Before Thanksgiving, we were all so geared for that first taste of the turkey, gravy, stuffing and mashed potatoes. The second and third bites were pretty fabulous too and I for one was really looking forward to The Sandwich the next day. But by day three leftover turkey is a challenge and most of us just want to see it disappear. When my producer asked me to come up with a leftover cooking demo for the last day of the Thanksgiving TV extravaganza, I thought turkey puff pastry turnovers. It took a lot of trial and error (do you add stuffing or not, I wondered) to come up with the perfect combination. These turnovers are both beautiful, easy, and practical because you can also freeze them and pop them in the oven when whenever you want. And they include bacon too so how could you go wrong? They were a huge hit with Mark and the girls, and the staff at WTIC went crazy over them too. We hope you like them as well!
Question of the Day: What did you do with your leftovers from Thanksgiving?
Turkey Cranberry Puff Pastry Turnovers
From: Heide Lang
1 sheet puff pastry sheets defrosted
All purpose flour for rolling out the dough
1 egg, whisked
1 pound or more leftover turkey cut into 2 inch pieces
8 or more tablespoons leftover gravy
8 tablespoons homemade or canned whole berry cranberry sauce
6 strips cooked crispy bacon, crumbled
2 teaspoons finely chopped sage or rosemary (optional)
1/3 cup or more crispy shallots* (see our recipe for butternut squash soup for recipe)
Roll out one sheet of puff pastry out on a floured surface to 14X14 inches. Square off the edges of the dough using a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
Cut both the length and width of the dough in half so there are 4 equal parts. You will have four 7 X 7 squares.
Whisk 1 teaspoon water and 1 whole egg in a small bowl or ramekin and set aside.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Carefully move the puff pastry squares on to a separate piece of parchment paper.
Place two to three ounces of turkey and two tablespoons each of both gravy and cranberry sauce on each diagonal half of the square. Sprinkle evenly with bacon, shallots and ¼ teaspoon of herbs (optional) on each half of diagonal halves as well, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the square.
Brush the entire border of each square with egg wash and fold over
Use a fork to seal the edges and to assure the filling won’t leak out while the turnovers bake.
Cut the parchment paper around each turnover leaving a 2-inch border. Carefully pick up each by the edges of the parchment paper and place them on the cookie sheet (they will be very fragile, and tend to lose their shape if you lift them with your hands on to the cookie sheet.)
Carefully brush each turnover with egg wash.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve immediately with a green salad and roasted vegetables.
This Pumpkin Fondue is one of our absolute favorite recipes of all time. We’ve posted this one before, but in light of the demo it on TV the other day, I decided to bring it back from the archives. It’s too important to miss! If your Thanksgiving menu is still flexible, we highly encourage you to check this one out! Scroll down for the recipe and a video of the TV segment!
Pumpkins Stuffed with Everything Good – Our Way
From: Heide Lang, Adapted from Dorie Greenspan
8 strips bacon (¼ cup shallots may be substituted for vegetarian version
¼ pound stale bread cut into cubes
¼ pound cheese, such as gruyere, emmental, cheddar, smoked gouda, asiago, parmesan, or any combination, cut into ½ inch cubes
3 cloves of garlic pressed or minced
1/8-1/4 cup fresh chives or scallions
2 teaspoons or more fresh herbs (i.e., parsley, rosemary, thyme)
½ cup dried cranberries (optional)
1 sugar or Cinderella pumpkin weighing about 3 pounds
1 cup or more heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sautee shallots until they are crispy (about 15 minutes), or fry bacon until crispy. Set aside.
Combine chunks of bread and cheese, along with dried cranberries (this is optional, but will add beautiful color to the fondue). Season with salt and pepper.
Add bacon or shallots to the bread and cheese mixture. Combine well.
Add any herbs you choose, along with the chives or scallions, and garlic. Toss well.
Using a very sturdy knife, cut off the cap of the pumpkin, just as you would a jack-o-lantern.
Scoop out the stringy pumpkin and the seeds and generously salt the inside of the pumpkin.
Pack the filling tightly into the pumpkin (there shouldn’t be any air pockets).
Pour in cream until the bread mixture is saturated and there is a bit of liquid on top (but be careful not to have the bread “swimming” in heavy cream).
Put the cap back on and bake until the pumpkin is soft, about 60-90 minutes. Check the pumpkin after 45 minutes to see how soft it is. Continue baking until the ingredients are bubbling and the meat of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced with a fork. Do not let it burn, or the pumpkin will turn black and collapse as it cools. You don’t want all your good work ruined!
Place a large spatula under your creation and move it gently to a beautiful platter.
Serve as a side dish or an appetizer on small plates.
One of the great (and challenging) things about television demos is that you have to make two of everything: one recipe a day earlier for the camera shot and the second live with the host of the show. It takes about a full day to get ready for about five minutes of television that involves a lot of prepping and staging. There are of course many rewards, including all the leftovers! It’s just like having company. My family is having part of the Thanksgiving meal every day (except poor Gabrielle who can’t stand hearing about the dishes from her dorm room!) leading up to the big day. Lucky Isabella has loved having fig goat cheese shallot squares for breakfast (yes, at 6:30 a.m.) for the past two mornings and butternut squash pumpkin soup for lunch.
Today, I made bourbon mashed sweet potatoes, our favorite boozy side dish, along with the pancetta cups with goat cheese, which are so easy, delicious and satisfying. I can’t wait to have them for dinner along with a turkey I made over the weekend so I could create some new leftover recipes.
Let us know if you are planning to make any of our recipes and if you come up with any interesting new ingredient additions. We can’t wait to hear from you. And stay tuned for tomorrow’s segment on Mashed Potato variations!
8 red grapes cut in half (you may also use ripe pears halved, cored, and cut into ¼ inch thick slices or a thin slice of a firm apple instead of grapes)
2-3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme or rosemary (optional)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the pancetta slices snugly in mini cupcake muffin pan.
Bake until golden, about 10 minutes.
Carefully remove pancetta from pan and place on paper towel to absorb the oil. Remove the pancetta cups from the paper towel and on to an attractive serving platter.
Top each with one with a heaping teaspoon of goat cheese and a half a grape. Sprinkle with thyme or rosemary (optional) and serve.
Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes
From: Heide Lang
4 pounds sweet potatoes
1 cup heavy cream at room temperature
1/2 cup bourbon whiskey (We like to use Maker’s Mark bourbon. You may also reduce the bourbon to ¼ cup for milder taste.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional – adding cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg will give the potatoes more of an autumny taste, but will slightly take away from the pure sweet taste of the sweet potatoes and bourbon.
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional – see above)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put the potatoes on foil or parchment paper and brush with olive oil.
Bake until soft and the potatoes start to “ooze” syrup, approximately 45-60 minutes (depending on the size of the potatoes). Remove and let cool slightly.
Remove the skin and put the contents of the sweet potatoes in a medium size bowl (if using a hand blender) or place in a food processor.
Add salt, bourbon, heavy cream, brown sugar, and cinnamon (optional) and nutmeg (optional). Puree until smooth.
Serve or cover and refrigerate overnight. This dish can me made the day before and re-heated in a microwave or oven at 350 degrees.