November 5, 2009

COLD TURKEY ~ THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING CONUNDRUM


OKAY, LET'S TALK TURKEY!  After all, that time of year has crept up on us with stealth and a loud and blood curdling, "GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE!" 

 

First some Turkey tips from this Bird about Another:

1)  Try a kosher Turkey.  They are held to the strictest standards and are therefore of very high quality, are extremeley clean (cleaned and processed by people, not by machines in giant factories), and come already partially brined, and that means a nice juicy roast!

2)  If you're buying a regular or heirloom bird, be sure to brine it.   Heirlooms and free-range birds can be wonderful, but are often a little drier than regular turkeys.  Not sure where to put your bird while brining?  Try a small cooler.  It will keep it cool and won't take up valuable space in the fridge.  Alton Brown has a great brine recipe on FoodNetwork.com.

3)  Consider cooking your stuffing outside of the bird.  Not only is it safer (sparing you the potential for an uninvited guest of Salmonella at your Thanksgiving feast), but your bird will cook more quickly. 

4)  Invest in a good probe thermometer.  Those little plastic pop-up things are useless (and kinda creepy, don't you think?).  You can pick up a decent one for under $25.


So, you've made your turkey, survived the hubbub with the relatives and in-laws, stuffed yourself silly and have a refrigerator full of cold turkey carcass to show for it, right?  So that brings us to todays topic: 

COLD TURKEY ~ The Day After Thanksgiving Conondrum 
The question is, what to do with all that leftover turkey? 

Why not embrace the low pressure and slow pace that the day-after brings with a lazy late morning brunch?  Some chilled bubbly, orange juice and a splash of cranberry or pomegranate juice makes a wonderful holiday mimosa.  Pan fry some patties of left-over mashed potatoes and garnish with a dallop of sour cream and chopped chives for an easy side!  Set out a tray of our quick, easy and delicious "Cold Turkey" sandwiches (Cranberry Walnut Djon on Brioche or Turkey Tea Sandwiches) and you have the makings of a very lovely wind-down from the big Wing-a-ding-ding. 

 
 Cranberry Walnut Turkey Salad


¼ cup chopped Walnuts
3 cups cooked Turkey
1 tsp fresh thyme
3/4 cup Mayonnaise
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 TB Honey
1 celery rib, diced
¼  cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
4 toasted croissants or sliced & toasted brioche

In a small sauté pan, lightly toast the chopped walnuts (about two minutes on medium-high heat).  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse turkey and thyme for 10 pulses (being careful not to over process into turkey paste).  Remove to medium bowl.

To turkey, add light mayonnaise, mustard, honey, celery, dried cranberries, & walnuts.  Mix to combine.  Salt & pepper to taste. 

Serve a generous scoop of turkey salad between two slices of toasted croissant or brioche.
  




Turkey Tea-Sandwiches with Toasted Sesame Seeds


¼ cup slivered almonds, chopped
3 cups cooked Turkey
1 Tablespoon Fresh tarragon leaves (basil works beautifully as well)
3/4 cup Light Mayonnaise
1 celery rib, diced
10 slices soft sandwich bread
Toasted sesame seeds (black, white or a combination of both)
Salt & Pepper

Makes approx. 20 tea sandwiches

In a small sauté pan, lightly toast the chopped slivered almonds (about two minutes on medium-high heat).  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse turkey and tarragon for 10 pulses (being careful not to over process into turkey paste).  Remove to medium bowl.

To turkey, add light mayonnaise, celery, and almonds.  Mix to combine.  Salt & pepper to taste.  

Place a small scoop of turkey salad on a slice of soft sandwich bread.  Top with another slice of bread, lightly press, then remove crusts.   Cut into quarters diagonally.

Using a butter knife, spread a thin layer of light mayonnaise along one side of each little sandwich.  Then dip that side into a bowl of toasted sesame seeds.



Please share your ideas for Turkey Leftovers by clicking the "COMMENT" link below!

11 comments:

  1. Those leftover ideas are awesome, thanks for sharing all your tips!

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  2. I agree about the kosher turkey. They aren't easy to find, but if you can find one, they are better than the regular ones and they don't make you feel so tired after you eat! Love the brunch idea!!

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  3. I brined a turkey...once. It was awful! But now I just place herbed butter medallions between the skin and meat and baste the royal heck out of the bird. Succulent everytime. I will, however, look for a kosher bird. I started buying fresh a few years back and those are so much better than frozen. I will also have to be brave and try Alton Brown's brining recipe. You're not the 1st person to recommend this same recipe. I keep thinking that my 1st effort must have been beginner's error. Thank you so much for looking out for us! God love ya!

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  4. I have been brining for the last 3 years and will never do a turkey any other way. I even impressed my dad who does not like turkey at all.

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  5. Loved the pomegranate mimosa idea!!
    How sad is it that I am 43 and have never cooked a Turkey. I always leave it to someone else and I consider myself a pretty decent cook. Especially if it involves a Vitamix. Hope Santa delivers for you. Love the slide show of your cakes, you are amazing.
    Charisse @ lifelaughlatte.blogspot.com

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  6. Those are some great ideas! I've never tried brining, but it intrigues me!

    BTW - The vintage "BOO" letters I had on my Halloween post came from the Graphics Fairy!

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  7. We had our Thanksgiving weeks ago, but I feel like running out and getting turkey today just to make that Cranberry Walnut Turkey Salad on Croissant.....I can almost taste it.

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  8. Can I just crash your Thanksgiving...and the day after! Ha, ha! Looks yummy!

    Holly

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  9. some of those sound really good. Thanks
    Enjoying your site.Have a good evening,

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  10. Hi all!!!! Happy Thanksgiving! . :) :)
    Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and each year I like to get into the mood-extend the holiday, when it were-by reading "Thanksgiving novels." For example, all these stories are mostly about friends and family, about coming together to heal old hurts and getting thanks for the gift of love. ... . - --
    Think You're Better Off Today Than You Were seven Years Ago?

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