Dressing up turkey leftovers

Go beyond your traditional post-Turkey Day sandwiches with gourmet options, unique dishes

News Tribune Wire ServicesNovember 21, 2012 

After tomorrow, the leftover turkey looms especially large. According to the National Turkey Federation, 91 percent of Americans eat turkey — about 675 million pounds of it — for Thanksgiving. And much of the bird will probably end up between a couple of pieces of bread. So what better time to revisit turkey sandwich recipes to use it all up?

Here’s a look at recipes, tricks and tips for cooking up all that bird in your fridge – from sandwiches to tacos to tettrazini. Find the recipes on C2. Recipe notes:

Turkey tacos: You can still use that bacon and tomato (as in salsa) but you also get to play with more vibrant flavorings like chili and fresh cilantro. Using a corn tortilla instead of a flour one also contributes its own taste and texture to the whole. The recipe for turkey tacos on C2 makes use of what would be leftover on my Thanksgiving table: celery and shelled walnuts or pecans. Use what you have: Cooked mushrooms, creamed onions, green beans, slivered almonds.

Turkey enchiladas: Consider hot enchiladas. Here’s an easy recipe. Fill each with slivered turkey, refried beans, shredded cheese, diced poblano peppers. Lay the enchiladas in a lightly greased casserole, cover with tomato sauce, top with more grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees until warmed through, about 25 minutes.

RETHINKING TURKEY SANDWICHES

Peruvian twist: To call a turkey sandwich the stuff of memories sounds far-fetched (few have waxed Proustian about a turkey club), but that’s what it is to Peruvian chef Ricardo Zarate. Los Angeles Chef and restaurant owner came to know and love the turkey sandwich not in his native Lima but while working at the Millennium hotel in London early on in his culinary career. The object of his craving: roasted turkey with fried sweet potatoes and jalapeño-cilantro aioli between two slices of buttery brioche.

Turkey sandwich with spice: Chef and sandwich expert Judy Han of Mendocino Farms in California turns to sturdy bread and spice. She said, “Turkey is delicate texturally. I very rarely pair turkey with too stiff a bread. Never ciabatta. Sourdough can be overpowering.” Use an artisan bread that has a nice chew on the outside but is soft inside. But flavor-wise, “what most people don’t realize is turkey is actually rich,” she said. “Its flavor profile has a rich savoriness to it that chicken doesn’t really have. You want something pickled or spicy” to cut the richness.

Enter her ancho-bell-pepper-cranberry chutney: roasted red peppers and ancho chiles melded with cranberries, plus a little balsamic vinegar.

Turkey with a fruit sauce: Chef Michael Voltaggio at the Ink.Sack restaurant pairs one of his favorite turkey sandwiches with hunks of melted cheese, a blanket of arugula, a smear of mayonnaise and a thick layer of his take on mostarda, the Italian condiment of preserved fruit. The mostarda is also a reference to the traditional leftovers sandwich with cranberry sauce, Voltaggio says.

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