A Thanksgiving with no leftovers is like a turkey with no gravy, a Black Friday with no deals or a pumpkin pie with no crust.
I'll go out of my way to cook extra food just so there's enough to send home with guests and keep in my own fridge. After one extra Thanksgiving plate — either late on Thursday or Friday — I then start looking at other ways to use up those dishes. A bread pudding or strata is one way to combine the sweet and savory flavors, but these turkey (or ham) sliders from Julia Konovalova will be the first thing I make over the long holiday weekend, followed quickly by Kate McDermott's twice-baked potatoes, which will get a dollop of sour cream on top when I serve them to my sour cream-loving kids.
Just remember that by Sunday or Monday, your leftovers should be making their way to your compost pile. Holiday leftovers don't last as long as regular leftovers because the food has usually been sitting out on a table for longer than your average dinner. You can always freeze turkey or ham to use in soups later this winter, but potato-based dishes don't freeze as well.
Turkey-Swiss Sliders With Cranberry Sauce
With these easy sliders, you can have the familiar flavors of Thanksgiving dinner any time of the year. Mini rolls — whether brioche, potato or Hawaiian — turn a humble sandwich into a unique and exciting meal. Try finding rolls that come in one big rectangular slab instead of individual buns — it will make assembling the sliders a lot easier. After the rolls are baked, it’s fun pulling them apart and watching the melted cheese stretch between the sandwiches. For a different twist on this recipe, use various kinds of cheeses and deli meats or leftover ham. My husband notoriously doesn’t like sweet and savory combinations, so I usually only spread the cranberry and horseradish mixture on half the rolls. If you are also not a fan of sweet and savory, omit the cranberry sauce all together. If you like the look of the ruby red layer of sauce in the sandwich but not the sweetness that comes with it, try finding a beet-flavored horseradish — it tastes the same as the regular kind but looks gorgeous and festive.
— Julia Konovalova
12 brioche mini rolls (or mini dinner rolls or Hawaiian rolls)
1 tablespoon mayo
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
10 slices oven-roasted turkey breast
1/3 cup cranberry sauce (homemade or store bought)
1 tablespoon horseradish
6 big slices of your favorite Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chopped parsley, plus more for serving
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice the tops off the mini rolls.
Transfer the bottom part of the rolls onto a baking sheet or roasting pan big enough to fit the rolls. In a small bowl, mix together the mayo and Dijon mustard and spread the mixture on the bottom part of the rolls. Layer the turkey slices overlapping slightly on the rolls.
In a small bowl, mix the cranberry sauce with the horseradish and spread the mixture over the turkey. Add the Swiss cheese, and cover with the top part of the rolls.
In another small bowl, melt the butter and add the garlic powder and parsley. Brush the butter mixture over the rolls. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes to heat the bread through and melt the cheese. Sprinkle with more parsley for serving. Makes 12 sliders.
— From "The Ultimate One-Pan Oven Cookbook: Complete Meals Using Just Your Sheet Pan, Dutch Oven, Roasting Pan and More" by Julia Konovalova (Page Street Publishing, $21.99)
Dorie Greenspan's Next-Day Turkey-and-Cranberry Sriracha Strata
A strata is a cross between a bread pudding and a French-toast casserole: layers, or strata, of bread, layers of something delicious, and an egg-and-cream(ish) custard to hold it all together. It needs to be prepped hours, if not a day, ahead and can be refrigerated overnight. It bakes peacefully, completely unattended, and it can be served warm or at room temperature. Here's how I layer my strata: First comes the bread — don't be surprised that it's cinnamon-raisin. It's nice to have the sweetness and spice with the heat. Then there's a layer of baby greens — spinach, kale or arugula — for a touch of bitterness. After that, it's dollops of cranberry sauce; cubes, chunks or shreds of turkey; and sharp cheddar — what's a casserole without a little gooeyness? There's a repeat set of layers and then more bread to cap it. As for the custard, it's a surprising mix of eggs, half-and-half and Sriracha, tempered to your taste. Make sure to give this a long rest in the refrigerator. The bread has to be completely saturated for the strata to be delish. Let the casserole sit at room temperature while the oven heats. The baked strata can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. It will taste best if you let it come to room temperature or reheat it gently in a microwave.
— Dorie Greenspan
Unsalted butter, for the baking dish
14 to 16 slices cinnamon-raisin bread (about an entire 1-pound loaf of Pepperidge Farm Raisin Cinnamon Swirl)
1 to 2 (packed) cups baby kale or baby spinach
1 to 1 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought whole berry cranberry sauce
About 2 cups leftover roasted turkey cubes
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
6 large eggs
3 to 4 tablespoons Sriracha (may substitute a few dashes of hot sauce for less-intense heat)
Lightly grease the inside of a 2-quart roasting pan or a deep 8-by-9-inch Pyrex baking dish with butter. Place the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment, foil or a silicone liner. Cut each slice of bread diagonally to make 2 triangles, then cut diagonally in the opposite direction so that you have 4 triangles.
Arrange about 1/3 of the bread on the bottom of the pan, leaving space between the triangles. (You don't need a solid layer of bread.) Cover the bread with half of the greens and dollop on half of the cranberry sauce, again not aiming for a full and smooth layer. Scatter half of the turkey over the greens, then cover with half of the cheese. Season generously with salt and pepper. Repeat with another layer of bread (use half of the remaining bread) and all of the remaining greens, cranberry sauce, turkey and cheese. Season with salt and pepper, and top the casserole with the remaining bread triangles.
Whisk together the half-and-half, eggs and Sriracha (to taste); season with salt and pepper. Slowly and gradually pour this mixture over the strata. You want to cover the top layer of bread — a sometimes messy job, because the liquid might seep over the edges of the pan — and have it trickle down evenly to the base of the pan. Once all of the mixture is in, gently press the layers down with a spatula or fork.
Cover the strata and refrigerate it for at least 6 hours or up to overnight. Remove it from the refrigerator while you heat the oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the strata and keep it on the lined baking sheet.
Bake (middle rack) for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the strata comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and let it cool until the strata is warm or at room temperature. Serve solo or with a lightly dressed green salad.
— Dorie Greenspan
Twice-Baked Potatoes With Mushrooms, Broccoli and Cheese
Baked potato night is a favorite around here. A twice-baked potato takes the simple tuber to new heights. Feel free to adjust the recipe to whatever vegetables you have on hand, including Thanksgiving favorites, such as green bean casserole or stuffing. Just about anything works when stuffed back into the potato jackets. Add a salad to this simple meal and you’re good to go. Choose potatoes that are similar in size so that the baking time will be the same for each of them. You can easily adjust your fillings to fit the number of potatoes you want to stuff.
— Kate McDermott
4 medium to large baking potatoes, such as russets
1/4 cup butter
1 cup small broccoli florets and chopped stems
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 or 3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, or a mixture of cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of paprika
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Pierce each potato in several places with a fork, and place potatoes on baking sheet. Bake for about an hour or until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork. Take the potatoes out of the oven and turn down the oven to 400 degrees.
Melt half the butter in a saute pan over medium heat and cook broccoli for about 5 minutes or until almost tender. Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to soften. If you're using leftovers, you simply want to warm them up and mix them up together.
Slice off the top of each potato, scoop out the insides with a spoon and place in a medium-size bowl. You may want to wrap the potato in a towel if it is really hot so as not to burn your hand. Save the potato shells and tops. Add the remaining butter and mash with a fork or a potato masher.
To the mashed potatoes, add the sauteed vegetables, bacon (if using), sour cream or yogurt, cheese, salt and pepper, and mix until everything is well distributed. Refill the potato shells with the mixture. They will be overflowing. If there is extra, pile it carefully on the potato tops. Sprinkle with a little paprika and bake in the oven for 15 minutes more. Serves 4.
— From "Home Cooking With Kate McDermott" by Kate McDermott (Countryman Press, $29.95)
Turkey Tetrazzini With Cheese, Crema and Jalapeño Sauce
Call it spaghetti pie or turkey tetrazzini, but this remains one of my favorite post-Thanksgiving dishes. I loved the combination of roasted turkey and that light green creamy jalapeño sauce that you'll find at Tacodeli, Pollo Rico and so many other taquerias around Austin.
— Addie Broyles
1 pound dried spaghetti, broken in half or quarters
3/4 cup Mexican crema or whipping cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 to 3 tablespoon doña (or other creamy jalapeño) sauce
4 cups cooked turkey, ham or chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti about 1 minute less than the recommended instructions on the package.
While the spaghetti is cooking, combine crema, milk, salt and hot sauce in a small bowl or glass measuring cup.
Drain spaghetti and place back in pot. Immediately add chopped turkey and crema mixture. Stir to combine and place in a 9-inch-by-13-inch glass casserole dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and bake for about 20 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8.
— Addie Broyles