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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Potato Cake with Champagne Mushroom Ragu and Turkey Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Leftovers.  Love 'em or hate 'em, not a single Thanksgiving dinner in the history of Thanksgiving dinners has eluded leftovers. Personally, I could skip the meal and go right to them, plus I enjoy the challenge of creating new dishes out of left over food.

This year you don't have to dread the turkey soup and sandwich combo, these recipes are elegant enough to keep the fine china out for (but with those dish pan hands, nobody would fault you for using paper.) I've given you two options to create a full meal, as well as a couple of other random ideas for drinks and such. What I love about these recipes is that you'll need half of a bottle of champagne (or white wine) and you get to drink the rest with your meal!  It's the Fat and Happy way to approach left overs.  Rejoice!

Tips and Techniques:  Your leftovers might taste slightly different than my leftovers. So as you make these recipes, taste often and adjust the seasonings accordingly if needed. Remember, the goal here is not to go get more groceries- be bold and substitute what ever is left in the fridge and cupboard!

Serves 4

Thanksgiving Leftovers:  Potato Cakes with Champagne Mushroom Ragu  and Turkey Lettuce Cup drizzled with Cranberry Vinaigrette.

1 cup left over mashed potatoes (can mix up to half with left over sweet potatoes, but if you use all sweet, they will over-power the shrooms).  Another option is to just use a few slices of turkey or even a slice of toasted bread!
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 Tbls Canola oil
salt and pepper

Spread the bread crumbs on a plate, add salt and pepper; mix.  If using potatoes, form into 4 patties and cover both sides with the bread crumbs. Place patties in heated oil, cook until browned on both sides. Remove from pan, set aside until mushroom ragu is ready.

If you use turkey or bread- just heat or toast before topping with the champagne mushroom ragu.

Champagne Mushroom Ragu
1 Tbls olive oil
2 Tbls butter
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
6 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups mushrooms, sliced (again, use what you have- button, crimini, bella's)
1 cup Champagne (Prosecco, Cava or white wine) - use something you are willing to drink!
1/4 cup cream
2 Tbls fresh sage, chopped
fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil and butter over medium high heat and add the onions.  Cook for a few minutes while you chop the garlic, add in the garlic. Slice the shrooms and add to the pan; toss. Once the mushroom have reached desired tenderness (about 10 minutes), add in the champagne. Simmer for about 5 minutes; add in the cream and turn to low. Continue to simmer on low until the sauce begins to thicken; about 5-10 minutes  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour over potatoes, turkey or bread.  Top with fresh sage and Parmesan cheese.

Turkey Lettuce Salad Cup with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Turkey Lettuce Cup
1 heaping cup celery, medium diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced small 
1/2 cup crushed Sage Ginger Roasted Nuts (or any mixed nuts)
1 1/2 cups diced turkey
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Optional:  diced green beans and 1 apple (peeled and diced small)

To Plate:
Goat cheese (any cheese will work well in this)

Add all ingredients (except lettuce and cheese) in a bowl.  Toss with Balsamic Cranberry Vinaigrette.  Serve on a bed of lettuce and top with crumbled goat cheese. I like this salad best after the dressing has had time to soak into all the ingredients.

Balsamic Cranberry Vinaigrette
1/2 cup left over cranberries (jellied, canned or sauced- any will work)
1 Tbls balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar or whatever you have)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbls orange juice
2 Tbls olive oil
2 Tbls Champagne (Prosecco, Cava or white wine)- use something you are willing to drink!
fresh ground black pepper
salt (optional)

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a blender (or whip by hand) until smooth, slowly add the olive oil.
By hand, stir in the Champagne.  Pour over turkey salad. Add pepper to taste.

Other ideas for Thanksgiving left overs:

Pumpkin Trifle - Scoop out leftover pumpkin pie, place into fun wine glasses. Layer with whipped cream and graham crackers or gingersnaps.  Sprinkle the top with a little spiced rum or brandy.

Cranberry Cocktails- Add about 1/2 cup water to remaining cranberries, mix well. Push through a strainer, discard solids.  Add cranberry juice to champagne or white rum and lime for a homemade cranberry drink.

Pasta Primevera:  Toss left over turkey, green beans, carrots, onions (use any veggies) with pasta.  Heat with olive oil or cream and top with cheese.


  1. Great recipes, I ran a link on my food and history blog today:

    Best wishes,

    Fred Opie

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