Leftovers


We’ve made our way to another traditional holiday meal. But if you don’t handle those leftovers correctly, your family will remember Christmas dinner for all the wrong reasons.

• Always thaw meet in the refrigerator or under cold running water – not at room temperature.

• Make sure your turkey is cooked at the proper temperature which is 165 degrees in the center of the bird.

• After the big meal, refrigerate the leftovers quickly. After your turkey is cooked, it should not be out for more than two hours.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

My family loves bananas but we always seem to end up with a bunch of bananas that are starting to go bad. You know, the skins on the outside of the bananas go black and the insides get all brown and mushy.  I used to get annoyed and think what a waste, then I realized that these black bananas might be part of a family conspiracy — the Nana Bread Conspiracy.  Could it be that there is a pact in my house to not eat the last four bananas?  They let them hang there, aging, ripening and pushing me to throw the gnat magnets in the garbage or… make everyone’s favorite dessert: Nana Bread.

Nana Bread

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl.
  3. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas.
  4. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla.
  5. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
  6. Add the flour last, mix.
  7. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 1 hour.
  9. Cool on a rack.
  10. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Sometimes it just gets ugly on the dinner front.  Saturday night it was just my wife and I and we were scheduled for grocery shopping on Sunday.  So, like Old Mother Hubbard, I went to the cupboard and it was pretty close to bare.  Armed with tomato soup and elbow macaroni I set out to make a meal.  With a little help from my friends at Google we had a great meal.

Tomato Soup Spaghetti Sauce

  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 cup water; (up to 1 cup)

Cook hamburger and onion til burger is done. Add everything else but water – combine. Add water until slightly thinner than you want sauce and simmer until desired thickness. Serve.

Thanksgiving dinner was great. The turkey was moist, the collard greens were just like my mom used to make and my wife made a wonderful sweet potato cake.

Having stuffed ourselves with turkey on Thursday, followed by turkey sandwiches on Friday, another round of reheated turkey looked less and less appealing. By Saturday I realized had to do something, anything, with the leftover turkey.

I went looking for something different, a new recipe that put some “growl” into yesterday’s “gobble”. I happened onto this recipe for Chili-Flavored Turkey Stew With Hominy and Tomatoes.

What a delicious change of pace from the mild Thanksgiving fare. I only deviated from the recipe by adding a bit of Tabasco (the kids were away) to spice it up for my wife. I match it up with some cornbread for a filling meal.

This recipe may find its way into the regular Leftover Les dinner rotation. I will probably replace the leftover Thanksgiving turkey with packaged cooked turkey breasts strips.

Chili-Flavored Turkey Stew With Hominy and Tomatoes

Origin: USA WEEKEND columnist Pam Anderson

Yields: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into medium dice
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into small dice
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 2 cups canned hominy, drained
  • 4 cups leftover turkey meat, pulled into large pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in a large, deep saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook until soft and golden, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and chili powder; continue to cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  3. Add tomatoes, broth and hominy; bring to simmer.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, about 10 minutes, to blend flavors.
  5. Add turkey, salt and pepper. Simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in cilantro. Serve with tortilla or corn chips if you like.

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