It’s Christmas Eve – well, technically Christmas Day but excluding my nap in the chair, I haven’t been to bed yet, so … 🙂 Christmas is a favourite time for leftover food – turkey, vegetables, cookies, tarts, etc. I also like to think of Christmas as a time to reflect on the past year, enjoy the company of family and friends, and clear up all your leftover emotions, decisions and thoughts so that you can start the New Year feeling fresh, creative and fully charged. My wish for everyone this season is to have a joyous, loving time – time to relax and enjoy your favourite past-time, the company of loved ones and peace within yourself. For some, I know, this is a difficult time of the year, especially for those who have lost loved ones this year and are facing Christmas without them for the first time – or the 27th time, in the case of me and my sister. It gets easier but the hole never goes away.
A couple of my friends asked for a recipe I mentioned on Facebook and so I thought I would put my three favourite leftover recipes here. I love leftovers after a turkey dinner. When I’m cooking, I always buy a larger turkey, if I can, and make several vegetable side dishes, lots of stuffing, gravy, etc., so I can heat up a plate of leftovers for several meals. Then if there is a lot of turkey left, I make Turkey Enchilada Casserole, Tex-Mex Turkey Soup and of course, turkey broth for the freezer. I don’t really have a recipe for the latter – I just boil the turkey bones with diced onions and some mild seasonings, just in case I need the broth if I have a cold or flu. The other food that sometimes has leftovers is eggnog and I have several recipes for that, but my favourite is Holiday Puffed Eggnog Pancake.
The turkey recipes can be made at any time, of course – Thanksgiving, Easter, whenever you have cooked a turkey – and can be made with chicken as well. The eggnog recipe is pretty much seasonal but is a great Christmas morning or Boxing Day morning recipe. You could even use it as a dessert.
TURKEY ENCHILADA CASSEROLE – Makes 6 – 8 servings
Preheat oven to 375F / 190C
6 – 10 inch tortillas or wraps 3 – 4 cups cooked chicken or turkey, cubed
1 large onion, chopped 1 red or green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cumin 1/4 tsp chili powder
dash Tabasco or other hot sauce 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 pkg Old El Paso Hot’n’Spicy Taco Seasoning 2 – 3 cups Tex-Mex blend shredded cheese
1 jar enchilada sauce 1 cup Nalley Roasted Garlic or Ranch dip
1 cup salsa
Saute onion, peppers and garlic over medium heat until tender. Add cumin, chili powder, Tabasco, taco seasoning and cilantro. Stir for 1 minute, remove from heat. Mix in medium bowl with cubed chicken and salsa.
Spread half of the jar of enchilada sauce in bottom of a 13″ x 9″ pan. Place two tortillas on top, overlapping. Spread half the chicken & vegetable mixture, then all the garlic dip and 1 cup of cheese. Spoon remainder of enchilada sauce over, layer two more tortillas, the rest of the chicken mixture and another cup of cheese. Finish with the last two tortillas.
Cover with foil. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Remove foil Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5 – 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
NOTES: My favourite seasoning is Derlea’s Ginger, Garlic and Chili which is a puree of the three and gives a kick to any dish with just a little bit – eg I would probably use about 1/2 teaspoon for this recipe, replacing the chili powder and cumin and part of the garlic. You can adjust the seasonings: use hot, medium or mild salsa, regular taco seasoning, etc. You could probably even make this with leftover roast beef. I have also added grated carrots to the sauted mixture.
TEX-MEX TURKEY SOUP Makes 6 – 8 servings
1 Tbsp olive or cooking oil 1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin (can substitue 1-2 tsp Derlea’s Ginger, Garlic & Chili for seasonings – see note above)
4 cups low-salt chicken broth 1 can condensed tomato soup
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes 2 cups salsa
4 cups shredded or cubed cooked turkey 1 (19 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
2 cans niblet corn 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they begin to soften, about four minutes. Add seasonings and cook, stirring, for about one minute.
Stir in chicken broth, tomato soup, diced tomatoes, salsa, turkey, black beans, corn and cilantro. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Serve with crushed tortilla chips, chopped green onion, shredded cheese, cilantro or any other toppings you wish.
Excellent soup to freeze, thaw and reheat. This soup is good even without the turkey or chicken added.
HOLIDAY PUFFED EGGNOG PANCAKE Makes 6 servings. Recipe from Safeway Select eggnog
6 eggs 1 1/3 cups commercial eggnog
1 cup flour 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter or margarine 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)
Preheat oven to 425F / 220C.
Mix eggs in large bowl with electric beaters until frothy. Add eggnog, flour and nutmeg. Mix until well-blended but still slightly lumpy.
Place butter in 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Place in oven until melted (sizzling but not brown, so watch closely).
Remove from oven and immediately pour batter into pan. Sprinkle top with almonds, if using.
Bake in middle or lower part of oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until puffed and golden.
Serve immediately with syrup, jam, icing sugar or cinnamon sugar.