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home : news : news
January 18, 2022

11/26/2021 1:48:00 PM
One of the best cooking times of the year
by JEFF NORTON


Thanksgiving can limit your creativeness in the kitchen when you’re cooking for a large group. There’s certain expectations for a Thanksgiving dinner from guests. Turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry, green bean casserole etc.

Of course there are different ways to prepare those dishes, but they are the staples. That’s why the long weekend after Thanksgiving dinner is some of the best to be a creative cook.

There is a lot of leftovers to be had and a lot of different ways you can make new recipes. And even if the recipes can be a little cumbersome, some times much of the hard work is already done in the leftovers you’re using!

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TURKEY TETRAZZINI WITH SPINACH
1 package dry spaghetti
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 lb. white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 c. onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 plus 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp. lemon juice, freshly-squeezed
2 c. heavy cream
2 c. fresh baby spinach (about 2 oz.)
1 lb. shredded cooked turkey (about three cups)
1 plus 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 tsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium high heat. Add spaghetti and one tablespoon olive oil. Cook until al dente (fully cooked but still firm), about 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool down. Set aside in the pot.

Heat remaining two tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan for two minutes over medium high heat, until the hot oil sizzles. Add mushrooms and sauté until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes.

Stir in onion and garlic, and sauté until fragrant, about two minutes. Add salt, pepper and flour. Stir well to combine, about one minute.

Pour in chicken broth and lemon juice and whisk until the sauce is smooth and uniform. The sauce might be a little bit clumpy in the beginning.

Whisk in heavy cream and bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Let it simmer and stir occasionally until thickened, about 5-10 minutes. The sauce should be similar to in consistency to gravy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in spinach until wilted, about 1 minute.

Add in cooked spaghetti and shredded turkey. Toss well until fully combined and coated.

Transfer the mixture into a 9x13 casserole pan and evenly top with mozzarella cheese.

Lightly grease a large piece of aluminum foil and cover the pan. Greasing the foil prevents the melted cheese from sticking to the foil while baking.
Bake the tetrazzini covered for 25 minutes.  Then, remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes or until the melted cheese turns golden brown and bubbly. Optionally, turn on broiler on high and broil for 3-4 minutes to brown the cheesy crust and get it crispy.

Let the tetrazzini rest for 10 minutes before serving. This is to ensure the cream sauce sets a bit and is not too runny.

LEFTOVER 
CRANBERRY 
SAUCE MUFFINS
MUFFINS
1 plus 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 c. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. milk
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 + 1/4 c. leftover homemade cranberry sauce

STREUSEL TOPPING
3 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. old-fashioned rolled oats
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and grated
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners and lightly coat with nonstick baking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add in milk, egg and vanilla and stir to combine. Note that the mixture will be lumpy.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and give it a couple stirs with a spatula. Do not fully combine. Then add in the cranberry sauce and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.

Divide batter evenly among the muffin liners. Fill each cup about 3/4 full.

In a small bowl, mix together the oat streusel topping ingredients until combined and crumbly. Sprinkle a spoonful on top of each muffin.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in the muffin tray for five minutes before transferring muffins onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

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MASHED
POTATO CAKES
3 c. mashed potatoes
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese (or cheddar cheese), freshly grated
1 large egg
1/4 c. green onion (or chives), diced
1/2 c. all-purpose flour (or breadcrumbs)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper (or to taste)
1/4 c. all-purpose flour (for dredging)
Vegetable oil (for cooking)

In a large mixing bowl, add mashed potatoes, Parmesan cheese, egg, green onions, flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well until smooth.
Use your hands to shape the mashed potato mixture into balls or you can use an ice cream scoop for even pieces.
Add dredging flour into a shallow plate and coat each mashed potato balls in flour. Use your hands to gently flatten them into patties. Set aside on a parchment-lined baking pan or plate.

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until the oil sizzles, about two minutes. Add patties in batches (about 5-6 per batch) and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Add two tablespoons of oil in the beginning of each batch.

Let cool for five minutes and serve with sour cream and chives, if desired.

TFD: Thankfulness is the quickest path to joy.



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