Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fun With Leftovers

I sent four family members home with care packages on Thursday night. By Saturday night Kevin and I had consumed whatever was left of the turkey, stuffing, green beans, and corn pudding.

By Sunday I still had about two pounds of pecan sweet potatoes, a couple of cups of gravy, and a couple of cups of cranberry sauce sitting in my fridge. What was I supposed to do with it all? I wracked my brains to come up with some ways to put this stuff to use. The answers eventually came to me.

I bought two pork tenderloins, seasoned them and browned them. I brushed them liberally with leftover cranberry sauce and finished them in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes. I deglazed the pan with wine and more cranberry sauce and poured this over tenderloin slices. This is going to be my lunch for the week with sweet potatoes on the side.

There isn't much I can do with the sweet potatoes other than eat them as is until I'm sick of them. I thought about adding eggs and turning them into pie, but they have salt and cayenne in them. That's not really dessert material. If I don't finish them by the end of the week, I'll just have to chuck them.

After I made the tenderloin I worked on the rest of the leftovers. I had several slices of Italian bread going stale, so I soaked them in milk and gave them a whirl in the food processor. I took some leftover shallots from the freezer and cooked them till soft and added them to the bread mixture. I mixed ground turkey in with that (Yes, more turkey) and added some salt, pepper, and allspice. I rolled it up into meatballs and browned them in butter (because I always brown my meatballs first). When the meatballs were browned I added some sliced mushrooms to the pan. Once they had softened, I deglazed the pan with white wine and added the gloppy leftover gravy. I added more wine and lots of chicken broth until it had degloppified. I added allspice and nutmeg to the mixture and some heavy cream. The meatballs went back in to simmer. When it was all cooked through, they went on top of buttered noodles - et voila, I have bastardized Swedish meatballs yet again!

Well, that was fun! This Thanksgiving thing isn't so hard after all.

Of course I'm a little miffed that I didn't have more leftover turkey. If they had sent me the right size turkey to begin with, I might have made hot open turkey sandwiches with all that bread and gravy.

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