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Thanks 07 Report #7: Leftovers
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
As I skimped on photo heavy posts for Thanksgiving, here's one that shows what I did with my leftovers...

Lenny's Leftovers Breakfast
This is a three egg omelette made with the extra stuffing for the "Forbidden Onions" (as I sort of made up the recipe, I get to name it!), which has black rice (often called Forbidden Rice), local kielbasa, celery, onions and a little chicken stock. On the side are reheated Frijoles Enpuercados (made by Evelyn, they're refried beans with chorizo) topped with some shredded Mexican cheese and two mash potato patties, made by simply shaping some mashed potatoes into a ball and flattening them.

It was fairly easy to make and very filling--Lenny didn't quite finish it. I think it could be scaled back and made with one or two eggs for a less Paul Bunyan-like breakfast. I don't know where I got the idea for the mashed potato patties, but I thought they stood in for hash browns or potato pancakes just fine. If you flattened them a little more, you could top them with a fried egg and sausage for another yummy breakfast.

Thanksgiving Shepherd's Pie
Please excuse the blazing light in the background of this photo. I wasn't paying enough attention to composition. I should have used my mobile studio, but I was lazy and, as I was serving this to Lenny, didn't want to let it get cold.

From the bottom up: cornbread stuffing with pecans and bacon, packed on the bottom for a good crust, then Evelyn's ground beef stuffing, smothered in a gravy I made from a Bechamel sauce with cream and chicken stock, then some of my homemade cranberry sauce, mash potatoes as the final layer, with sliced sweet potato pressed into them for a pretty accent. I put a few pats of butter on the top, wrapped in aluminum foil and threw it into a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, until bubbly. Lenny said it was very good. I think it's all the good bits of Thanksgiving, sans turkey, which was made into sandwiches a lot (with Miracle Whip and pepper, as Lenny orders).

Martha Stewart's Thanksgiving Shepherd's Pie was the inspiration for this, particularly the stuffing base and sweet potatoes. And of course, this Serious Eats post got my butt in gear.

Brown-nosing Leftover Bento for Two
Not really a bento, because I wouldn't eat all the components cold, but packed like one.

When I went to work yesterday and told two co-workers about my Thanksgiving, they sent over dirty looks.


"You didn't bring us any!"

So I've packed them a lunch for two, a sampler. This is a terrific way to get rid of leftovers and brown-nose your way into someone's heart. Because no matter how much everyone has eaten, everyone is always a little jealous of someone else's Thanksgiving.

Above is the top layer, with pumpkin pie with a gingerbread crust and Evelyn's beans, topped with cheese (of course!).

<--Here is the real meat of the "bento"--the Thanksgiving Shepherd's Pie, two Forbidden Onions (I had to supply one red and one yellow, just for prettiness) and two chicken enchiladas (thanks, Evelyn!). Real enchiladas are not smothered in sauce, but actually quite dry and so won't get all mixed in with the others. Have I mentioned that these were quite impressive? They're also getting some of my flan, but as that has a sugary sauce, I didn't want to mix it in and get everything else sugary. They're not getting turkey, mostly because I'm being a little greedy with it, as I put so much time and love into it (not to mention money!) that I wanted to hold onto it. So I'm almost down to an empty fridge now, but some things were still packed away in there. Enter the greatest invention in food preservation...

Stuffing the Freezer
I really did have to make a list on my fridge whiteboard of everything in my freezer, because I literally forget what's in there.

Wouldn't you? I mean, I've been stacking things in there since I started going to the farmers market.

Turkey guts (meaning bones and skin) went in, because I didn't have the patience for stock.

Turkey went in, to make turkey stew.

Evelyn's beans went in, because I had so much. Same with the cornbread stuffing, but I dried it out a bit on a baking pan before I froze it, which I'll reconstitute (bring back to life) by pouring hot stock over it. Perhaps even the turkey stock. Cranberry sauce went in, too, as well as the leftover six-grain spelt, because it has such a great dark color that would look awesome in a stuffing.

And I've collected quite a few proteins from local sellers: lamb, petite tender and London broil steaks, pork shoulder, bacon and two whole chickens. I'm saving the rind of my Pleasant Cow cheese to throw into a soup at some point. And there's chicken breasts, tilapia, homemade shrimp and chicken stocks, some store-bought eggrolls, turkey patties and burritos.

Look, it's stuffed! I've been seriously considering a huge freezer, because I have all sorts of cookie doughs to store in there, too, for holiday baking. I could always borrow some space in my neighbor's though, because she's offered...

And that concludes my Thanksgiving 2007 coverage...'til next year!
posted by Rose @ 6:32 AM  
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