NEW CASTLE — The holiday meals are finished for most of us and the fridge may overflow with leftovers.
Before you consider tossing them into the trash can or doling them out to the family pet, remember there are other options.
There are so many things to do with leftover ham, turkey and beef — the ultimate trio of holiday entrées — as well all those extra vegetables such as potatoes.
A few creative twists can turn leftovers into something a little more special and reduce the comments of, “This again? Really?”
I read in a magazine about a creative way of using some of those. For me, anything involving pastry is a winner. All you need to do is press pie dough into muffin tins and bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 425. Then spoon into those shells whatever filling you prefer such as turkey, stuffing or mashed potatoes or a combination of those and warm up the dish at 350. It can be topped with herbs.
As for leftover mashed potatoes, I like the idea of making fritters by combining 2 1/2 cups potatoes, 1/2 cup chopped ham and chopped onion. Then form the mixture into 1/2-inch thick patties. Place 1/1 cup flour in a dish and coat the patties with flour, tapping off the excess. Heat 1/4/ cup oil on medium-high heat in a 12-inch skillet and in two batches, cook the patties for about 5 minutes or until golden brown on both sides, turning over once. That seems much better than just heating up plain old mashed taters.
After heavy meals, it may also be time to lighten the load. A salad using turkey and dried cranberries not only uses up two of those holiday staples, but it’s only 293 calories per serving. Omitting the pecans reduces the fat content.
Two soups are in the mix today, too. It is the time of year for hearty, warm-you-to-the-bone fare, so your contributions are always appreciated.
Let’s start out 2014 with lots of reader submissions.
Happy new year from Culinary Conversation.
4 ounces medium egg noodles, uncooked
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups chopped cooked ham
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup sliced celery
1, 10 3/4-ounce can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1, 8-ounce container sour cream
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat and cook ham and next ingredients for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in soup, sour cream and pasta. Spoon onto lightly greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
Cover and bake 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered, for 5 more minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (about 3 cups)
2 cups low-fat milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup dry white wine or water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups coarsely chopped turkey breast (about 1 pounds)
1/4 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and set aside.
In large saucepan, bring broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in mushrooms; then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 4 to 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Stir in milk.
In a small cup, combine cornstarch and wine, and stir until smooth; slowly pour into mushroom mixture. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper and turkey. Add spaghetti and toss until well coated. Spoon spaghetti mixture into prepared baking dish and sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
Turkey and Cranberry Salad
1/4 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
2 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 1/2-inch thick sliced smoked turkey (about 8 ounces,) diced
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
In small bowl, blend whole-berry cranberry sauce, light mayo, red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard.
In serving bowl, combine hearts of romaine, smoked turkey, chopped toasted pecans and dried cranberries. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
Ham and Potato Soup
3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cups diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
Combine potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low hat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.
Beef and Wine Soup with Dumplings
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
2, 10.5-ounce cans condensed beef broth
2 cups red wine
2 cups tomato juice
2 cusp diced cooked beef
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons softened margarine
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a large pot, sauté onion, garlic, carrots and celery in 2 tablespoons butter until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in broth, wine, tomatoes juice and beef. Simmer and cover for 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In bowl, mix 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, eggs, flour and salt until smooth. Drop mixture by small teaspoonfuls. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
(Note: Some recipes have not been tested.)