Thanksgiving lefftovers 3.0

There are only so many leftover Thanksgiving sandwiches you can eat. Iventive ways of preserving your feast are out there, and it goes beyond putting the same food between two slices of bread.

Leftover turkey makes a delicious jerky – a healthy snack to bring you into the new year. You don’t need a dehydrator, and since the meat is already cooked, there’s less prep time. Already-cooked meat can tend towards being dry once dehydrated, so unlike beef, it’s okay to add a little oil. The below photo demonstrates a delectable mix of fat, salt and heat. This hot sauce is addictive, and recently made the leap from Asian grocery stores to mainstream supermarkets.

Warning: This hot sauce is addictive.

Don’t stop there. The turkey has been stripped but is still fresh and full of flavor. Throw into a big stock pot and simmer, cover, and let sit overnight. The next day, remove the bones and strain the silky broth into mason jars. Leave a few inches at the top for when the broth turns to ice and expands in the freezer. Use as needed for soups, shabu shabu and more.

When packaging the broth, you’ll discover leftover meat and skin. Be sure to remove the tiny bones, and save in a container to mix in with the pet food at mealtime. This lean, seasoned meat will make it feel like a holiday for your furry friends too.

Leftover cranberries are perfect for the dehydrator, where you can turn them into Craisin-like snacks. They add sweetness and texture to salads, homemade trail mix and baked goods.

Since cranberries tend to be bitter, you have to blanch them to break the skin, and mix with simple syrup to sweeten them up. When you shake simple syrup with cranberries in a container, you are left with a festive cranberry simple syrup. Cocktail lovers rejoice!

These are but a few of many ways you can reinvent your Thanksgiving leftovers, and infuse new flavors. Happy holidays!

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