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

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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