Gobble It Up: Better Alternatives to the Leftover Turkey Sandwich

Black Friday sales are underway. Folks are waking up from their food comas. And relatives have literally left the building, inevitably sticking you with tons of leftover food.

You could be lazy and just resign yourself (and your family) to dry turkey sandwiches, or a straightforward revisitation of last night's dinner. But if you're not in the mood for Thanksgiving: Part Deux, there are plenty of cool recipes waiting for you on the 'net.

New Yorker Cathy Erway spent a two-year period sans restaurants, to prove she could save money and cook everything at home. Erway has since returned to dining out, but she still talks recipes and slow food on her blog, Not Eating Out in NY. A few days ago, the folks from Working Class Foodies filmed Erway putting together some innovative recipes using T-Day leftovers. One of our favorites is this recipe for Hungarian Turkey Goulash.

 Full recipe, and more leftover turkey ideas, after the jump.

  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 bottle white wine
  • 2 red peppers, roasted
  • 1 small can stewed tomatoes
  • Leftover turkey carcass (or 2 cans turkey stock)
  • Leftover turkey meat
  • 1 cup leftover gravy
  • 1-2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • Flour (have 1/4 cup handy, though you may use less)
  • 2 cups sour cream

[Note: Elway doesn't always provide exact measurements or cooking times, but this should give average home cooks a good idea of where to start]

Sauté onions, carrots and celery for three minutes over medium heat in a large pot primed with a drizzle of olive oil. Add 3 tablespoons paprika to the mixture. Crush & mince 2 cloves of whole garlic and add it to the pot. Pour 1/2 bottle of white wine into the pot and simmer over medium heat as you continue to add ingredients. Add the red peppers and one can of stewed tomatoes and bring to a boil.

Break up the turkey carcass after you've picked away all of the meat, and add to the soup. [Yes, this sounds weird, but no worries -- you'll take it out later. Or you could sub turkey stock and skip this whole paragraph.] Add 4-5 cups of water. Cover pot and let simmer for one hour. Remove the carcass and discard.

Continue cooking over medium heat. Shred leftover turkey. Add it, and a cup of leftover gravy, to the pot. If you have them, leftover roasted veggies will work well too. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine leftover mashed potatoes and flour in a small bowl until a dough forms. Roll the dough on a flat surface and cut into bite-sized pieces. Bring the soup back to a boil and drop in the dumplings one at a time. Add sour cream to the pot (it works best to combine sour cream and a cup of the soup broth in a small bowl and fold that in). Boil for 5-7 minutes. 

Voila! Hungarian goulash fit for a king, on a pauper's budget. If that recipe is too complex, there's always turkey calzones, turkey chili or the really simple but oddly named Burning Bush Turkey Parmesan

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Wynter Holden
Contact: Wynter Holden