Thanksgiving: Season for nostalgia, comfort food and leftovers
November 12, 2008
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays because I love to cook and I always fix everything I really like, which is why we never go anywhere for this holiday and always have people over to our house. Sometimes I feel a little guilty but not for long once I start cooking and I’ve never had trouble filling the seats at our table.
Last month, after a long hot summer of eating too much beef I was hungry for a turkey dinner so I fixed one just for the two of us. Scolari’s (which is now Sak’N Save) sells a cooked turkey breast that weighs around 2 lbs. for $7.98 and they have it available seven days a week. I had some leftover dressing from last year in the freezer (I was amazed it was still good and quite tasty) and baked a sweet potato and made a Waldorf salad.
Usually there is enough juice in the bottom of the turkey bag to make a small amount of gravy, but not this time. I decided I would cut some slices for our dinner and take the remaining breast off the bone and throw it in a pot with the skin to make a little turkey broth so we could have a little gravy. While that was boiling on the stove, friends stopped by to visit and I noticed my dog Buster was choking down something big on the front lawn. The last words Ralph told me before I left the kitchen to chat was, “You better put that turkey away” yeah, yeah. So Buster got the majority of the turkey, Ralph and I had a few slices with gravy for our dinner.
The point I’m trying to make here is that even if there’s just two of you, you can still enjoy a nice home-cooked dinner with leftovers providing your dog doesn’t get to them before you!
I had never made a Waldorf salad before and I guess it was because I don’t really like the thought of mayo all over my apples. So I tweaked the recipe a little and did half mayo, half sour cream and cut it with a little juice from a can of mandarin oranges. The juice also prevents the fruit from discoloration. That’s been our new favorite salad especially with all the great variety of apples from Apple Hill.
I want to share this quote with you that came in one of my last Smith & Smith Farms newsletters from Melody Beattie published in MaryJanes Farm ” Artist in Aprons:
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“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Happy Thanksgiving.
This column was written two years ago but for some reason did not make the paper. I still wanted to share it with you in memory of Buster who passed away suddenly last June. Buster had more than one meal off our island in the kitchen and once when he snitched some fillet’s I was fixing for a friends dinner and we had to go and replace them, Ralph was a little miffed that the Veverka’s had fillet for dinner, Buster had fillet but we had chicken!
The first recipe I’m going to share with you is great way to use up that leftover turkey.
The second also uses leftover turkey plus fresh apple, pineapple and almonds all come together in this holiday specialty from the Patchwork Quilt Country Inn, of Middlebury, Ind.
– Linda Marrone has been a Carson City resident since 1973 and together with her husband, Ralph, formerly operated Marrone’s Restaurant in Carson City and Somethin’s Cookin’ Catering.
Easy Turkey Enchilada Stack
Leftover Turkey (about 2 cups)
4 corn tortillas
Bunch of green onions, chopped
Small can of fire roasted diced green chiles
One 12 oz. bottle Trader Joes Enchilada sauce (I love this sauce and their fire roasted diced green chiles).
Small can chopped olives
About 3⁄4 cup sour cream, I use light, mixed into the enchilada sauce
Jack and cheddar cheese, grated, about 2 cups
Saute your chopped green onions in a little butter or olive oil just for a minute then add the green chiles. I thin the enchilada sauce with the sour cream (more or less to your liking). Spoon a little of the sauce into the bottom of your baking dish and pour a little more in a plate so you can dip the tortillas in the sauce before stacking them. Mix the turkey, onions, green chiles, olives and some of the cheese and toss it all with a little of the sauce. Now start your stack with your first tortilla in the bottom of your baking dish (that has been dipped in some sauce) and stack your turkey mixture, a little cheese some sauce and repeat the whole process ending with a tortilla and the remaining sauce and then the cheese. Bake covered in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes and uncover and bake for 10 more until your casserole is bubbly. If you have a lot of turkey leftover you can double this recipe and make it in a 9 by 13 glass baking dish or you can make two and put them in pie dishes and freeze one for later.
1 cup pineapple bit, drained or you can use fresh
3 cups diced cooked turkey
1 cup celery, sliced on the slant or anyway you like
1 cup diced red skinned apples
1⁄2 cup pomegranate seeds
1⁄2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 cup mayonnaise,
1⁄4 cup sour cream
1⁄4 cup pineapple juice
Toss pineapple in a large bowl with turkey, celery, apple, pomegranate seeds and almonds. In a separate bowl, combine mayo, sour cream and pineapple juice. Toss dressing over turkey mix in larger bowl. I’ve also used grapes and pears in this salad.