Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich

Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich

Thanksgiving dinner has come and gone and now you have pounds, and I mean literal POUNDS of leftovers – I’m talking dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, gravy, turkey meat, stuffing, the whole nine yards. If you’re a thrifty shopper like me, throwing away all that food if almost sacrilegious. So I’ve come up with my own leftovers turkey sandwich. Guaranteed to free up some fridge space and power you through your black Friday shopping spree. Feel free to augment and swap in your favorite leftover flavors. I whipped up these slider sandwiches using what was left over from my friendsgiving feast, but I think on the perfect sandwich roll (La Brea Bakery Tortas – if you know what’s up) or on a couple slices of a hearty wheat, the combination would be irresistible and you might even have to whip up the ingredients in spring to satisfy your leftover sandwich cravings.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich

ingredients:
4 Dinner Rolls
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
2 Tbsp light Mayo
1/4 cup Gravy
1/2 cup stuffing
1 cup Turkey meat, shaved
Arugula, handful

Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich

directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On one side of a foil lined baking sheet, lay out carved turkey and cover with half the gravy. On the other side of the pan, spread the stuffing in a single layer. Place pan in the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes to warm all the components. In the final minute, add the dinner rolls to the oven to warm the bread and slightly toast.

While everything is heating up, mash one tbsp of pomegranate arils into the light mayo to create a pomegranate aioli. Set aside. Meanwhile, In a small pan heat up the gravy over medium heat.

Once everything is warmed. Slice the dinner rolls in half. Garnish the top of the roll with the pomegranate aioli and dress the bottom half with a quick dunk in the gravy, careful not to get the bottom too soggy. Pile the bottom bun with turkey, stuffing, arugula and top with the other half, garnished with additional arils. Serve warm with a side of gravy for dipping.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich

Perfect Spatchcock Turkey

Perfect Spatchcock Turkey

I have been dying to host a friendsgiving basically since I graduated from college. Every year, it’s been difficult to find a space that accommodated everyone and a date that worked with everyone’s schedules. This year that all changed. Luckily Bill and I have a fairly sizeable back patio and with a little bit of elbow grease, I was able to add a couple easy and drought tolerant plants to our awkward one foot strip of dirt to add a homier garden vibe to the space. Plus, who doesn’t love café lights – literally the easiest way to dress up any outdoor space. Now that I’ve set the scene, let’s discuss the sheer panic that ensued after I decided to host our “frandsgiving” and realized holy cow, I’ve never cooked a turkey before. Don’t worry, I did what any millennial would do and googled the shit out of every turkey recipe known to the internet. After hours of research, I decided spatchcocking was the way to go, perfectly cooked turkey in 90 minutes, sign me up. Not only was it easy, the results were fantastic – juicy flavorful meat with crispy skin – hello new go to turkey recipe!
Also, because I did so much friendsgiving research, here are the unofficial rules of friendsgiving as well as an awesome step by step guide to spatchcocking.

Perfect Spatchcock Turkey

ingredients:
6 tablespoons Morton’s kosher salt
2 tablespoons of baking powder
3 large onions, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 quarts)
3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1 quart)
4 stalks celery, roughly chopped (about 1 quart
12 thyme sprigs
1 whole turkey (12 to 14 pounds total), butterflied according to instructions, backbone, neck, and giblets reserved
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour

Perfect Spatchcock Turkey

directions:
Start off with a Dry Brine – DO THIS 24 HOURS BEFORE:
Combine 6 tablespoons Morton’s kosher salt with two tablespoons of baking powder in a bowl. Carefully pat your turkey dry with paper towels. Generously sprinkle salt mixture on all surfaces of the turkey. The turkey should be well-coated with salt, though not completely encrusted. (Heads up: You probably will not need all of the salt, in some cases less than half will be okay depending on the size of your bird and your salt preference).

Transfer the turkey to a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered for 12 to 24 hours.

Now it’s turkey time:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan with aluminum foil. Scatter 2/3rds of onions, carrots, celery and thyme sprigs across bottom of pan. Place wire rack directly on top of vegetables.

Butterfly your turkey following the directions here.

Pat turkey dry with paper towels and rub on all surfaces with 1 tablespoon oil. Season liberally on all surfaces with black pepper. Tuck wing tips behind back. Place turkey on top of rack, arranging so that it does not overlap the edges, pressing down on the breast bone to flatten the breasts slightly.

Transfer turkey to oven and roast, rotating occasionally, until an instant read thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the breast registers 150°F, and the thighs register at least 165°F, about 80 minutes.

While turkey roasts, make the gravy. Roughly chop the neck, backbone, and giblets. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a 3 quart saucepan over high heat until shimmering. Add chopped turkey parts and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add remaining onions, carrots, and celery and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables start to soften and brown in spots, another 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, remaining thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce to a bare simmer. Allow to cook 45 minutes, then strain through a fine mesh strainer into a 2 quart liquid measuring cup and discard solids. Skim off any fat from the surface of the broth.

Melt butter over medium-high heat in a 2 quart saucepan. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly until flour is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Whisking constantly, add broth in a thin, steady stream until it it all incorporated. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until reduced to about 1 quart, about 20 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover, and keep gravy warm.

When turkey is cooked, remove from oven and transfer rack to a new baking sheet. Allow to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before carving. Carefully pour any collected juices from out of the roasting pan through a fine-mesh strainer into a liquid measuring cup. Skim off excess fat and discard. Whisk juices into gravy.

Carve turkey and serve with gravy.

Recipe from Serious Eats.

Perfect Spatchcock Turkey

Meatball Panini

Meatball Panini

It’s not an Italian meal if there isn’t some sort of protein covered in red sauce, ooey gooey mozzarella cheese and garlic bread. Well at least that’s what I tell myself when preparing this meatball panini. As I’m sure you know, I love love love these ground turkey meatballs. They are so flavorful, I normally have to restrain myself from polishing off a few straight out of the oven. In an effort to mix it up and take my sandwich skills up a notch, I decided to pair these yummy nuggets with some rosemary parm-iago rolls from Trader Joe’s, and let me tell you it was heavenly! This definitely counted as a win in the update old recipes column. What are some of your best remixes of old and true recipes?

Meatball Panini

ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, finely diced
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 can of your favorite tomato sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
6 rosemary parm-iago sandwich rolls
2 Tbsp butter
2 clove of garlic, minced

Meatball Panini

directions:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-heat. Add the pancetta and cook for 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook until the pancetta is crisp and the onion is tender, about 4 minutes more. Remove from heat and let cool.

In large bowl, combine the pancetta and onion mixture with the remaining meatball ingredients and stir to combine. Form the turkey mixture into balls about 2 inches in diameter, using about 2 tablespoons for each, and place on foil-lined and greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

Heat the tomato sauce on medium high until warm. Add cooked meatballs to sauce, tossing to ensure that each meatball is covered.

Melt the butter in the microwave and add minced garlic to the melted butter. Slice each sandwich roll in half and remove some of the extra bread in the middle. Coat each side of the sandwich with a spoonful or two of the butter garlic sauce. Toast bread in the oven for 5 minutes.

Slice meatballs in half and add two meatballs to each sandwich. Top with a few spoonfuls of tomato sauce and sprinkle with as much or as little mozzarella cheese as desired. Toast in the oven for another 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Meatball Panini

Loaded Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese with Kale and Italian Sausage

Loaded Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

When it comes to pasta dishes, the creamier and cheesier the better. I like my sauce flavors a little more hearty, especially when trying to incorporate some of my favorite fall ingredients. Butternut squash has quickly become one of my go to veggies as some as October hits. I love how creamy it becomes when blended and the nutty flavor is the perfect way to say good bye to summer and hello to fall. I could easily eat this butternut squash mac & cheese bake sans turkey sausage, but the spicy flavors in the ground turkey really take this dish to the next level. There nothing to dislike about this dish, you can even trick your family into eating kale. Yes, you heard me correctly, there is kale in this recipe and the flavors are so delicious that you won’t even realize how many nutrients are in this simple dish.

Loaded Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

ingredients:
4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (about 1 large squash)
1 and 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 and 1/4 cups milk
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
2 cups kale, roughly chopped with stems discarded
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 and 1/2 heaping cups shredded cheese
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
5 spicy Italian turkey sausage links, cooked and sliced

Loaded Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

directions:
Combine the squash, chicken broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. You want the squash very tender, so pierce it with a fork to make sure it is quite soft. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375°F.  While squash is simmering, boil a large pot of water then add a pinch of salt and the pasta. Cook the pasta just until al dente.  Add the kale, and cook for another minute or two. Drain the pasta and kale. Set aside.

Pour the warm butternut squash mixture (squash + liquid) into a blender. Add the yogurt, salt, and pepper. Secure the lid and blend until smooth. Pour into a very large bowl and stir in the cheese until combined. It’s ok if the cheese does not fully melt. Taste the sauce– if you’d like more salt/pepper/garlic, add more.

Add the pasta and kale to the bowl and stir until combined. Pour everything into a large casserole dish, a 9×13 baking pan, or a 12-inch oven-safe skillet. Top with breadcrumbs and an extra sprinkle of cheese, if desired.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly on the sides.

Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Loaded Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

Blueberry Crumble Cake

Blueberry Crumble Cake

A couple weeks ago for the USC at Notre Dame Football game, my good friend hosted a Kegs & Egg tailgate party complete with a serve yourself Benedict Bar. First of all, if you’re a sane member of humanity, Benedict is the best and obviously your favorite egg breakfast option on any brunch menu anywhere ever. So when you hear Benedict bar, obviously there are few brunch items that will rival the best breakfast item ever. But this blueberry crumble cake comes pretty damn close. I shared this particular recipe a few years ago when I hosted a mimosa brunch for my roommate’s birthday. After making it a second time and getting multiple rave reviews, I decided this tasty baked good deserves its own post.

Blueberry Crumble Cake

ingredients:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
For the cake:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling

Blueberry Crumble Cake

directions:
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

For the streusel:
Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.
For the cake:

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers,

crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar.

Recipe from Ina Garten.

Blueberry Crumble Cake