November 19, 2015 – Get ready turkey fans! As the nights get cooler and the leaves start to turn, we all get that itch for this favorite fall holiday. That’s right folks; Thanksgiving is right around the corner which leads us to the inevitable pile of festive leftovers for us to make turkey sandwiches and soup with, right? WRONG!
Chef Kevin from the ALDI Test Kitchen here to give you a few ideas beyond the normal leftover delicacies we have all become accustomed to over the years. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first to tell you how much I love a nice turkey sandwich. However, we limit ourselves to a few pieces of turkey maybe some gravy or cranberry sauce on some toasted white bread; but why not take that a step further?
A sturdy bread, like a garlic bread loaf, can support a lot more than a few slices of dark meat. I encourage you all to find the breaking point of that garlic bread. Make your leftover sandwich look more like something out of a New York deli! Layer it with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, gravy, and maybe a little more turkey. This stack of leftover heaven will instantly bring you to the point where a turkey nap isn’t just an idea, but a necessity.
This next leftover cuisine is dedicated to all the turkey fryers out there. Long after family and friends have devoured a perfectly fried, golden, crispy turkey, you’re left with a heaping vat of oil to deal with. What if you could get a little more use out of that sweet, golden fat before you roll up your sleeves and recycle it? Thanksgiving leftovers offer you a multitude of great binders to mix and match with your favorite flavors; then fry ’em until they’re golden brown and delicious.
- Combine stuffing with anything on the table to make things like cranberry hush puppies or fried turkey fritters.
- Green bean casserole can be another great binder. Combining everyone’s favorite casserole with a little extra mushroom soup and breadcrumbs puts a whole new spin on an age old recipe.
- If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, pumpkin pie filling thickened slightly with crushed up sugar cookies is another unique fritter just waiting for hot oil and hungry mouths.
This year, I challenge you all to think outside the box with Thanksgiving leftovers. Things like turkey stir fry, turkey egg rolls and leftover Thanksgiving lasagna can all be done with a little planning. As a chef, my passion is experimenting with new ideas and recipes and pushing the boundaries of what is considered “normal” in the culinary world. I implore you to do the same at home and show your friends and family a new way to eat leftovers – and share your ideas in the comments below!
May your turkeys be tender and juicy and your gravy be smooth and creamy! Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Chef Kevin has settled in at ALDI after taking a tour through the hospitality industry. After graduating culinary school in 2008, he worked his way up from line cook to executive chef at an award-winning classic Italian restaurant. His true calling is southern style barbeque and anything smoked. However, as a master VPN-Certified Neapolitan pizza expert with olive oil running through his veins, classic Italian is near and dear to his heart. Cooking, music, and the outdoors keep him happy, healthy, and busy, while life at ALDI keeps him focused and driven.