After you get done with the big feast, what are you going to do with all of those Thanksgiving leftovers?
I love Thanksgiving. Military life has often made Thanksgiving a Friendsgiving in our household. More often than not I am surrounded by my military friends-who-are family for some amazing food, good wine, fabulous company and a whole lot of laughs. Even if the food is subpar, which doesn’t happen often with our group, there are still so many memories that I will always cherish, even when life continues to take us different places.
Military life can sometimes make holidays difficult, but there is always a silver lining where you look for it. And I feel so fortunate to have the shiniest bunch of silver linings ever, especially when it comes to food — and holiday food is my favorite.
I get a serious thrill out of planning a menu, cooking everything to perfection and having everyone say “yummm” as they stuff themselves full on the fruits of my culinary creations. Roll your eyes if you must, but I am that girl who feels all warm and fuzzy inside feeding people for the holidays. If this were a home economics class, and there was a teacher handing out stickers, I would be the teacher’s pet receiving all the stickers.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that this isn’t how everyone views cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Some people loathe it and wish there wasn’t so much pressure put on one dinner when really, that isn’t the point of giving thanks anyway. You have to remember, however, I was the idiot stay-at-home mom who voluntarily competed on a high stress Food Network competition series … twice … so maybe I am a bit of a masochist. Whether you are team I-love-cooking-for-Thanksgiving or team Ugh-what-can-I-buy-pre-made, we all have the same problem the day after Thanksgiving: What do I do with all of my leftovers?
Thanksgiving leftovers are a blessing and a curse. It is truly fabulous because you don’t have to cook again for a few days. (Almost makes all of that effort worth it, huh?) However, there are only so many times that you can plop 17 servings of carbs and some turkey onto one plate and be eager to keep eating it. Getting creative with leftovers can occasionally be tough. Luckily for you, you are reading this article and I have a creative brain when it comes to food. You may be looking at the picture thinking “What is so creative about making a sandwich?” Well that “bread” just happens to be stuffing/dressing with a few extra ingredients added.
Since you are reading a military publication, I am assuming you are in some way shape or form affiliated with the military. Keeping this in mind, there is the regional debate over whether stuffing or dressing is made in or outside of the turkey and if it is in fact properly named stuffing OR dressing. As I am the author of this article, we are going to call it stuffing; but I respect your stance on the very serious matter.
We are basically making a chicken and waffles style sandwich with leftover turkey with a stuffing “bread.” It can also be served open faced in true chicken and waffles style if you prefer. And unlike your elaborate menu planning that happened leading up to Thanksgiving, this is a really easy one. You’re welcome.
You will need:
A waffle iron
Leftover cranberry sauce
3 cups leftover stuffing (dressing, whatever)
6 oz smoked gouda
Fresh greens (I like arugula)
A few tbsp of mayonnaise
- In a mixing bowl combine the stuffing, eggs and grated gouda. Mix thoroughly.
- Turn on your waffle iron and spray it with cooking spray.
- Add roughly half of the stuffing mixture (or whatever looks like it will fill your sized waffle maker).
- Cook, pressed for 15-20 minutes on medium heat or until it is browned and fully cooked.
- Top with mayonnaise, turkey, greens and cranberry sauce.