RecipeHacking Challenge # 4: Thanksgiving

21 Nov

This time instead of choosing a specific recipe to hack we’re opting for a seasonal theme: THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get creative with the remnants of your turkey day feast. You can choose to hack one component of the meal or many or all. Not all Thanksgiving dinners are created equal but we’re working on the assumption that there’s usually turkey/tofurky, cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing (a.k.a. dressing depending on where you’re from), mashed potatoes, vegetables (green bean cassarole? peas and onions?, sweet potatoes/yams?, squash? etc. etc.), and often pie. It doesn’t matter if the dish you choose to hack is traditional or not. What does matter is that it was part of your original Thanksgiving dinner. If it’s not obvious, please explain how your dish or ingredient was initially used and then how you chose to reinvent it.

Now to be clear – this ain’t no turkey sandwich challenge. We know you can do better than that!

As usual, please post your recipes in the comment section of this post. The winner of the Thanksgiving Leftover RecipeHacking Challenge will win bragging rights and a small prize. The deadline for this challenge is December 11th.

If you are new to RecipeHacking check out a description here and our previous rice and bean, macaroni and cheese, and pizza challenges.

7 Responses to “RecipeHacking Challenge # 4: Thanksgiving”

  1. Jamie Folsom November 26, 2009 at 10:52 pm #

    Fight for Your Right to Paaaaaaate’!!

    Your favorite non-dessert type alcoholic beverage in a large glass
    1 little bag of turkey goodies you remembered (or didn’t) to take out of the body before roasting, aka giblets
    1 heaping tsp. herbes de Provence
    2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    water to cover

    1 cup cooked dressing/stuffing (can include anything you had, except seafood based)

    garnishes: sliced olives, pickels, pickeled onions, leftover salad fixin’s, etc.

    1.Rinse bagged giblets in cold water and place in small sauce pan with herbs and garlic.
    2. While drinking your alcoholic beverage, bring giblets to boil and cook through (10-15 min.) Take off heat and cool to room temperature. Don’t forget to add a tad of your alcoholic beverage to the mixture before it cools.
    3. Wait until after you chop the giblets and return them to the pan to pour yourself another drink and call your mom to thank her for your life. Add dressing to the pan and let sit for a little while.
    4. Transfer mixture to food processor and blend until smooth, adding more dressing or alcoholic beverage as needed to get the right consistency.
    5. Unplug processor and stand at the counter to dip crackers into pate. Chase cracker with garnish and fresh alcoholic beverage.

    Alternate serving suggestion: Form pate into whimsical holiday shapes, serve with crackers and garnishes on a platter.

  2. Karen Renzi November 30, 2009 at 12:20 pm #

    Sweet Potato Croquettes

    No real recipe b/c I just make things up as I go but the jist of it is to take leftover mashed sweet potatoes, add shredded cheese (we like 6 cheese italian blend), an egg, and enough breadcrumbs to make it the right consistency to work with. Make into 1-inch or so balls, roll in bread crumbs (seasoned if you like). Fry ’em up. Probably not the lowest cal recipe after frying but they go down easy!

  3. Paul Stearns December 1, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    Turkey Pot Pie

    These are really easy and can be modified infinitely. We use those small aluminum individual tins but it will work just as well in a casserole dish. As I’m sick of cooking by this time I just use Bisquick for the dough. Depending on how many and how big a dish, I offer no quantities. Here’s what I put in mine:

    Turkey (duh!)
    Mashed Potatoes

    Any other items will likely work although I just can’t see beets in there. If you choose not to add gravy (my wife hates gravy) you can use a white sauce or just some broth.

    Cook at 350 degree till done (Don’t you just hate instructions like that)

    Good luck!

  4. Darren December 1, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    I stole this idea of what to do with leftover cranberry sauce from one of my brothers.

    Cheese Blintzes with Cranberry Sauce

    Your leftover cranberry sauce

    For crêpes
    1 1/2 cups whole milk
    6 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    3/8 teaspoon salt

    2 tablespoons butter, melted

    For filling
    1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) farmer cheese
    1/2 cup (4 ounces) large-curd cottage cheese (4% milk fat)
    1 egg yolk
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
    1 tablespoon sugar

    Make crêpes
    In blender, combine milk and eggs. Add flour and salt and blend at low speed until smooth, less than 1 minute. Let batter stand 1/2 hour.
    Have ready large plate or platter. Place cast iron skillet or omelet pan over moderately high heat, brush lightly with some melted butter, and heat until butter just begins to smoke. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter into pan, tilting to spread into thin, even layer. Cook until crêpe begins to “blister,” edges curl slightly away from skillet, and underside is lightly browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Use flexible spatula to flip crêpe out of skillet and onto plate, cooked side up.
    Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet lightly with melted butter before cooking each crêpe. Stack crêpes, cooked side down, on plate and let cool.

    Make filling
    In large bowl, mash together farmer and cottage cheeses until blended. Add egg yolk, melted butter, sugar, and salt, and mix until combined.
    Place 1 crêpe, cooked side up, on a plate. Place 2 tablespoons filling in center, and fold up bottom to cover filling. Fold down top, then flip over and fold in sides. Flip over again and place on a large plate. Repeat with remaining crêpes and filling. (Can be made up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill until ready to fry.)

    Heat Cranberry Sauce
    In a saucepan, heat your leftover cranberry sauce over medium-low heat and keep warm until ready to serve blintzes.

    Fry blintzes
    Heat 1 tablespoon butter in iron skillet or non-stick skillet over moderately high heat. Add 3 blintzes and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining blintzes. Serve hot with your warmed cranberry sauce spooned over the top.

  5. Mary Alice Crim December 2, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

    We turned our formerly decorative pumpkin into this delish soup. We used the recipe below and substituted turkey for chicken, chili powder for cumin. Skipped the red pepper and the garnishes all together. Used the turkey juices for the base of a broth. Yum!

    Southwestern Chicken Soup with Pumpkin
    1 tbsp. olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
    2 cups corn kernels
    2 cups pureed pumpkin (or 1 15-oz can)
    2 tsp. chili powder
    1 tsp. ground cumin
    ½ tsp. salt (or to taste)
    Black pepper to taste
    4 cups chicken broth
    2 cups chopped cooked chicken
    ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
    ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream

    Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper; cook until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add corn, pumpkin, and spices (through black pepper); cook another 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking. Stir in the broth, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are fully cooked. Add the chicken and cilantro, and simmer another 5 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

  6. Erica January 6, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    From Adrienne Stearns:

    One Dish Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole

    Grease a medium casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Place leftover mashed potatoes on bottom of dish. Layer leftover vegetables-we always have creamed peas and onions, but any vegetable will work.

    Next layer leftover turkey cut up in pieces, then a layer of stuffing. Pour leftover gravy over all and cover with rest of mashed potatoes if you have more, or just cover with foil if you don’t.

    I didn’t have potatoes this year, so I substituted stuffing for potatoes.

    Bake 30-40 minutes


  1. RecipeHacking Challenge #5: Shepherd’s Pie « Kitchen Dancing - March 12, 2011

    […] In honor of St. Patrick’s Day next week I’m choosing a quintessentially Irish dish to hack. Shepherd’s Pie! It’s been a while so if you’ve forgotten how RecipeHacking works or are new to RecipeHacking here’s the general idea. Look back at previous posts to see how we’ve challenged our readers to hack macaroni and cheese, beans and rice, pizza, and thanksgiving leftovers. […]

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