Turkey soup, turkey hash, turkey casserole, turkey sandwiches . . .
Turkey leftovers. They're as much a part of Thanksgiving as the feast itself.
The prospect of being blitzed by the same bird for a week is hardly exciting. In fact, it is altogether tempting to bypass the fracas with the carcass and send out for pizza instead. But turkey leftovers can be, if not exactly inspiring, the basis for some interesting concoctions. In the recipes that follow, let your imagination and taste guide you. Keep it simple, and make the most of what you've got on hand. All those leftover side dishes, extra salad fixings, half-used cartons of sour cream, assorted containers of cheese, small jars of olives and nuts may just come in handy. Not to mention, of course, all that turkey!
TURKEY VEGETABLE RICE PIE (4 to 6 servings)
The filling for this pie, which has a crisp rice crust, can be made with raw or leftover cooked vegetables. However, use only fresh onions. Crust: 2 tablespoons butter 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 cups cooked long-grain rice 1 egg 1 teaspoon curry powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper Filling: 2 tablespoons butter 2 medium onions, thinly sliced 4 small zucchini or other squash, finely sliced 2 medium carrots, grated (or mashed if using cooked carrots) 1/4 pound mushrooms, finely chopped 2 cups diced cooked turkey Salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 3/4 cup sour cream 2 eggs, beaten
Melt butter. Saute' onion until transparent, and add to rice. Mix in lightly beaten egg and the seasonings. Press rice mixture firmly onto the bottom and sides of a well-greased 9-inch pie plate. Set aside and proceed with filling.
Melt butter. Saute' sliced onions over medium heat until golden brown. Add vegetables and turkey and cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle in flour, then add the sour cream and beaten eggs. Mix well. Spoon into rice shell and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until golden and cooked through.
TURKEY AND EGG PUFF (4 to 6 servings)
This is a sensational brunch dish to serve to friends who have stayed the night. The ingredients: scrambled, buttery eggs with turkey heaped into a puffy golden bowl that you bake in minutes. Puff Bowl: 1/2 cup water 1/4 cup butter or margarine 1/2 cup packaged pancake and waffle mix 2 eggs Filling: 1/2 cup sliced scallions 3 tablespoons butter 10 eggs 1 1/2 cups chopped turkey 1 cup sharp cheddar or swiss cheese 3 tablespoons chopped tomatoes 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg Salt and pepper to taste
Bring water and butter to a boil in medium saucepan. Add pancake mix and stir vigorously until mixture leaves sides of pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Spread batter evenly on bottom and sides of a generously greased 9-inch pie plate. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown. Meanwhile, prepare filling.
In a large skillet, saute' scallions in butter. In a bowl, combine eggs, turkey, 1/2 cup of the cheese, tomatoes and seasonings. Pour into skillet and cook, stirring continuously over medium heat until eggs are soft set. Spoon egg filling into hot puff bowl and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.
STIR-FRIED TURKEY IN A NOODLE NEST (Makes 4 filled baskets)
Noodle nests or baskets can be used to serve Chinese food in an unusual and attractive way. The deep-fried nests can be made in advance, wrapped in plastic and frozen for several weeks. To reheat, just pop them into the oven until they're heated through and crisp again. Noodle Nests: 12 ounces fine egg noodles 3 quarts boiling salted water Filling: 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 teaspoon ginger root, finely chopped 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 4 cups mixed vegetables, very thinly sliced (snow peas, carrots, bamboo shoots, onions, mushrooms--leave snow peas whole) 1/4 cup turkey stock or water 2 cups cooked diced turkey 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce 1/2 tablespoon chili sauce or paste (optional) 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon each sugar, sesame oil and sherry 2 teaspoons cornstarch 2 tablespoons water Peanuts, cashews or almonds for garnish
In a large saucepan, drop noodles into boiling salted water until just tender. Stir to separate noodles while boiling. Pour cooked noodles into a large colander and rinse under cold running water to stop further cooking.
Place two layers of paper towels over a wire cake rack. Spread noodles onto paper towels and cover them with another layer of towels. Let stand overnight to dry noodles completely.
To prepare nests, you will need a deep saucepan or wok for deep-frying and two slightly rounded Chinese strainers, each 5 inches in diameter. Oil the inside of one 5-inch strainer. Line with a 1/2-inch thick layer of noodles. Oil the base of another 5-inch strainer. Press down lightly with strainer onto noodles in first strainer. Heat oil in wok for deep fat frying. Holding handles of both strainers together, carefully lower into very hot deep oil. Cook about 3 minutes, or until noodles look crisp and golden. Remove from oil, and carefully separate strainers, being cautious not to break the noodles. Run the top of a round-bladed knife around the edge of the nest to loosen it. Turn the strainer upside down and knock out noodle nest onto a sheet of paper towel. Allow to drain. Repeat procedure for 3 more nests. Proceed with stir-fried filling.
Heat wok to smoking. Swirl in the oil. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry until lightly browned. Add vegetables (except snow peas) and stir-fry 2 minutes. Pour in broth, cover wok and cook mixture 2 minutes. Mix in snow peas, turkey and condiments and heat through. Dissolve cornstarch with water in a small cup to make a paste. As soon as mixture in wok begins to bubble, add cornstarch paste, and stir until thickened. Divide mixture evenly into four noodle nests and garnish with cashews, peanuts or almond slices. TURKEY MEXICANA QUICHE (Makes 1 individual serving)
If your holiday company dotes on quiche but you haven't the stamina to make the traditional pastry crust, try these individual quiches. Each can be made in its own 2-cup ramekin with a quick crust of a flour tortilla. 7-inch flour tortilla, softened 1/3 cup chopped turkey 1/3 cup shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese 1 tablespoon scallions 1 teaspoon jalapeno peppers (optional) 1 tablespoon chopped olives 1/2 tablespoon chopped tomatoes 1 tablespoon wheat germ 2 eggs 1/2 cup milk 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard 1/8 teaspoon salt Sour cream and avocado slices for garnish
To soften flour tortilla, heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Put in the tortilla and turn it over several times until it's heated through and pliable. To soften in microwave, put tortilla in plastic bag and heat on full power for about 10 seconds.
To prepare quiche, fit and loosely fold a tortilla into the bottom of a round, ungreased 1 1/2- to 2-cup ramekin or oven-proof bowl to form a multi-petalled flower-like shape. Put the turkey, cheese, vegetables and wheat germ in the bottom of the tortilla-lined dish.
In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, mustard and salt. Pour carefully into tortilla to cover turkey-vegetable mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until center of quiche is set. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and thin slices of avocado, if desired.
This is a new twist on a Mexican classic. Perk up those flat tortillas by deep-frying them to create crisp, roomy shells. Then heap them generously with your favorite tostada fixings. Oil for deep fat frying Corn or flour tortillas
Heat oil in a wok or deep saucepan until very hot. Lightly float a tortilla on the oil. With a large, long-handled soup ladle, push straight down on the center of the tortilla to submerge it in the oil. Almost instantly the sides of the torillla will curl inwards around the ladle, to form a shell. Deep-fry until tortilla is crisp and golden. Remove from oil and drain thoroughly on absorbent paper.
Fix as many shells as you care to have on hand. Let diners fill their shells with layers of the following ingredients, spiked with bottled hot sauce: Shredded lettuce, cooked turkey, chopped olives, shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, chopped scallions, guacamole, refried bean dip and sour cream. Use extra shells as attractive containers for the guacamole and bean dip.