil down the liquid about 4 to 5 minutes over high heat, and then mix it all together again.
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the toasted nuts. Cool. Transfer to a tightly sealed glass jar, and refrigerate up to a week before serving.
Yield: 6 cups (10 to 12 servings)
MEGHNA CHAKRABARTI, HOST:
It's HERE AND NOW.
And it is the day after Thanksgiving. And we all know what that means: leftover turkey time. As you face the remains of that mammoth bird in the fridge, do you crave something other than a turkey sandwich or a turkey pot pie? Or do you wonder what you're going to do with all of that leftover bread? And what about that pile of mashed potatoes that folks were just too full to finish?
Well, here in the studio with some ideas to spice up those Thanksgiving leftovers is HERE AND NOW resident chef Kathy Gunst. Kathy, great to see you again.
KATHY GUNST, BYLINE: You too. Hi, Meghna.
CHAKRABARTI: Hi. Did you have a good Thanksgiving?
GUNST: So good.
CHAKRABARTI: OK. Good. I presume...
GUNST: Well, lots of leftovers.
CHAKRABARTI: Really? Because, see, in your house, maybe there aren't so many leftovers because the food's so good.
GUNST: No, no, no, because I cook for leftovers. To me, leftovers is not a dirty word. It's something I really look forward to because it's a time - it sounds so new age, but it's a time of transformation. You're taking something that was one thing, and now you're going to reconfigure it and make it something possibly even grander.
CHAKRABARTI: OK. So we should say, though, that we don't have anything against your standard turkey sandwiches or pot pie...
GUNST: Oh, please, no way.
CHAKRABARTI: ...or soup.
GUNST: We have our first leftovers around midnight, you know, that classic sandwich.
GUNST: You know, by the time you've cleaned up, you're like, could I possibly be feeling - what is that - am I hungry? And, you know, the bread comes out, the turkey comes out, you know? It's the classic sandwich where you throw everything on, and it kind of tastes better than anything of the whole day.
CHAKRABARTI: Absolutely. So those are go-to standbys if you need them. But we were thinking this year, what if people wanted to do something different with their turkey? Do you have any suggestions?
GUNST: I have a lot of suggestions, surprisingly.
GUNST: I thought it would be fun to take a look at using some of these leftovers and putting them into some of our favorite ethnic foods. For instance, ramen, the wonderful Japanese noodle soup dish. So let's say that you made a stock from your turkey carcass.
GUNST: But let's say you didn't. You would take some chicken broth or your turkey stock that you've made, and you would add some cubes of leftover turkey. You would throw in leftover greens, possibly even salad greens that weren't tossed with dressing. Maybe you have some squash leftover that had been roasted. You could cut that up. This soup can have so many elements of your Thanksgiving meal. I would not put the stuffing in because then you're going to add the ramen noodles, which you'll cook separately. You're going to add some chili paste. You might want to fry an egg or poach an egg and throw it on top of it, and you'd have this really fabulous turkey ramen.
Let me also say that to flavor the stock and make it like a real ramen stock, you just heat up your chicken stock from whether it's the can or your homemade turkey stock, add a little bit of miso paste, ground ginger, scallions and a little soy sauce and with a little bit of hot sauce, you are not going to be complaining about, oh, more turkey.
CHAKRABARTI: Oh, it sounds delicious actually. And completely, it's like using what you have but having a different flavor experience entirely.
GUNST: So that's the idea with leftovers, is you don't want to be reminded of what you've already had. You wanted to taste new. So another idea: the Vietnamese sandwich that's so popular, banh mi, which is classically made with pork. This time, we're going to use a crusty baguette. We're going to layer it with turkey. We'll add some shredded carrots, some fresh mint. We'll add some fresh cilantro, mayonnaise, chili sauce, and you have a Vietnamese turkey banh mi.
CHAKRABARTI: Mm. You know, every time you come in here this always happens to me. I think I've got to make that. I got to try that.
GUNST: Well, you know what, that's my goal.
GUNST: We're right on target.
CHAKRABARTI: We were batting a thousand here.
GUNST: OK. Now you're getting closer to goodness, though, because bread is something people always have so much leftover. They got too much for their stuffing, or they serve bread at the Thanksgiving table. And by the end of that meal, nobody wants to look at bread.
So what you have in front of you is kind of a French-style custard. It's my take on a bread pudding. It has lots and lots of leeks that came right out of my garden in there. It's hot, but go for it. It's got cheese. It's not light, I'll tell you. It's got some cream. It's got some milk. But this is such a fabulous way to reuse bread. And you could put anything you want in there. You could throw some cubes of turkey in there. You could put some of your leftover green beans, or your creamed spinach could be tossed into there. Again, it's going to come out as a completely - this is comfort food.
CHAKRABARTI: Right. Well, I wish listeners could smell this because it smells fantastic. And I'm going to - forgive me, but I'm just going to try some of it.
GUNST: Go for it. But it's like on a cold, winter day, that's about as good as it gets.
CHAKRABARTI: It's so delicious. I love the flavor of the leek and...
GUNST: Fresh thyme is in there, yeah.
CHAKRABARTI: ...and the thyme. Mm-hmm.
GUNST: And a lot of chives.
CHAKRABARTI: And I like how you didn't cut corners either. I mean, it's got that...
GUNST: The crust.
CHAKRABARTI: The crust and the weight and the creaminess of a bread pudding.
GUNST: Well, I mean, bread pudding traditionally is a dessert, but there's absolutely no reason it can't go savory. And here you have it with just, you know, the humblest leek.
CHAKRABARTI: Mm. Mm-mm. Mm.
GUNST: OK, you chew. I'll keep talking. OK.
GUNST: Let's talk about mashed potatoes, OK? That's on 90 percent of Thanksgiving tables. And generally, there's a lot left over. So what do you do with it? The really quick answer is you form it when it's not cold but not totally room temperature into pancakes because it will adhere when it's still a bit chilled. And I just like to saute it in some good olive oil with fresh cracked pepper, and you have an instant potato pancake. It'll still be Hanukkah, so that can be your shortcut mashed potato pancake there.
But another idea is a little bit more complex. At tapas bars in Spain, you'll often see croquettes, fried potato croquettes. So I say let's make one with leftover mashed potatoes and put some of the turkey, chopped really fine, in the middle, coated in some egg and some bread crumb and just a quick fry again in olive oil, and you'd have this delicious, hot Spanish croquette. All new flavors again, but the same old mashed potato.
CHAKRABARTI: Oh, delicious. Now, another thing that always seems to be leftover on our table at the end of Thanksgiving is cranberry sauce. And I love it with turkey, but sometimes I feel like I'm not quite sure what to do with it after the day.
GUNST: I think that's true. I brought you some of my leftover homemade cranberry sauce that has pineapple and pecans and ginger in it. Whether you have homemade or you've got the canned cranberry, which we always used to have for my dad. If he didn't see the ridges, he wouldn't go near it.
GUNST: Any of those things is actually delicious on a bowl of ice cream, also fabulous with a cheese plate, the canned or the homemade, because it's so tart and a little bit sweet. It really counterbalances very rich, gooey cheeses. I like serving it with butter cookies or pound cake. But you could also take cranberry sauce, particularly the canned variety if you have it left over, heat it in a pot over very low heat. Let it become liquid, and then strain it and use that as a cranberry syrup with drinks.
CHAKRABARTI: Oh, delicious.
GUNST: Like a sparkling white wine, a champagne, prosecco, even with rum and mint. So you have this cranberry - you could also just serve it with seltzer and you'd have a homemade cranberry cocktail.
CHAKRABARTI: That sounds amazing.
CHAKRABARTI: And now, this makes me feel very greedy even asking because you've already given us so many wonderful suggestions. But any more you've got?
GUNST: Well, you started with the idea of soup, and it is just the most classic leftover of all. There's an incredible amount of flavor left in that turkey carcass. Throw it in a pot with some carrots, celery, onion, cook it down, and you'll have a huge pot of stock that can be the basis of so many soups all winter long.
I was just talking to the executive producer, Kathleen McKenna, and she told me that her mother used to make a turkey soup where she put everything, and she put the stuffing in because it thickened it. She put all the leftover vegetables in, and then cut up the turkey. And I thought, you know, that doesn't sound half bad. But there are so many soups you can make from that turkey stock, and we don't want to overlook that possibility.
CHAKRABARTI: Well, you've given us so much to think about and do with the refrigerator full of leftovers. We're going to have the recipes for some of what you've heard Kathy shared with us at hereandnow.org. HERE AND NOW resident chef Kathy Gunst with her ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers. She's also author of "Notes from a Maine Kitchen," seasonally inspired recipes. Kathy, thank you so much, as always.
GUNST: Thank you.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LEFTOVERS")
JOHNNY FLYNN: (Singing) Leftovers is what I want. Don't need no fine cuisine. Give me a dime for bacon rind or slip me some of that old sardine.
CHAKRABARTI: Now, in our offices today, we're also dealing with one leftover that usually goes pretty fast: pie. Pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, plus a couple of incredibly rich cheesecakes. We're tweeting pictures of our pies today. Send yours to us @hereandnow.
From NPR and WBUR Boston, I'm Meghna Chakrabarti. It's been great to be with you. Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson will be back on Monday. This is HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.