Gourmet leftovers?

Doesn't that sound like an oxymoron! For most cooks it's hard to judge just how much food you will need when having a large crowd. And then you think it would be nice to have some turkey leftover for an evening sandwich. The turkey is not usually what everyone complains about when it shows up on the dinner menu in the following days, it's the potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries and stuffing that seem to get snubbed.

So, for those of you who have families that leave something besides the turkey bones on the table, here are some interesting ways to use those leftovers.

The Landmark Restaurant here in Galesburg makes an interesting sandwich called ''The Ritz.'' On your choice of bread, a Kaiser Roll works best, try thinly slicing turkey, add softened cream cheese, or low fat cream cheese, sprinkle on some walnut pieces and garnish with cranberry relish and lettuce if you like, delicious! Thanks Phil.

Pounds of potatoes left over? Try heating and rewhipping with roasted garlic. Throw in boiled mashed carrots after rewhipping. Moisten with yogurt rather than more milk or butter. Still not a now cal dish though! Or, try adding some chopped spinach or kale to those potatoes, some roasted garlic and chopped water chestnuts. Coat with whole egg or egg white then roll in a baking crumb mixture and bake until lightly browned and crispy.

Jazz up the last of the sweet potatoes with this recipe

2c cooked sweet potatoes

1/4c crushed pineapple, drained

1/4c cranberries

1/4 tsp ground clove

Mash, whip or puree the sweet potatoes and pineapple. Add clove and cranberries. Bake in a shallow dish at 350 until the top is lightly browned and crispy, 20-30 minutes. Serve with yogurt, or sour cream.

Or reheat the sweet potatoes, mash and add fresh ground nutmeg, yogurt or sour cream. Even the younger crowd likes this one!

Too many cranberries? Add dried apricots, pears, apples or prunes and recook to a thicker consistency. Use as a spread on warm bread or rolls. Or here's a favorite gelatin recipe I've used over the years.

1 box raspberry flavored gelatin

1 orange peeled and diced

1 tsp grated orange rind

1/4- 1/2 walnuts chopped

1/4 tsp ground cloves

3/4 cranberry relish, or 1c raw chopped cranberries sweetened with 1/2 cup sugar

Prepare gelatin as directed on the box. If molding, reduce liquid by 1/4c. If using raw cranberries, chop and allow to stand with sugar for 30 minutes. Fold in remaining ingredients. Prepare the day before to allow spice and orange rind to fully blend. Garnish with celery leaves and whole cranberries.

The best way to use your leftovers is to be creative. Don't be afraid to try different textured foods mixed together, or mixing foods in different ways. If you fail, you can try again. Better than letting them waste away in the frig.

Till next time, Rebecca.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online November 23, 1999

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