Holidays are all about abundance – particularly with food. But often having more than enough means days of leftovers after the event is over. What can you do to distract the family from one more turkey sandwich? Here are a few suggestions to make leftovers part of the celebration rather than a burden to get through.
Freeze for later: Although your family may currently be sated on holiday fare, a few months from now an encore meal or variation of the original may be welcomed. Consider freezing some of the turkey sliced, along with a couple of scoops of dressing and a side of cranberry sauce. Later you can turn these three items into scrumptious sandwiches. Use sturdy bread such as a crusty roll or a French baguette. Lightly spread both sides with mayonnaise and layer the turkey and about a half-inch of dressing on the bottom half, topping with a light layer of cranberry sauce. This sandwich is an award-winning combination for a national sandwich shop that you can recreate for a cold-weather treat.
Reinvent a tradition: Turn that extra turkey, vegetables and mashed potatoes into a variation of shepherd’s pie. Mix chopped turkey, any leftover veggies – adding some if needed – and top with the leftover mashed potatoes in an open casserole. Bake to warm and broil the last few minutes to brown the top. Serve it with the leftover gravy.
Treat your guests: Pre-plan to share your leftovers with visitors. If you purchase a selection of different sizes of disposable plastic containers, you can mix up an additional holiday meal for your guests who don’t tend to cook at home. Walking away with another meal ready to heat and eat can be a real blessing to those with limited time, resources or inclination to cook for themselves. And for you and your immediate family, the leftovers will be gone by the end of the day.
If you think of leftovers as an opportunity to be creative and try new approaches, you can turn something that’s a challenge into a bonus that benefits everyone after the holidays are over.