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Spice up holiday leftovers and keep the yum coming

POSTED: November 23, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune

To help solve the bird problem after Thanksgiving, why not get a little creative and transfer that sandwich into a soft taco?

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Sure Thanksgiving is still a day away, but it’s never to early to start brainstorming ideas about what to do with your leftovers.

If eating the exact same meal repeatedly isn’t your thing, consider ways to make your remaining fare an event for your taste buds by incorporating a few extra ingredients.

If ham or turkey are on your Thanksgiving menu, chances are pretty high that you’ll have a few leftover slices. One of the go-to choices for residual meat is to make sandwiches.

Of course that’s an easy option, but what about whipping up your own spreads to replace the mayonnaise and mustard standbys?

Try building up from a cream cheese base and blending in some chives and black pepper. Or if you’re feeling really adventurous, whip up a roasted red pepper pesto sauce to drizzle over your meat.

A sweet option would be to blend leftover cranberry sauce with cream cheese and throw in a few candied pecans or walnuts.

You could also pile leftover turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce on top of thick slices of French bread, smother it with cheese; broil it and drizzle it with gravy to create a Thanksgiving-flavored open-face sandwich.

If your discriminating taste buds need even more variety, think about using your leftover turkey as filling for a soft taco.

With turkey tacos, you get to play with more vibrant flavorings like chili and fresh cilantro.

Using a corn tortilla instead of a flour one also contributes its own taste and texture. Consider turning those tortillas into hot enchiladas. Fill each with slivered turkey, refried beans, shredded cheese and diced poblano peppers.

Lay the enchiladas in a lightly greased casserole, cover with tomato sauce, top with more grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees until warmed through, about 25 minutes.

MCT Information Services contributed to this article.


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