Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving part two: Project leftovers

I had an idea that I'd spend this week doing a series of posts on creative ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers.  Maybe some kind of turkey soup, bread made with leftover cranberries, or baked mashed potato patties.

But we didn't really have a lot of leftovers.  Well, we had a lot of turkey.  But it was so good the way it was that we've just been eating it.  We didn't have many leftover veggies, and we didn't serve potatoes or cranberries to begin with.

Maybe next year I'll have more fun with leftovers.

I did do a few things, though.  First, I sliced and froze extra turkey.  Done.

Second, I used the turkey bones to make [a lot of] turkey stock.  Since my last stock-making project was not totally successful, this time I consulted Mark Bittman.  He suggested that I roast some veggies first (and said not to bother peeling the onions because we'll just strain the whole thing later--woohoo!) and add some dried mushrooms (which I happened to have).  Apparently both of these steps add "depth" to the stock.  Honestly, there were so many turkey bones and the turkey was so flavorful that the stock might have been fine without the extras, but the stock I ended up with certainly is delicious!  And I probably have at least a gallon and a half.  So some of that will be going into the freezer as well.

Third, I made Stuffin Muffins!  I accidentally made about three times more stuffing than we needed for the turkey, and I ended up with two quart-sized zip-locks in the fridge full of uncooked stuffing.  I baked two batches in cake pans and made the rest into Stuffin Muffins!  This is actually a trick I learned from Alyson, my former housemate who brought that amazing-looking pie on Thursday.

It's really easy.  I packed stuffing into muffin tins and added a little broth.  Then I baked them at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, declaring them done when they were brown and crispy on the tops and sides.  I ended up with 32 of them, so I froze most of them.  They seem to have frozen well and it will be easy to just grab one or two out of the bag when we want them!  I imagine this would also work well with mashed potatoes.

So basically, this [post-]Thanksgiving, I was grateful for my freezer.

How did you use your Thanksgiving leftovers?


Richard said...

Good idea with the muffins! We ended up with about a 1/2 gallon of broth from the turkey which we froze and will use at Christmas for stuffing. Otherwise, leftovers have been lunches this week.

Nice vegies picture!

Tía Elena said...

I love this muffin idea though I can't even imagine the concept of uneaten stuffing. I thought that was the whole point to Thanksgiving - are we giving thanks for being able to eat delicious stuffing?