By Kathleen Nixon
November 25, 2011
Falls Church Times Staff
Now that the big food day is over, the question now is: what to do with all the leftovers? You have shopped, prepared and presented all of this glorious food, but how many times can you reheat and eat it? Don’t get me wrong I love turkey sandwiches and reheating gravy and mashed potatoes but after a day or so, you would like to see these great dishes take on a second act.
With this in mind, I asked two of our local phenomenal chef’s Tracy O’Grady of Willow and Steve Mannino of Rustico to share with me their ideas of what to do with our Thanksgiving leftovers. Tracy came up with Turkey Stuffing Shepherd’s Pie and Steve blew me away with his Mashed Potato Chocolate cake. If you don’t feel so inclined to do either of these, please consider at least making a broth out of your turkey carcass and use it for soup or stew with your remaining turkey meat.
Broth has seems to fallen out of favor in our society because it takes so long to prepare but I firmly believe there is nothing better for our cooking or health than homemade broths. When I am feeling particularly frazzled, I will set aside a day of the weekend to make a broth so that the house smells heavenly and I have quarts of great broth sitting in my freezer to add to any dish. Many of us grew up on broths from bouillon cubes or from a can, but these miss many of the minerals and nutrients that come from the bones that are part of any great broth. The critical component of making a broth is time – just letting the bones simmer in a pot on the stove for hours – preferably at least 6 hours but more like 8. This doesn’t mean you have to sit and watch it, just let it simmer while you do other things around the house. I really liked these two methods of making broth from Cooking for Engineers and Cheap Cooking.
Now if you want to use more of the leftovers, Tracy O’Grady Chef and Owner of Willow Restaurant created this recipe for us using many of the ingredients that we will have left over from our Thanksgiving meals.
Turkey Stuffing Sheppard’s Pie by Tracy O’Grady – Willow Restaurant
Bake in an 8”x10” earthenware dish, dimensions do not need to be exact
4 cups picked turkey meat, use both dark and white or whatever is leftover
2 cups leftover gravy
1-2 cups turkey broth made for another meal of turkey soup, cook the turkey carcass very slowly over night in water with mirepoix of celery, carrot and onion
½-1 cup left over mashed potatoes
1 cup leftover glazed or roasted carrots
1 small onion, diced and sautéed until tender
2 stalks of celery, diced and sautéed until tender
4 sage leaves, roughly chopped
3-4 cups leftover stuffing
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- Use leftover cranberry sauce as an accompaniment
- Use leftover green bean as an accompaniment
Heat the gravy and mashed potatoes together whisking until smooth, add in turkey stock to the desired consistency. The gravy mixture can be as thick or brothy as desired. Fold in the turkey meat, carrots, onions, celery, sage, salt and pepper and place in the earthenware dish. Spread the leftover stuffing evenly over the top of the stew (if the stuffing is too dry add some of the turkey stock). Cover the Sheppard’s pie with foil and place in a 350* preheated oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until fairly hot. Remove the foil and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until the stuffing is crispy and the pie is hot and bubbly inside.
I had always tried to think of ways to recreate something with mashed potatoes so when Steve Mannino shared his family recipe of Mashed Potato Chocolate Cake I was overjoyed and intrigued. Caution: this is not a recipe to use with garlic or cheesy mashed potatoes.
Chocolate-Potato Cake by Steve Mannino of Rustico
Makes one Bundt cake.
2 cups sugar
2/3 cups butter, softened
2 eggs, separated
1 cup skinless mashed potatoes, such as peeled Idaho potatoes mashed with cream, butter, and salt
1 cup whole milk
½ cup cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: 1 cup chopped nuts such as chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds (to be folded into the batter)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using egg beaters or a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter on medium-high speed. Add the egg yolks and beat until incorporated, about a minute. Blend in the potatoes and then the milk until thoroughly mixed. The mixture should have a thin mashed potato consistency at this point.
In another bowl, combine the cocoa, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon (if using). Fold these dry ingredients into the batter. Add more flour if the batter seems too loose—it should be the consistency of regular cake or brownie batter.
Using egg beaters or a stand mixer beat the egg whites on high speed until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the cake batter. Beat in the vanilla, and then stir in the chopped nuts (if using).
Pour into a greased Bundt cake pan and bake approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the cake and if it comes out clean, it’s ready to eat. Frost with the cream cheese icing.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound butter, softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar until the mixture reaches desired sweetness and smoothness. Mix in the vanilla extract and set aside.