10 Chefs' Thanksgiving Day Leftovers (Slideshow)
November 27, 2013
Continue to cook like a pro even after Thanksgiving
Pumpkin-Sage Cheese Grits
Elizabeth Karmel is the executive chef of New York City and Washington, D.C.’s Hill Country Barbecue Market, Hill Country Chicken, and the soon-to-be opened Hill Country Barbecue Market Brooklyn 9. A master of the grill, Karmel also knows how to expertly craft soulful dishes using humble Thanksgiving leftovers. She recommends using leftover ingredients to create a delicious breakfast for guests the next morning.
Click here for the Pumpkin-Sage Cheese Grits Recipe
Turkey à la King
John "Blue" Avila was born into the barbecue business, as the first grandson of Texas food legends A.C. and Mary Saenz of A.C. Saenz Tamales & BBQ. Avila was previously the pitmaster at the world-famous Franklin's Barbecue in Austin and is now working as executive chef at Morgan’s in New York. He handles a number of turkey items on their grill, including turkey tails and slow-oak-smoked turkey.
"Now, a lot of old-timers would muster up all of the leftover meat from the turkey and make turkey à la king, which is a true Southern dish," said chef Avila. "One of the components is pimento as well, which is very popular right now on the scene. My grandpa loved Thanksgiving Day with the family but I always saw a sparkle in his eye knowing he was just a day away from making his family famous turkey à la king. This is a simple comfort food recipe that is easy to make."
Butternut Spice Cupcakes
"One of my favorite simple Thanksgiving dishes is roasted butternut squash served with a touch of cinnamon, butter, and maple syrup — it's a lot more interesting than predictable sweet potatoes," says cupcake maven Allison Robicelli. "The following day, you can mash up the leftovers and use them in our recipe for butternut spice cupcakes. Though, of course, if you're too tired to go through the whole cupcake-decorating process, you can just divide the cake batter between two loaf pans and bake for about 35-40 minutes. A nice slice of butternut loaf cake is just divine when it's lightly toasted in butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar!"
Click here for the Butternut Spice Cupcakes Recipe
Mashed Potato Soup with Wasabi and Chives
Acclaimed chef Masaharu Morimoto, perhaps best known as the star of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America, is known throughout the world for his seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients and techniques. This Thanksgiving, he has some great tips and recipes for how to utilize your leftover ingredients to create a delicious, next-day dish: "Use your leftover ingredients and incorporate unique and interesting additions to make the dish seem exciting and new," says chef Morimoto. For his leftover recipe, he recommends mashed potato soup with wasabi and chives. This dish uses the leftover potatoes that you already have for Thanksgiving dinner, and incorporates new, Asian ingredients to keep guests excited about the dish.
Turkey Enchiladas Suisas
Chef Joe Quintana from Rosa Mexicano suggests spicing up all that leftover turkey with a Mexican twist. Whether adding it to a smoky soup or folding it into enchiladas in a creamy Suizas sauce, Quintana likes to incorporate flavors like tomatillo and chile to enhance the beloved bird, once the cranberry sauce has run dry. As for entertaining the guests, chef Quintana notes that "Most folks arrive at a dinner party with their appetite already intact, so [it's] best to have something waiting for them to snack on. If you're serving one of our Mexican turkey leftover recipes, I'd suggest starting with an appetizer, like our guacamole with roasted pears and apples, which offers a bite that's both authentic and seasonal."
Click here for the Turkey Enchiladas Suisas Recipe
Thanksgiving Turkey BLT Sandwiches with Sriracha Mayo
"After all of the heavy eating on Thanksgiving Day, it is normal to feel full for the remaining week. But, with a bounty of leftovers, it is the perfect opportunity to feed your friends and keep the Thanksgiving entertainment going. I like to make my friends delicious Turkey BLTs with Sriracha mayo. It is a great way to use my leftover turkey. The sandwiches aren't too heavy, so there are no flashbacks of too much stuffing and pumpkin pie." — Spike Mendelsohn
Click here for the Thanksgiving Turkey BLT Sandwiches with Sriracha Mayo Recipe
Thanksgiving Leftovers Pizza
Using high-quality ingredients and traditional techniques, Krescendo has been Brooklyn’s destination for updated versions of classic Italian dishes since opening in the borough in the late fall 2012. The menu highlights the artisan recipes of Naples, Sicily, and Southern Italy, including wood-fired pizza.
Click here for the Thanksgiving Leftovers Pizza
Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
This recipe is from Kelsey Nixon, host of Kelsey's Essentials on the Cooking Channel. She says, "In my home, by the time we get to pie on turkey day everyone is usually stuffed, guaranteeing that there will always be a few leftover slices. I like the pop the extra pie slices into the freezer prepping them for quite the recipe makeover. My tried-and-true method for turning leftover pie into rich flavorful milkshakes can't be beat. All it takes is tossing a frozen pie slice, whole milk, and ice cream into a heavy-duty blender and whizzing away. In minutes you've got a new decadent dessert that can be served in chilled shot glasses at a party if you're entertaining, or save more for yourself and fill up a nice tall frosty glass and top it off with pie crust crumbs or crumbled gingersnap cookies.
Click here for the Pumpkin Pie Milkshake Recipe
Tim Wildin is the brand director for ShopHouse. He likes to use his Thanksgiving leftovers to create a Thai alternative to the turkey sandwich: "My dad (American) would always make fun of my mom (Thai) and I because he'd say we would make Thai food from leftovers of the most American meal of the year. We'd shred the leftover turkey, mince it really finely, and make 'laab' (a Thai minced meat salad, for lack of a better term) with it. Much better than a turkey sandwich!"
Click here for the Turkey Laab Recipe
Willie Degel’s Leftover Cauliflower Soup
Willie Degel is the owner of Uncle Jack’s Steakhouses and host of Food Network’s Restaurant Stakeout His tips for Thanksgiving: "You always got to think ahead! When I make my mac and cheese for Thanksgiving, I bake them in a muffin tray so you can have a bunch of little individual-sized portions. That way when there are leftovers you just pop the tray back in the oven to reheat and you can serve them as an appetizer at a potluck or party days later. Who doesn’t like a muffin sized mac and cheese? I do this with stuffing, too! We also always make creamed cauliflower for Thanksgiving. Most people make a more traditional turkey soup with their leftovers but I like to make a creamier version with the leftover creamed cauliflower and turkey."
Click here for the Leftover Cauliflower Soup Recipe