Friday, December 6, 2013

Turkey, Turkey.....

What to do with all those left-overs? Well, mine are in the freezer, even as I write. I stashed them in there the day after Thanksgiving. Here's what they looked like, frozen. I haven't used them yet but will post some photos when they come out of the oven.

Turkey Pot Pie in Ramekins

1 pkg. rolled pie crust (enough for 2 pies)
1 1/2 c. Leftover white and dark meat of turkey, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 c. mixed vegetables
2 c. turkey gravy

In a large bowl, mix the turkey, veggies and gravy together well. . Spread out the pie crusts and cut 4 circles, using a ramekin as a pattern. Spoon gravy mixture into greased ramekins. Top with crust and crimp edges. Make slices in the top to allow steam to escape. Cover with plastic wrap; place in ziplock bags and freeze for up to 3 months.

To prepare, thaw in the microwave and bake 35 to 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven until hot and bubbly and the crust is lightly browned. Serve with a green salad.

Turkey Shepherd's Pie

1 1/2 c. white and dark turkey meat
2 c. gravy
3/4 c. mixed veggies or frozen baby peas
2 c. mashed potatoes

Mix the turkey meat, gravy and veggies together well and spoon into a round or square cake pan. Top with mashed potatoes and freeze for up to 3 months, wrapped in plastic wrap and sealed in a ziplock bag.

To prepare, let thaw in the refrigerator 1 day or in the microwave for 2 to 3 lbs. of product. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven until hot and bubbly. Suggestion: halfway through the baking, remove and, using a fork, smooth the potato  topping. Serve with a green salad. Serves 6.

Leftover Pumpkin Pie? Wrap slices in plastic wrap or waxed paper and place in ziplock bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. Remove individual portions as needed and thaw in the refrigerator. Serve as needed with whipping cream or non-dairy whipped topping. Yum!

Leftover Cranberry Sauce? Place in a mason jar and put it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw and use as needed. Delicious on pancakes, waffles, French toast, rolls and peanut butter sandwiches (not to mention ham, turkey and beef sandwiches).

Meatloaf for a Month? Last time I bought a 5# chub (80/20) of ground chuck (beef), I was prepared ahead of time. We shop for food, once a month, in a town 45 miles away from our home. Beef is expensive, and we aren't eating a lot of it at $3+ per pound. Before shopping, I chopped one bunch of celery and two large onions. I sauteed them in some butter and let them cool, storing, later, in the refrigerator. I had on hand, 4 cups of bread crumbs,  some home-grown sage and a bottle of ketchup.

When I got home from shopping (tired, because it's a long trip and a major deal buying all that stuff for a month), I put the groceries away, leaving the chub out on the counter. When the kitchen was almost in order (it's usual state), I dumped everything into a very large mixing bowl (onion, celery, ground chuck, bread crumbs, 3 eggs and about 1 1/2 c. ketchup). I mixed it with my clean hands and seasoned it with about 3/4 t. salt, 3/4 t. garlic granules, 3/4 t. onion granules and 1/2 t. black pepper. I added enough sage leaves to make the mix fragrant with it (about 4 t. of the leaves; use about 2 t. if using powder).

I packed the meat mixture gently into three loaf pans and baked them 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. When cool, I wrapped them in aluminum foil, placed them in ziplock bags, and froze them. Tonight, we had the last one from November's shopping with baked butternut squash. Yum!

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