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    Categories: Food

Get the most from your leftovers

What’s the best part of Christmas dinner, besides the delicious table full of holiday favourites such as turkey, ham and stuffing, and the nap that follows? Why, leftovers of course!

Have you ever been to a Christmas dinner where guests actually consumed every last scrap of food? Neither have we. So rather than resign yourself to a week of turkey sandwiches and reheated platters of Christmas dinner, try one of these recipes to jazz up the meals at the table … if you can find the energy.

Ham Stuffed Manicotti

14 manicotti pasta shells

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/4 c. butter or olive oil

1 to 2 c. cooked cubed ham

1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

6 tbsp. butter or olive oil

6 tbsp. flour

3 c. milk

2 c. shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook manicotti as directed on package. Drain, rinse in cool water and set aside. Cook onion, garlic and green bell pepper in 4 tbsp. butter or olive oil until tender. Add ham and set aside to cool. Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.

In another heavy saucepan, cook 6 tbsp. butter or olive oil until foamy. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture bubbles. Add milk and cook, whisking constantly, until sauce thickens. Stir in cheese. Mix one-quarter of cheese sauce with ham mixture.

Fill manicotti shells with ham mixture. Spread 1/2 c. cheese sauce in greased glass baking dish and arrange filled shells over sauce. If there is any leftover stuffing, just sprinkle it over the filled shells. Pour remaining cheese sauce over filled manicotti. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 F for 40 to 50 minutes until bubbly. Serves eight.

Turkey a là King

1/4 c. butter

1/2 c. chopped green pepper

4 oz. sliced mushrooms

1/4 c. flour

1 1/2 c. half and half or milk

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 jar pimiento, strips or chopped

2 1/2 c. cooked cubed turkey

Dash of onion powder

Dash of pepper

Melt butter in a pan and add green pepper and mushrooms. Cover and simmer five minutes. Remove vegetables with slotted spoon. Add flour to butter, cooking and stirring until smooth. Add half-and-half and cream of mushroom soup, stirring until smooth and thickened. Add turkey, pimiento, mushrooms, green pepper and seasonings. Serve over hot cooked rice, biscuits or noodles. Serves six.

Turkey Tetrazzini

8 oz. spaghettini or vermicelli, broken into smaller pieces, cooked, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

3 c. diced cooked turkey

2 tbsp. diced pimientos

1 tbsp. butter

4 oz. sliced mushrooms

1/4 c. chopped onion

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 c. chicken broth

1/4 c. dry sherry

Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine spaghetti with 1 c. cheddar cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese. Add turkey and pimientos. In a skillet, melt butter and sauté mushrooms and onions until tender, then add to the turkey mixture along with remaining ingredients. Gently stir to combine ingredients. Place in a greased casserole and sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Cover with lid or foil and bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly in the centre. Serves six to eight.

Leftover Turkey Soup

Turkey, well trimmed skin, etc.

Turkey bones

1 large onion

1 carrot

Several sprigs of parsley

8 to 10 cups of water

2 peppercorns

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 cups shelled peas

3/4 cups rice

Leftover stuffing

Salt and pepper, to taste

Place turkey, bones, skin, onion, carrot, parsley, water, peppercorns, and salt in large stockpot. Simmer covered for two hours then cool. Remove fat from top, strain stock and discard bones. Return stock to pot and add mushrooms, peas, rice and turkey. Simmer for 30 minutes covered over low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ten minutes before serving, add leftover stuffing, cut into cubes. Serves eight.

Mashed Potato Supreme

2 c. leftover mashed potatoes

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp. capers, drained

2 tbsp. parsley leaves, finely chopped

1 tbsp. wine vinegar

2 tbsp. milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 F or warm up broiler. Warm mashed potatoes either in a pot or microwave. Whip with a fork vigorously or, for extra fluffy results, beat them with a hand or stand mixer. Add the milk as needed if they are a bit dry.

Using a piping bag with a large star tip, arrange the whipped potatoes as desired in a broiler-safe dish. Bake and/or broil until the potatoes are golden brown on top.

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic and let it sweat for several minutes. Increase the heat to medium-low and add the vinegar and capers for one or two minutes. Turn off heat.

Once the potatoes are browned, remove from the oven and drizzle the dressing from the saucepan over the top. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve. Serves four.

St. Albert Gazette: The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.