What to do with Turkey-Day Left Overs

What are your Day After Thanksgiving traditions? When we traveled for Thanksgiving, it was spending time with family. Now that travel doesn’t involve nearly the distance it once did, we Deck The Halls.

I don’t know about you, but I find that if I don’t put up the tree and set up my villages and fill my home with Santas galore, it’s easy to skip the decorating frenzy all together. The closer it gets to Christmas, the more I realize decorating is a lot of work for such a short time. I know some families like to put off the tree trimming until Christmas Eve. I like that idea because it’s nice to see the smiling faces of children on Christmas Morning with the tree all festive and gifts from Santa just waiting.

Silver Tip TreeGrowing up, it was always the day after Thanksgiving. That’s when the tree lots would open. My father made finding the right tree a mission. Even after he got his tree home, he would rearrange the branches. I kid you not. He would either get extra branches from the lot or cut the lower branches, drill holes in the trunk where there were empty spots and fill them in. It was always a Silver Tip and decorating the tree was an all-day project. First the lights, then all the glass ornaments, and the final touches were those darn foil icicles. Dad would take them from their box, smooth them out and place one icicle at a time on the branches of the tree. He would then step back, look, take measurements, then place the next one. It drove us nuts. One side of the tree, the one facing out, was Dad’s creation. The back side belonged to his not so precise children. It was filled with school-project ornaments made from egg carton cutouts and giant clumps of tinsel on the lower branches. The only time I see those strands of foil these days is at antique shops and street fairs. What use to cost 25-cents a box can run you twenty dollars. Who out there is going to spend that kind of money on disposable tree decorations? And there’s not much point to having something if all you are going to do is look at it in its box.

While we might not take an entire day to decorate a tree, we still work up an appetite. So why not put those Thanksgiving left overs to better use than turkey sandwiches?

The Day After Thanksgiving
Black Bean Turkey Enchiladas
Ancho Chile Stuffing Casserole
Avocado Corn Salad

Sweet Endings
Lemon Cream Margarita Pie

Lemon Margarita Pie

Black Bean Turkey Enchiladas
3 1/2 cups cooked Turkey
1 small Onion
1-1/2 cups frozen Corn
15 oz Whole Black Beans
14.5 oz Rotel Fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon Taco Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin
1/8 teaspoon White pepper
8 oz Cream Cheese, cubed
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
2 cans (4 oz each) Hatch Green Chilies
1/4 cup Salsa
14 (8- inch) Corn Tortilla, warmed
2 cans (10 oz each) Red Enchilada Sauce
1/2 cup Cilantro, minced
3/4 cup Crema Mexicana or Sour Cream

Heat oven to 375.

Dice cooked turkey into small pieces and set aside. Peel and finely dice the onion. Set aside.

Place corn in a fine mesh sieve. Rinse under cold water to thaw. Set aside to drain over a bowl.

Drain and rinse black beans well. Set aside. Drain the tomatoes and set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat turkey, onion. Season with taco seasoning, cumin, and white pepper. Stir and heat over medium heat for about 7 minutes, until onions are tender and turkey is heated through. While the turkey heats, cube the cream cheese.

Once the turkey mixture is heated through, stir in cream cheese and 1/2 cup Mexican cheese blend until melted. Stir in beans, corn, tomatoes, chilies and salsa. Set aside.

Gently warm the tortillas in a flat skillet to make rolling easier.

Place 1/2 cup turkey mixture off center on each tortilla. Roll up and place in two 13-inch by 9-inch baking dishes coated with cooking spray, seam side down. Top with enchilada sauce; sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake casseroles, uncovered, 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve with crema on the side.

Ancho Chile Stuffing Casserole
1 Dried Ancho Chile
Boiling Water
2 Tablespoons Butter
½ Cup Onion, chopped
3/4 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
3 Cups Bread Stuffing

 Place the chile pepper in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and let set for 5 or 10 minutes, until the pepper softened. Remove from the water, stem and chop into small pieces.

While the chile pepper is soaking, heat butter in a small skillet over low heat. Chop the onion and bell pepper. Add to the skillet and cook until tender.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the left-over stuffing with the chile pepper, onion and bell pepper. If the stuffing appears dry, moisten with some of the water that the pepper was soaked in.

Spray a 9-inch square casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread the stuffing out in the dish. Bake uncovered in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until heated through. The stuffing can bake along side one of the enchilada casserole dishes.

Avocado Corn Salad
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, lime juice, and cumin. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Set aside.

1/3 cup Corn, frozen
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 small Cucumber, sliced into half moons
1 Jalepeño, minced (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro
3 Avocados, cubed

Place frozen corn in a sieve. Rinse under cold water to thaw. Set aside and let drain.

Cut tomatoes in half. Set aside.

Peel cucumber, trim ends. Cut in half lengthwise, then slice into half-moon shapes. Set aside.

Remove stem and mince Jalepeño. Set aside.

Chop cilantro leaves for garnish, set aside.

Peel and cube the avocado.

In a large serving bowl, combine avocados, tomatoes, cucumber, corn, jalapeño, and cilantro. Gently toss with dressing and serve immediately.

Lemon Cream Margarita Pie
1 Pie Crust, refrigerated
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Tequila
1/4 cup Triple Sec
2 cups Heavy Cream
Orange Zest for garnish
Lemon Zest for garnish

To Make the Crust: Let pie crust come to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Unroll the pie dough, gently lift into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Press up the sides and crimp or flute if desired. Return pie crust to the refrigerator and let chill well.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Once the oven has reached temperature, remove pie crust from the refrigerator. Prick bottom and sides with a fork. Weigh down the crust with either pie weights or by lining with parchment paper and filling with dry beans.

Bake pie crust in the heated oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven, let cook 10 minutes before removing weights. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 30 minutes.

To Make the Filling: In medium bowl, mix condensed milk, lemon peel, lemon juice Tequila and Triple Sec; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand-up mixer, beat heavy cream with whip attachment on high speed until cream is stiff.

Gently fold lemon mixture into whipped cream just until blended. Spoon into crust. Cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours until set.

Garnish with orange or lemon peel.

If desired, before serving, place in freezer about 30 minutes to make the pie easier to cut.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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