Lovin’ Turkey Leftovers
October 23rd, 2012

turkey1Buy a big Thanksgiving turkey this year because you will want plenty of leftovers to make these tasty post-holiday recipes. Be sure to make extra mashed potatoes for the yummy Turkey Casserole, too.

From hearty salads to easy turnovers and a simple casserole, there are plenty of delicious ways to finish off turkey leftovers, and keep the flavors of the holidays going.

Talking Turkey
Is it dangerous to roast a turkey in a disposable aluminum pan?
The danger is from getting burned while removing a flimsy disposable aluminum pan full of hot turkey from a hot oven. Unless handled carefully, the pan could buckle under the weight of the turkey, sending everything smashing to the floor.

How often should a turkey be basted?
Basting does not produce moisture or otherwise improve the flavor of the interior turkey, so frequency is a personal choice. Basting produces a golden brown, crispy skin.

Why is turkey meat (and chicken) sometimes pink close to the bone, even when it is fully cooked to 165 degrees or higher?
Young turkeys and chickens have immature porous bones, which may allow red pigmentation to leach into the meat. If the bird is fully cooked —165 degrees and juices run clear—and meat around the bones is still pink, it is not unsafe to eat.

Is it safe to stuff the turkey the night before?
No. It is a dangerous practice. Harmful bacteria can multiply in the stuffing and cause food poisoning even when the stuffed bird is refrigerated. The ingredients for the stuffing can be prepared in advance and refrigerated separately. To save time, chop vegetables such as onions and celery the night before.

Once turkey is safely cooked, does it matter how long you leave it out?
It is not a good idea to leave leftovers out for more than two hours. They will be safer and taste better if you refrigerate them as soon as possible and reheat thoroughly to 165 degrees or until steaming hot. Remove stuffing from the cavity, cut turkey off the bone and refrigerate or freeze all leftovers.

Turkey Casserole
Source: For more great ways to love your leftovers, visit http://www.hellmanns.com.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups leftover prepared stuffing, divided
  • 4 cups (about 1 pound) coarsely chopped leftover cooked turkey
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise, divided
  • ¼ cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1½ cups (about 6 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup celery, thinly sliced

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray an 8-inch baking dish with no-stick cooking spray. Spoon 2 cups ofstuffing into the baking dish and top with turkey.
  • Combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise with the cranberry sauce and spread evenly over turkey. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup mayonnaise, potatoes and cheese in a large bowl. Evenly spread this on top of the cranberry and mayonnaise mixture. Top it all with celery and the remaining 2 cups of stuffing.
  • Bake 40 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with dried cranberries.

Serves 6

Blushing Cranberry and Pear Turkey Salad
Ingredients:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup whole-berry cranberry sauce or cranberry relish
  • 4 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves or mixed salad greens
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, diced
  • 1 medium pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced

Directions:

  • In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise and cranberry sauce, then set aside. In a large bowl, combine romaine, spinach and turkey. Just before serving, toss with the mayonnaise mixture. Top with pear slices, pecans and onion. Garnish, if desired, with dried cranberries.

Serves 4

Turkey Turnovers
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked turkey, shredded
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces), shredded
  • 1 cup cooked broccoli, chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 8-ounce packages refrigerated crescent rolls

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine all of the ingredients except the crescent rolls in a large bowl.
  • Separate each package of crescent rolls into four squares; press diagonal perforations to seal.
  • Spoon the turkey filling onto the center of each square. Fold the dough diagonally over filling to form triangles and press edges firmly to seal.
  • Arrange the turnovers on a baking sheet and brush the tops lightly with additional mayonnaise.
  • Bake 12 minutes or until the turnovers are golden. Serve warm.

Serves 8

Turkey Fiesta Salad
Ingredients:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 6 cups romaine lettuce, torn
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, diced
  • 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained
  • ¾ cup tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup pitted ripe olives, sliced and drained
  • ½ cup green onions, sliced

Tortilla chips

Directions:

  • Combine the mayonnaise and salsa in a small bowl and set aside. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Just before serving, toss with the mayonnaise mixture.
  • Serve tortilla chips.

Serves 4