Once you slide into the post-Thanksgiving food coma, the idea of reprising the meal loses just a bit of its luster. After a round of turkey-and-cranberry sandwiches on Black Friday, the remaining leftovers — and yes, there are bound to be some — look even less appealing.
We’ve had a few bright ideas for repurposing Thanksgiving leftovers.
This year, we asked chefs, food bloggers and other experts for their best recipes to reinvent Thanksgiving leftovers. Six to try:
Candied Sweet Potato Soda
Portland restaurant The Original Dinerant makes this unique drink from scratch using sweet potatoes, marshmallows and other ingredients. You can also use leftover candied sweet potatoes in lieu of sweet potatoes.
Blend in a mixer, and then strain. To make soda, add soda water to taste to three ounces of the puree. For a hot toddy, add an ounce of bourbon and hot water to taste.
Turkey Shepard’s Pie
“It’s one of my favorite leftover Turkey dishes besides the humble warm turkey sandwich, says Jason McLeod, executive chef of Consortium Holdings, whose San Diego, Calif., properties include Craft & Commerce, Neighborhood and Underbelly.
Start by shredding leftover turkey meat. Chop leftover vegetables. Heat the turkey and vegetables in a large pot. Add leftover gravy and mix well.
Add your choice of seasoning — McLeod uses chipotle powder, garlic powder and onion powder. Place the mix in casserole dish and cover with leftover mashed potatoes.
Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Serve with leftover cranberry sauce.
Basic Turkey Jerky
If you have a dehydrator, turn leftover turkey into a dried snack with this recipe from Excalibur Dehydrators.
Coat thin strips of turkey with a little olive oil and a few seasonings to taste. Place strips on the dehydrator tray, making sure that they do not touch each other.
Set the temperature for 140 degrees. Cook 6 to 12 hours, checking hourly until the inside of a slice has no moisture at all and is the same color throughout.
Thanksgiving Eggs Benedict
Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Austin, Texas, turns leftover turkey into a brunch standby.
To make, set aside two to four slices of turkey, a scoop of stuffing and an ounce or two of gravy per person. Heat each component in a microwave until warm.
Split an English muffin per person and then toast. Scoop stuffing on top of each side of the English muffin. Top stuffing with slices of reheated turkey.
Bring two cups of water and a teaspoon white vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepot. Crack two eggs, then drop into the simmering water and poach for 2-4 minutes.
Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Set an egg on top of each muffin half.
Ladle gravy over each poached egg. Spoon a little cranberry sauce on the plate.
Candied Yam Bread Pudding
No pumpkin pie left? No problem. Chef Derek Simcik, executive chef of Chicago’s Atwood Café, makes a dessert from leftover sweet potatoes and bread.
First, butter a deep pan. Tear 12 ounces of leftover bread into chunks and place in a large bowl. Pour a quart of heavy cream over the bread and set aside until soft.
Beat three eggs and five ounces sugar until smooth and thick. Add a half-ounce of vanilla, an ounce of melted butter, and two ounces of brandy.
Gently toss together the egg mixture, the bread and four to five ounces of candied yams. Pour into pan and bake at 350 until browned and almost set, about 45 minutes.
Thanksgiving Monte Cristo
“For a lighter version, pan fry this recipe instead of deep-frying,” says Katherine Humphus, executive chef of BO-beau kitchen + bar and100 Wines Hillcrest in San Diego, Calif.
To make, form two patties out of leftover stuffing, with gravy mixed in for moisture. Make a sandwich using the stuffing patties as “bread,” placing turkey, mashed potatoes and some green bean casserole in between.
Close patties around the filling. Bread each with flour and egg. Deep fry until golden brown and hot in the center, and enjoy with side of cranberry sauce.
Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie.