After the feast, give thanks for leftovers

Chef Yianni Arhontoulis of Mica in Chestnut Hill will make a Thanksgiving Melt using a thick slice of turkey, cranberry sauce and a topping of pureed stuffing mixed with milk and cream all on a slice of sourdough bread.

When Marcie Turney was growing up in Wisconsin, Thanksgiving wasn’t complete without classics like Stove Top stuffing and cranberry sauce out of a can. Turney’s tastes have evolved, but the chef and co-owner behind restaurants Barbuzzo, Bud & Marilyn’s, and Lolita still relishes the comforting tastes of childhood, like the tang from a slice of jellied cranberries. And on the morning after the big feast, she’s far from burned out on holiday food.

“I can eat Thanksgiving food for two weeks,” she said.

To that end, Turney and her loved ones plan ways to make family-style brunch meals out of their Thanksgiving leftovers, like turkey chilaquiles, which resemble baked nachos. Turney uses a bag of store-bought tortilla chips and layers them with turkey,  leftover stuffing, salsa, black beans, and cheese. Other leftover vegetables can be incorporated, too, like Brussels sprouts or potatoes. She tops the platter with scallions, cilantro, maybe some guacamole and sour cream, and a few sunny-side-up eggs.

Yianni Arhontoulis, chef-owner of Mica in Chestnut Hill, didn’t grow up on Thanksgiving sandwiches. Thanks to his Greek heritage, stuffing for him was more like dirty rice. He was 21 before he ever tried a bread-based variety, but once he did, he was hooked.

“Stuffing,” he said, “was a revelation. So was real cranberry sauce.”

For his day-after feast, Arhontoulis created a “Thanksgiving melt,” an open-faced turkey sandwich on slices of crusty sourdough, covered with a smear of cranberry sauce that he heats up with red wine and a hint of vanilla. He blends leftover stuffing with milk and cream, smoothing it into something almost like cheese, which he pours over the sandwich. The sandwich can be heated under a broiler until the topping starts to turn golden-brown, then devoured instantly.

Camera icon DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer
Thanksgiving chilaquiles using leftovers from chef Marcie Turney.

“By the end, it’s almost like a tuna melt,” he said. “With leftovers, you don’t want something you need to commit to. You want something fun, something comforting.”

Chef Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka of the Zama sushi restaurant in Rittenhouse said his family usually eats hot pot on Thanksgiving, maybe with a turkey sandwich on the side as a nod to tradition. He recommends a Japanese twist for leftover meat: Nasu dengaku, a riff on a popular Japanese dish made with eggplant and miso. He chops up turkey and throws it in a pan with miso, sugar, mirin, and a dash of sesame oil, and slowly cooks it down until the texture resembles a paste.

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Nasu dengaku, eggplant topped with miso and turkey, at Zama.

Tanaka serves the hearty, sticky-sweet blend over a thick slice of grilled eggplant but said it also can be tucked into a lettuce wrap, used as a dip with vegetable crudite, or even served over a bowl of rice. “It’s like soul food,” he said.

At the Blue Corn restaurant in the Italian Market, brothers Amado and Agustin Sandoval Hernandez serve turkey with rich, velvety mole sauce. But they have plenty of ideas for Thanksgiving leftover dishes done Mexican-style, like crispy turkey flautas, and rich, comforting turkey enchiladas slathered in spicy salsa verde and sour cream.

Camera icon CHARLES FOX
Thanksgiving enchiladas as prepared by the chefs at Blue Corn.

Leftover turkey can be sauteed with onions and garlic, then tucked into pan-fried corn tortillas. Leftover vegetables can be incorporated, as well. Whip up the sauce using tomatillos, jalapeño peppers, onions, and garlic, drizzle over the enchiladas, and top the whole thing with sour cream and cheese.

“You can use whatever kind of cheese you have in the fridge,” Amado Hernandez said. “Make it whatever you want.”

And then, maybe it’s time for another nap.


Thanksgiving melt

Makes two sandwiches.

A Thanksgiving Melt by Yianni Arhontoulis.

INGREDIENTS

4 slices  sourdough bread

Butter for toasting

8 slices roasted turkey

Salt and pepper

2 cups cranberry sauce

1 cup red wine

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 vanilla bean

1 cup leftover stuffing

2½ cups milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Brush bread with butter and toast, or crisp each side in a saute pan.
  2. Season turkey with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat cranberry sauce with vinegar and vanilla in a saucepan and simmer for about 20 minutes, then spread on bread slices. Layer two slices of turkey on top of each bread slice.
  4. Bring milk to a boil in a separate saucepan.
  5. Place stuffing in a blender and slowly add hot milk, blending until the resulting sauce thickens to a consistency similar to cheese sauce.
  6. Ladle sauce over the sandwiches and place slices under a broiler for several minutes, until the sauce starts to bubble and turn golden brown.

-- Chef Yianni Arhontoulis of Mica

Per serving: 552 calories, 51 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 14 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 121 mg cholesterol, 557 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 11 g sugar.


Turkey Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

Makes 6 enchiladas

Thanksgiving enchiladas as prepared by the chefs at Blue Corn.

INGREDIENTS

1¼ cup turkey, shredded

3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

6 corn tortillas

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

Optional: sour cream, cheese for topping.

For the sauce:

4 tomatillos, husked

2 jalapeños, diced

1 clove garlic

½ cup onion, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pan-fry tortillas in 1 tablespoon oil and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, saute turkey with onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons oil.
  3. In a large pot, add tomatillos, jalapeños, garlic, and onion to 2 cups of water. Simmer sauce until it thickens and cooks down, adding salt to taste.
  4. Stuff tortillas with chicken and top with sauce. Add sour cream and cheese if desired.

-- From Blue Corn restaurant

Per serving: 182 calories, 11 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 33 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar


Turkey Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

Makes 6 enchiladas

Thanksgiving enchiladas as prepared by the chefs at Blue Corn.

INGREDIENTS

1¼ cup turkey, shredded

3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

6 corn tortillas

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

Optional: sour cream, cheese for topping.

For the sauce:

4 tomatillos, husked

2 jalapeños, diced

1 clove garlic

½ cup onion, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pan-fry tortillas in 1 tablespoon oil and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, saute turkey with onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons oil.
  3. In a large pot, add tomatillos, jalapeños, garlic, and onion to 2 cups of water. Simmer sauce until it thickens and cooks down, adding salt to taste.
  4. Stuff tortillas with chicken and top with sauce. Add sour cream and cheese if desired.

-- From Blue Corn restaurant

Per serving: 182 calories, 11 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 33 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar


Turkey Dengaku Miso

Serves 6

Nasu Dengaku," eggplant topped with miso and turkey at Zama.

INGREDIENTS

1-2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

6 slices eggplant

1½ cups miso, red or white

½ pound leftover turkey, chopped

¾ cup sugar

6 tablespoons mirin (type of rice wine)

5 tablespoons sesame oil

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a grill pan or saute pan and cook eggplant until tender.
  2. Place remaining ingredients in a separate pan.
  3. Cook down slowly, using a spatula, until the mixture thickens.
  4. Spread over eggplant and serve.

-- From chef Hiroyuki "Zama" Tenaka of Zama restaurant

Per serving: 381 calories, 22 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 27 mg cholesterol, 929 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 16 g sugar.