Thanksgiving Quesadillas

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Still have leftovers taking up precious space in your fridge? I know my fridge is bursting to the seams since we made a full Thanksgiving dinner for just two of us. So lots of leftovers, and some complaints from the peanut gallery that they need something other than Thanksgiving food.

Enter quesadillas. Now, I am a #1 fan of the Thanksgiving sandwich, and you definitely need to make sure to eat one to several of those in the days after Thanksgiving. But this quesadilla is a nice way to mix up the traditional Thanksgiving flavors to make it feel like you are eating something different. You can also mix and match what you want to put inside the quesadillas for any picky eaters complaining about the leftovers…

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THANKSGIVING QUESADILLAS

INGREDIENTS

Leftover turkey (dark meat reigns supreme here)
Cranberry sauce*
Pepper jack cheese, shredded
Chopped onion
Salsa*
Gravy
Tortillas
Butter

DIRECTIONS

Place desired amounts of turkey, cranberry sauce, pepper jack cheese, onion, and salsa on on tortilla. Season with salt and pepper (especially the turkey).

Heat pan to medium heat. Melt butter and rotate pan to coat. Place tortilla with filling down and top with another tortilla on top. Press down. Cook until golden brown, for approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook until cheese is melted and tortilla is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Slice quesadilla and top with gravy and additional salsa.

*Use the well gelled sections/whole cranberries from your cranberry sauce. If you use cranberry sauce that is too runny, your tortillas can get soggy. Same for salsa, chunkier salsa works better in this.

Thanksgiving Nachos

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Most people know exactly what they are going to make for their Thanksgiving meal. There are the must-haves of turkey, stuffing, and cranberries, and people have their own traditional or family recipes to include too. So why bother sharing more recipes for the day-of when likely 1) you literally can’t add any more dishes because of time, dishes, and space or 2) you have traditions to follow. But if that’s what you need you can look here.

Instead lets focus on leftovers. Now, the main Thanksgiving meal is great and wonderful. But leftovers are really where it’s at. The days after Thanksgiving are full of some of the best turkey sandwiches ever. But let me tempt you to try using your leftovers a new way: on nachos.

If you love to combine all your Thanksgiving food on your plate, this is for you. These nachos do just that but add a crunchy, salty tortilla chip and some salty cheese on top.

Now I do not advocate nachos and no turkey sandwiches, but think about these nachos when you are tired of eating your leftovers the same way day after day.

THANKSGIVING NACHOS
From Cinnamon Freud

INGREDIENTS:

Tortilla chips
Cojita cheese, crumbled
Turkey, shredded
Cranberry sauce
Stuffing, optional
Gravy, warmed

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350.

Line baking sheet with tortilla chips. Top with turkey, cheese, and stuffing. Cook in oven for 3-8 minutes, until warmed and browned. Drizzle cranberry sauce and gravy on top.

Turkey, Apple, Almond Butter Sandwich

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These days have been some great ones recently.

I have forbidden myself from doing any work, so I have gotten in some good relaxation time.  And on top of that, I have been in hog heaven (or turkey heaven?) with all of my Thanksgiving leftovers.  Turkeys need to be roasted more often just for the sake of leftovers.

If you are looking for some ways to use up your leftovers, you have come to the right place.  I have been doing some experimentation with my leftovers, but I always find myself gravitating back toward the sandwich.  There are so many possibilities with sandwiches.

Stuffing? Sandwich.  Cranberry sauce? Sandwich.  Green bean casserole? Sandwich. If you have a question about what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers, the answer should always be: put it on a sandwich.  So many choices, yet leftovers always seem to run out before I can get to make all my concoctions.

If you are looking for a sandwich that uses turkey but with a less Thanksgiving twist, here is a great sandwich for you.  You get juicy turkey, crisp apples, melty cheese, and rich almond butter.  It is wonderful.

TURKEY, APPLE, ALMOND BUTTER SANDWICH
Adapted from Bev Cooks

INGREDIENTS

4 slices multigrain bread
1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
Turkey
Salt and pepper
Almond butter
Sliced cheddar cheese, optional

DIRECTIONS

Preheat broiler.

Spread almond butter on all slices of bread. Layer turkey on two pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Top with apple slices and cheddar cheese.  Broil until warmed through and cheese is melted, about 3-6 minutes.

Makes 2 sandwiches.

Turkey Sliders with Mustard Poppy Seed Sauce

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Are you still full?

I hope not because you need to start making room in your stomach for all of those left overs you (hopefully) have.  Having leftovers after Thanksgiving is like having another holiday celebration right after- I love them.

I love the classic turkey sandwich with turkey, maybe a little mayo, stuffing, and cranberry sauce.  I will be definitely having a few of those, but I have so many ideas for leftover recipes that I may need to roast another turkey (just FYI mom).

These turkey sliders are a great way to use up your leftover turkey.  I made these back at my Half Christmas celebration in June- they are also great party food for people.  Take your turkey & gravy, stick it on a slider roll, top with a mustard poppy seed sauce, and bake away.  Delicious.

If in the past few weeks it hasn’t been obvious, I love Thanksgiving.  And Christmas as well, so prepare yourself for the next month.  For anyone who sees me in person, there is a 99% chance I will have some baked good to pass along.

TURKEY SLIDERS WITH MUSTARD POPPY SEED SAUCE
Adapted from Perfecting the Pairing

INGREDIENTS

12 Hawaiian dinner rolls
Shredded turkey
Gravy, optional
Salt and pepper
Provolone cheese, sliced
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Slice rolls in half.  Combine turkey and gravy if desired.  Season with salt and pepper.  Divide turkey filling between bottom buns.  Top with provolone cheese and transfer to rimmed baking pan.  Place top bun on top.

In a small bowl mix together melted butter, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.  Pour and brush sauce on top of rolls.  Sprinkle poppy seeds on top.  Bake until cheese is melted and turkey is warmed through, about 10 minutes.

Makes 12 sliders.

Turkey, Pickle, and Almond Butter Sandwich

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First things first: No pregnancy here.  I feel like any strange food combo that includes pickles needs this disclaimer.  I still don’t know how to interact with children and lack any real motivation to learn how. But for those of you who are pregnant, forget pickles and ice cream.  Nut butter and pickles is where it is all at.

Yeah, you are probably making a face at this combination, but I promise the sweet and salty pickles works so well with the creamy peanut butter. Crunchy, creamy, and wonderful. I made my sandwich with my dad’s home-smoked turkey, and I loved the extra smokey flavor with the toppings.  G

You know what this sandwich also goes great with?  Watching The Newsroom.  Great transition, right? I should be a newscaster.

I love Aaron Sorkin’s writing and fast talking shows (Gilmore Girls, anyone?), but I only just started watching The Newsroom yet.  And a few days later, I have seen all episodes.  And am sad that my cable does not include HBO.  And I am 50% considering making a career change to be a journalist.  But that’ll change as soon as I watch a Law and Order episode on Netflix.  Then I will want to be a lawyer.

So to sum up this post: Make this sandwich and go watch The Newsroom.  I promise I do more than eat and watch TV.  Those are just my two most important activities.

Good night and good luck.

TURKEY, PICKLE, AND ALMOND BUTTER SANDWICH
Inspired by Joy the Baker

INGREDIENTS

Roast turkey
Almond butter (or any nut butter)
Pickles slices
Bread (sliced seed bread works best)

DIRECTIONS

Toast bread.  Spread almond butter on both sides.  Top with turkey and pickle slices.

French Toast Monte Cristo

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas.  We have a few days to recuperate (and shop some more sales) before New Year’s Eve.  For our Christmas celebrations, we had our traditional dinner of Singapore Noodles, ham & sausage, and dumplings at my aunt and uncle’s house.  We then came back home with full bellys and rested up a little bit for the big day.  And then on Christmas Day we made our traditional Sausage Cups for brunch/lunch (look out for the recipe soon, they would work great for a New Year’s Eve party).

We have no set tradition for Christmas dinner, having tried many different variations of roasted chicken, turkey dinner, and more.  This year I wanted to try a new food tradition for dinner: a Monte Cristo.  For those of you who have not been lucky to enough to have eaten a Monte Cristo, it is a turkey, ham, and Swiss sandwich that is then completely deep fried.  It is then sprinkled with powdered sugar and served wit raspberry preserves.  It is glorious, my friends.

Well you may have noticed that the picture of my sandwich is not deep fried.  Well, we had some deep frying issues.  I had a good batter and hot oil, but when I dipped my bread in the batter, it became soggy, and it was difficult to completely cover the sandwich, meaning oil soaked in during frying.  The sandwiches we got tasted good, but the oil lurking inside was likely to give us a holiday stomach ache   Not fun, especially when we had so many desserts waiting to be eaten.  Instead, we had a Monte Cristo alternative: Challah French toast with griddled turkey/ham and melted Swiss in between.  Topped with powdered sugar and maple syrup, with raspberry preserves on the side.  Yes, my friends, make this.

A short disclaimer: this sandwich will in no way help you take revenge on people who caused you to be falsely imprisoned.

FRENCH TOAST MONTE CRISTO
From Cinnamon Freud
INGREDIENTS

6 slices Challah bread
3 eggs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
6-8 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Nonstick Spray
Roasted Turkey and/or Ham, thinly sliced
Swiss cheese, grated
Powdered sugar
Maple Syrup
Raspberry preserves

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk sugar, vanilla, and salt together.  Heat a griddle over medium high heat.  Spray with nonstick spray.  On one side, layer you lunch meat of choice and top with a slice of Swiss cheese.  Cook for 2-5 minutes, covering with lid if needed, until cheese begins to melt.

Quickly dip two slices of challah bread into the egg mixture.  On the other side of the griddle*, cook the bread for 1-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.  Transfer meat and cheese onto one slice of your French toast.  Place the other French toast on top and slightly compress together.  Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to broiler if you need to melt cheese further.  Repeat for the remaining two sandwiches, spraying the pan with nonstick spray in between.

Top with sprinkling of powdered sugar.  Dip into maple syrup or raspberry preserves.  Sandwich can be eaten by hand or with knife and fork, depending on the amount of toppings.

Makes 3 sandwiches.

*You can make all three sandwiches at once if you have a large enough griddle.  If you do not have a griddle pan large enough to cook both the meat and French toast, you can use two separate pans to cook each at the same time.

Turkey Schwarama

No, I have never heard of turkey schwarama either.  But now that November has hit, I officially have turkey brain.  I am so ready for Thanksgiving.  Not only am I in desperate need of a few days of vacation, I am excited to get back in a big kitchen and cook up a wonderful meal with my mom.  And, of course, I do plan to enjoy devoring the food as well.

This schwarama is delicious with turkey, but I promise you any poultry will taste good when marinated in this Middle Eastern spiced yogurt sauce.  The meat stays moist, and the spices all combine to form a complex, lovely flavor.

Once you have the meat cooked, you have many options.  You can wrap it in a pita and slather with a garlic yogurt sauce, you can eat on skewers, or you can eat over couscous.  Any way you eat it, please do me and yourself a favor and incorporate pickles.  The salty sweet crunch of pickles works so well with this meal.

For all of you who can’t wait for Thanksgiving like me or are in the process of planning your meal, feel free to check out my Turkey and Thanksgiving labels. And look out for recipes coming later this month!

TURKEY SCHWARAMA
Adapted from Nutmeg Nanny
INGREDIENTS

For the Turkey:
16 ounces turkey breast
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon ground all spice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

For the Couscous:
1 cup dried Israeli couscous
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon olive oil
5-6 cloves garlic, sliced
4 scallions, chopped
2 ounces sweet pickles, chopped

DIRECTIONS

For the Turkey:

Cut turkey into individual servings, about 4-5 pieces.  Pound to even thickness if needed.  Place in single layer in a baking pan. In a bowl mix together Greek yogurt, red wine vinegar, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, all spice, cloves, paprika, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Spread yogurt mixture over turkey.  Toss to combine.  Marinate for at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Oil a large baking sheet.

Remove turkey from marindate, scraping off any excess.  Arrange chicken in single layer on baking sheet.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top.  Bake for 45-60 minutes, until turkey is done.  Transfer to cutting board and slice thinly.  Transfer back to baking pan to soak up any juices.

For the Couscous:

In a small saucepan combine Israeli couscous and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.  Cover and let simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 1 minutes.

In a small skillet heat olive oil.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.  Add couscous, scallions, and pickles and toss.  Serve turkey on top of couscous.  Drizzle with additional red wine vinegar if desired.

Serves 3-4.

On an unrelated food note, I actually won something!  I won a giveaway from Fair Trade USA at A Dash of Sass.  I got some great stuff, and I am ready to eat and cook with the new ingredients.  Check out A Dash of Sass’s blog for some great recipes too!

Thanksgiving Wraps

 

What do you do when you are missing home and feeling a little lonely on a Sunday?  And it just so happens that this occurs when you find fresh cranberries in the grocery store for the first time in the season.  You make some kind of Thanksgiving comfort food.

This is an easier, faster version of Thanksgiving on top of a tortilla (and it won’t leave you in a food coma after eating).  While very similar to my Thanksiladas, I hold the belief that one can never have too many Thanksgiving-themed recipes.  You may look over this recipe and think to yourself “This seems a lot like a turkey sandwich but on a tortilla instead of bread.  Did she just not have bread!?”.  And that would be correct.  Since I live alone, buying a loaf of bread is a waste since it always gets moldy before I can finish it.  But I promise you this recipe still provides some great shortcuts to making a Thanksgiving meal when it’s not Thanksgiving.

These are a cinch to whip up and each bite tastes like a mini-Thanksgiving meal in your mouth. These were the perfect remedy to some of my homesickness.  Eaten while watching people kill zombies left me feeling a little more cheerful.

THANKSGIVING TACOS
From Cinnamon Freud
 
INGREDIENTS

2 cups fresh cranberries, chopped
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon butter
4 stalks celery, chopped
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
4 scallions, chopped
8 ounces turkey, chopped
8 corn tortillas
Butter, for tortillas
Mayo
Optional toppings: Stuffing, toasted pecans

DIRECTIONS

In a small saucepan, heat cranberries over medium heat until softened, about 6-8 minutes.  Remove from heat and immediately stir in granulated sugar.  Set aside.

In a saucepan, melt better.  Add celery and season with salt and poultry seasoning.  Cook until softened but still retaining some bite, about 5-6 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in scallions.

Spread butter light onto tortillas.  Heat large skillet over medium high heat.  Cook tortillas for about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.  Spread a little mayo on each tortilla. Top tortillas with turkey, cranberries, and celery mixture.  Top with stuffing and toasted pecans if desire.

Makes 8 tacos, Serves 2-4.