From now until Thanksgiving, we’ll be answering some of the most commonly asked holiday meal questions. Have one you’d like us to consider? E-mail us or join our weekly live Web chat today from noon to 2 p.m. (Yes, you read that right — we’re expanding to two hours the day before Thanksgiving.)
For complete Turkey Day coverage, visit our Thanksgiving Central page.
T-Day Minus One might find you hip-deep in corn bread dressing and perfectly mashed potatoes, or coping with holiday transit. But trust us: Come Friday, you’ll be interested in advice about leftovers.
So carve out a bit of time, soonish, to peruse the following:
CONTAINERS for sending your guests home with leftovers. You don’t want to give away the ones you’ve chosen to keep, so stock up on cardboard or plastic containers you won’t mind giving away. Disposable aluminum pie pans are the right size for including a little bit of everything that was on the plate. Once gravy cools enough to congeal, wrap tablespoonfuls in plastic wrap.
FOOD SAFETY Everyone has stories of eating T-Day fixings way past the typical “three to four days” in the refrigerator. The bottom line is: Beyond that time frame, anything with meat that’s going to be reheated needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Anything with eggs or dairy that returns to a liquid state needs to come to a full boil. Don’t reheat anything that doesn’t pass the sniff test.
IDEAS Thanksgiving hash is a must for some families. Saute onions, then toss in leftover stuffing/dressing, leftover vegetables and turkey — first chopping it all up into small bits. When you add leftover mashed potatoes, the hash takes on a knish/thick-pancake quality. It’s all good.
Blend leftover vegetables into a smooth puree, which can be added to risottos, soups, stews and sauces.
Layer leftovers, terrine-style, in a loaf pan greased with cooking oil spray. Top with a layer of mashed sweet potatoes. Bake in a 350-degree oven until the proper temperature is reached (see above).
Pull apart leftover rolls and breads into bite-size pieces; drizzle with olive oil and toast in a 375-degree oven until crisped. Use as croutons or cool, pulverize in a food processor and store to use as bread crumbs.
Crush together leftover pumpkin/sweet potato and pecan pies; get a good ratio of moist filling to crust. Press into ramekins. Wrap and freeze for future use, or drizzle each one lightly with cream or half-and-half; bake in a 350-degree oven until heated through. Serve with a dollop of yogurt.
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