At the grocery store last week, were you tempted to buy that 20-pound turkey? It might have seemed right at the time, but the day after Thanksgiving you just might wish you'd have chosen a smaller one.
According to the National Turkey Federation, the average Thanksgiving turkey weighs 15 pounds. That's a lot of turkey to eat, especially when there are dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn pudding and green bean casserole at the holiday table.
If you have pounds of turkey left over, don't fret. Here are creative ways, from Dummies.com and Taste of Home, to use up that hefty bird. Simply shred or dice the cooked turkey and create:
Turkey omelet: Whip up an omelet and load the middle with turkey and your cheese of choice.
Burrito: Warm some tortillas and fold up turkey, rice, beans and cheese. Top with salsa and sour cream.
Sandwich: On multigrain bread, place turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce.
Stuffed potato: Bake a potato, stuff with lots of shredded cheese, steamed broccoli and turkey, and return to the oven until bubbling.
Turkey salad: Combine cooked turkey with curried mayonnaise, add diced celery and chopped parsley, and season to taste.
Caesar salad: Crown a salad with warm turkey and top with a Caesar dressing.
Curry: Sauté onion and garlic, then add curry spices, turkey and some canned tomatoes. Serve with rice and yogurt.
Turkey soup: You can boil the turkey bones to make a broth, add minced vegetables and turkey, and you have a hearty meal.
Turkey casserole: Throw chopped turkey into a casserole recipe, such as turkey tetrazzini or turkey and wild rice casserole.
Turkey pot pies: Combine broth, vegetables and leftover turkey in a pie pan or casserole dish, top with a baking mix crust, mashed potatoes or pastry crust, and bake.
Quiche: Instead of a pastry crust, press some stuffing into a pie plate to form a crust. Then add chopped cooked turkey and shredded Swiss for the meat and cheese called for in the recipe, and bake as directed.
Bean soup: Leftover dark meat from a smoked turkey gives great flavor when cooked with pinto, northern or lima beans.
Casserole: Combine leftover turkey, gravy and dressing. Put it in a greased baking pan and bake at 350 degrees until golden.
BBQ turkey: Place leftover turkey in a slow cooker and add some minced garlic, barbecue sauce and a dash of hot sauce. When it's heated through, serve the meat on warmed hamburger buns.
Holiday salad wraps
6 flour tortillas (organic garden herb)
4 cups leftover turkey, shredded
1 cup corn niblets (canned)
1 cup cooked peas
1 cooked carrot, chopped into cubes
1 to 2 stalks celery, chopped
1⁄3 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper
Warm each tortilla to soften, then set aside. In large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix. Season with salt and pepper to desired taste. Fill center of each tortilla and roll into a wrap.
To serve as an appetizer, roll each wrap tightly and carefully cut into 4 to 5 pieces with a long, sharp knife. Makes 6 servings.
From Tumaro's Gourmet Tortillas
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
11/2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
11/2 teaspoons minced fresh savory or thyme
2 cups finely chopped cooked turkey
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup mashed potatoes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
11/2 cups finely ground fresh bread crumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
Cranberry sauce, for serving
Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir in sage and savory or thyme, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in turkey and cream, and cook until liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 15 minutes. Add potatoes, flour and egg to turkey, and season with salt and pepper. Drop 2 tablespoons turkey mixture into a shallow bowl of bread crumbs, turn to coat, and pat into 2-inch disks. Arrange in single layer on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Heat 1/4 inch oil in a skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, cook croquettes in single layer until golden brown, about 2 minutes a side. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately with cranberry sauce. Makes 20.
From Martha Stewart
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (or 5½ cups leftover mashed potatoes)
11/4 cups chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup butter, cubed
6 cups unseasoned stuffing cubes
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 cup chicken broth
4 cups cubed cooked turkey
2 cans (103/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup sour cream, divided
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
11/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Place potatoes in Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, in large skillet, sauté celery and onion in butter until tender. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine stuffing cubes, poultry seasoning and sage. Stir in broth and celery mixture.
Transfer to greased 13- by 9-inch baking dish. In another large bowl, combine turkey, soup, garlic powder and 1/4 cup sour cream; spoon over stuffing mixture.
Drain potatoes; mash in a large bowl. Beat in cream cheese, pepper, salt and remaining sour cream; spread over turkey mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through. Makes 8 servings.