The Art Of Leftovers

Turning boring old leftovers into something new and delicious! This time, it’s Turkey dinner leftovers.

You can only eat so many plates of turkey and stuffing right? (Well I don’t know about you, but I could eat that pretty much 24/7) Most folks however like a little variety in their diet, and I like making stuff in the kitchen.

We had a turkey carcass leftover from our Advent feast. Which means, STOCK! Glorious, delicious, long cooked turkey stock. There was still quite a bit of meat left on the carcass, since it was just the two of us I didn’t pick over it very thoroughly for the first meal. So that meat will be used in the soup!

Wild Rice Turkey Soup, and Cranberry Stuffin' Muffins.
Wild Rice Turkey Soup, and Cranberry Stuffin’ Muffins.

I crammed the carcass into my biggest pot…(which is a far cry from the stock pot I should have used….) Poured water within 1″ of the top of the pot, covered it, turned the heat to medium and sat down to play Assassins Creed III (yeah…it’s not all food and yarn and fabric here all the time) That bubbled for a few hours, then I ladled all the beautiful golden broth into my second biggest pot, and added more water to the bones. Back to the burner! I believe in boiling until there’s nothing left to boil….

Turkey stock simmering on the stove...smells amazing!
Turkey stock simmering on the stove…smells amazing!

In the meantime, with the stock I already have I am making some soup! One of my favorite things to make is soup, it’s easy, it doesn’t really matter what you put in it. (As long as it’s something you like) It’s also a really good way to use up any leftover vegetables, grains, or meats you might have lurking in the fridge. I didn’t have too much in the way of those types of leftovers, I added some wild rice (which I cooked separately so it didn’t absorb all that yummy stock), frozen carrots, green beans and corn, and a bunch of the leftover turkey meat. The soup didn’t need a whole lot of seasoning since the turkey was seasoned. But I did add salt (most home-made stock needs plenty of salt. Taste as you go!) and a wee bit of pepper, and parsley.

I also needed a way to use up some of that stuffing!

Use your hands to get in there and really squish it all together!

Stuffin’ Muffin’s is what I came up with. Put the stuffing in a bowl, add one egg and just enough milk to make it all sort of soggy. (pretend like we’re making bread pudding) I also added a bag (3/4C?) of dried cranberries that I had picked out of some cereal a few months ago. Mix it all up, mix it good! I used my hand on this one, sometimes it just works the best. I buttered the muffin tin and into the 300 degree oven they go! I ended up baking these for about 30-40 minutes, way longer than the 20 I thought it would take… Next time I may up the temp to 350 and try for 20-25min.

I have to say, this meal was DELICIOUS! It was like thanksgiving dinner in soup form, but in a yummy way not in a blender burger smoothie way…..There is still a little bit of soup leftover, but we’re out of the stuffing muffins 😦

December 2012_128
These also smell amazing!

So now it will transform into one final form! A shepherds pie. As I write this the leftover soup is simmering on the stove to thicken that stock up a little bit, I’ll toss that into a greased pan, make mashed potatoes, boiled in saltwater (skins and all…I hate peeling potatoes and the skins have vitamins!) I’ll drain those, add some seasoning, parsely and rosemary are my favorites. Mix in lots of butter, cream cheese and/or sour cream if you have it. (Milk or cream if you don’t), add a some parmesan cheese. Sometimes I layer shredded cheese on top of the meat/veggie filling, then spread the potatoes in an even layer and you can add more cheese here if you are a cheese fiend like us…… Bake at 350 until heated through and potatoes are getting golden brown on top. yum yum! I’ll post some pictures of that to the facebook page.(in new window) By the way if you’re not already following me on facebook I’d love it if you stopped by! I’ve been sharing pictures of projects as I work on them, food that I’m making, links to new blog posts, pictures of the cats “helping.” and whatever else there is. Let me know what else you’d like to hear about?

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