Are you stuffed to overflowing yet? Loosening up your belt buckles? Thanksgiving is well under way here, and I thought I’d press pause on the football game and family story time to share a few Thanksgiving leftover ideas with you. Yes, I realize I haven’t quite shared all of my Thanksgiving prep yet, but I’ll do a recap post-feast (preview: my contributions this year included creamed spinach, challah, and a chocolate-pecan pie with a surprise crust).
In the meantime… the inspiration for this post came from a lovely simple salad I made yesterday. I was so impressed I wanted to share it with you right away. But then I realized this would be the second post in a row that I didn’t include a photo of the food! (Bad news for a food blogger). So, in honor of this American holiday which celebrates the harvest, brings together families, and honors the eater within us all, I thought I’d set up a little photo challenge!
Here’s how it works: I’ve posted ideas for 3 things to make with your Thanksgiving leftovers below. Try one (or two or three), snap a photo of it, and email a photo of your creation to jkelliottinfood (at) gmail.com. You have until 7pm (EST), Sunday, November 28 to do so. Alternatively, you can create your own leftovers creation, in which case you can email me a photo and a recipe. I’ll select the winning photos (and/or recipes) and post them late Sunday night.
(Alex just asked me what I’ll do if I don’t get any submissions. Truth be told, I don’t know. But I know you’ll have leftovers. And in the spirit of giving thanks, I would like to celebrate you, my readers, by thanking you for reading my blog by allowing for some interaction and creativity to flow from you. I’d love to see what you’re up to in your kitchens).
Here are the recipe ideas:
1. Green Bean Salad – Got some extra beans leftover that didn’t make it into the casserole? (My mom usually sautees her green beans with some red pepper and onion slices). Blanch them in boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Toss in a simple French vinaigrette (red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, ground mustard). Add other green veg that you might have lying around such as green peppers, green onions, or avocado.
2. Mashed Potato Pancakes – For 4 pancakes, combine 2 cups mashed potatoes with 1/3 cup flour. Crack in an egg and mix everything together. Form into patty-like cakes and pan fry in olive oil over medium-high heat until a nice, golden brown crust is achieved on both sides. Top with a fried egg and marinara sauce (or salsa), or leftover pieces of turkey. (P.S. I love mashed potato pancakes, but have always wondered if one could substitute sweet potatoes for mashed potatoes. Any sweet potato fries fans out there? See what you can come up with!)
3. Thanksgiving Sandwich – There used to be a dining facility at UVa where you could get Thanksgiving between two thick slices of wheat bread. This sandwich probably weighed about 5 pounds, but its filling – from what I can remember – contained turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, just layered on top of one another. If you love every thing about Thanksgiving, I challenge you to make it into a creative sandwich. What would you include? When you slice that sandwich in half, what does the cross section look like?
So there you have it. My challenge to you. I’m eager to see what else you’re up to. Remember to send your photos of leftovers creations to jkelliottinfood (at) gmail.com by 7pm (EST) Sunday, November 28.
Have a safe and happy holiday!