Post Thanksgiving, Pre Christmas is always a strangely busy, dangerously caloric, and incredibly joyous time of year. The trouble of it being that you always buy and prepare too much food and have left overs that sit in the fridge until they scum to their furry death and you are forced to throw them out with a clothes pin on your nose and rubber gloves covering you from fingertip to elbow (wishing they covered your whole body or at least up to your shoulder). This year I refused to let the delectable scraps go to waste. I was determined to get inventive and create some dishes with what was in the fridge (and a few extras for added flavor and extra decadence).
I wish I had taken photos of the turkey that I made for Thanksgiving. You guys, it was GD Gorgeous! I had never made one on my own before and as I was elbow deep in dead bird I nearly gave up. However, in the end that golden brown, succulent and moist bird made every moment of hating my life worth it (I rarely cook meat… I will eat it out, but I just hate touching it, I am a pansy and I know it, but I feel I should get some street cred for cooking a full turkey single handed). The only trouble being, I wasn’t sure how many would be eating dinner at our “friendsgiving” so I bought a 16-18 lb turkey, which is quite a lot to consume in one day. So having eaten a hefty chunk and given away all we could, Drew and I still went home with nearly HALF of that glorious bird. What do you do with that much turkey? Drew ate some for lunches, I ate some on salad, but it didn’t put a dent in the mountain of left overs. I decided to do what any resourceful person would do… I made soup (I don’t have photos, but it was so tasty I must share it with you).
2 quarts organic chicken stock (you can use 1 quart water if you prefer to cut down on the stock)
1 cup brown rice
4 large carrots peeled and cut into bit size pieces
1-2 stalks celery (optional)
1 lb green beans
half of a large sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
1-2 tsp fresh crushed pepper
10 shredded brussel sprouts
Left over Turkey (I had 1-2 lbs pulled apart)
IN a stock pot, saute Carrots, Celery, Onion, Garlic, and Brussels in 1 tbsp Olive Oil. Once slightly translucent add the Chicken Stock (and water), Rice, Turkey, and seasonings. Let simmer for 1 hour, add more liquid if need be part way through cooking. Enjoy! It taste like childhood in a bowl and is just lovely on a chilly day.
In addition to making the turkey for the holiday, I also made sweet potato dinner rolls, apple cranberry cornbread stuffing (it was incredible I will share it soon) and apple crisp. Seeing as how I am an over preparer I made too much sweet potato for the rolls and I had several apples left over (thank you Drew for running to the store a million times!). I decided the only thing to do would be to invent some divine sweet potato/apple dessert, and thats when it dawned on me.
Sweet Potato Crusted, Apple Tarts with Honey Goat Cheese!
1 cup mashed sweet potato
2 cups all purpose gluten free flower (add additional flour if you feel your crust is too doughy)
1/2 cup almond meal
1 egg (omit the egg for more of a pie crust consistency)
only add water as needed, the sweet potato will add a lot of the moisture the dough needs.
2 tbsp melted butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp honey
Mix, press into muffin tin or chill, roll out, cut into biscuit sized pieces and press into tin (chilling the dough will give it a flakier pie crust feeling)
Pre bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes
Spread 1/2 tsp Honey Goat Cheese into each crust
1 large honey crisp apple, peeled and diced
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp apple pie spice
1 tbsp honey
juice from 1/4 of a lemon
Place filling over goat cheese in each tart shell
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until apples are soft
These tarts are divine because they aren’t too sweet and they give you a subtle hint of creamy goat cheese in every bite that isn’t over whelming, instead it adds to the layers of flavor and makes it divine.
I hope you enjoyed your left overs as much as we enjoyed ours!