Written by Lynn Lieu – The Desert Sun
At this point in your holiday planning, you already know your what-to-give-thanks-for list, which cousin is going to sit at the children’s table this year and most importantly for the cook, your menu. Like the Thanksgivings past, you know how many Tupperware containers you’ll need to stash the leftovers.
One of the most beloved holiday traditions is the post-feast fridge raid. But that can get a little redundant — and waist-expanding.
Luckily, Chef Andre Carthen (a.k.a. the Fit Chef), Kathy Ireland Worldwide brand ambassador, invited me over to his home in the desert to show me some of his Thanksgiving day leftover preparations.
“It’s fun to think outside the box,” said Carthen.
Utilizing basic items from any Thanksgiving dinner, Carthen created four dishes: Cranberry Oatmeal Carrot Raisin Muffins, Turkey and Stuffing Cakes, Turkey Slider with Apple Carrot Cranberry Slaw, and Sweet Corn Chipotle Soup.
For something as simple as corn on a cob, Carthen wanted to try something new, creating a soup with peppers to add some spice.
“I took the corn and made a corn soup as opposed to just taking the corn off and using it in salads and things like that,” he said. “That’s fine, too, that’s really great.”
Instead of making the turkey sandwich everyone thinks of when it comes to Thanksgiving leftovers, the che
f created something that is a bit healthier and a bit more practical.
“Turkey sliders are great for the football crowd. You’re going to have people watching football that day anyway but the next day as opposed to making sandwiches, because I’m all about being the fit chef and portion control, smaller portions are great, although we’re adding carbs with the bread, it’s still better to do smaller portions,” the chef explains. “And they’re great for little hands.”
And if your crowd isn’t into stuffing the first night, transform it into something to entertain the folks spending the night. Carthen has created turkey and stuffing cakes that go well for breakfast or brunch.
“Stuffing, have fun with it,” he said. “I use it here as a breakfast item, kind of like a hash brown so we can do that with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce or just scrambled eggs or just as a side for your breakfast, also great for brunches during the holiday.”
For those looking to form their own leftover creations, chef has a few pointers to avoid or re-purpose dry turkey and stuffing.
“I always love the fact that they never tell you what happens when turkey dries out,” he jokes. “I learned that when I did a fish one night and it just didn’t come out right. It came out dry and I didn’t know what to do especially when you have people coming over you may get freaked out. Make a croquette. Now you’ve got something that’s creative. If you did a stuffing and it was dry, you can always add a little extra gravy to it. If the turkey’s dry, same thing.”
This year, be thankful for leftovers.
2 eggs beaten
½ cup vegetable oil
1½ cups sugar
¾ cup orange juice
1 cup chopped cranberries
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup chopped nuts
1½ cups flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1½ cups raisins
Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour muffin pan, or use paper liners. Sift together flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. Beat oil and sugar together until light. Add egg and beat until smooth. Add orange juice. In a large bowl mix sugar, cranberries, carrots and nuts; stir gently to combine. Add flour mixture and stir just until mixed. Fold in raisins. Divide evenly among 12 muffin cups. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Makes 24 large muffins
1½ cups leftover stuffing
½ cup leftover turkey, pulled apart
½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tbsp olive oil
Instructions: Place the turkey and stuffing in a large bowl, braking up any large pieces. Add the eggs and breadcrumbs and stir to combine, making sure all of the stuffing is evenly coated with the eggs. Scoop 1⁄3 of the stuffing mixture into your hands and shape into a patty, about 3-inches wide and ½-inch thick. Repeat to make 6 stuffing cakes. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the cakes, until golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining cakes. Loosely cover with foil to keep the cakes warm.
- This recipe came about when I was asked; What to do with Thanksgiving leftovers?
- fun for little hands
3 cups turkey meat, shredded
12 rolls, sliced open
1 apple, (Granny Smith) cored, not peeled, cut into matchsticks
1 cup carrots, shredded
2 tablespoons cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch black pepper
Instructions: To create the sauce: Whisk together oil, orange juice, honey, cranberry sauce, salt and pepper until combined. Add apples, carrots toss well. Put together your sliders by placing shredded turkey on one side of roll, place slaw on top. Top with other side.
Makes 12 sliders
- Give your corn a little kick with this creamy corn soup
6 cups sweet corn
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 medium potato, diced
1 cup cream
1 teaspoon chipotle, powder
1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
1 teaspoon pepper plus more to taste
Instructions: In a large pot heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, yellow bell pepper and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and pepper softens, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and chop potato. Add potato and water or broth to pot. Bring to a boil. Cook until onions and potatoes are very soft, about 10 minutes. Add corn. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Puree half the soup in an immersion blender or in a blender (do this in small batches to avoid splashes and burns). Return pureed mixture back to pot, add cream, chipotle powder and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.