First, try something different for the main entree. I discovered that I'm not a big turkey-by-itself fan, so this year, with my family's blessing, I decided to make something completely new:
It was absolutely wonderful. The glaze on the pork loin was simultaneously sweet & savory, and the slaw was the perfect complement. In the South, we love pork barbecue with cole slaw, and this reminded me of a more elegant and "fancy" version of that.
Of course, you can't have Thanksgiving without some stuffing, so my husband made this and was so proud of himself afterward--he kept raving about his accomplishment, and I let him have a big head about it just for the day, and was-able-to-bite-my-tongue-about-how-I-cook-almost-every-day-and-we-never-make-THAT-much-of-a-fuss-about-it, but........I know he appreciates my cooking. And he should've been proud because it was delicious. How can you go wrong with bacon and cornbread? Come to think of it, the last time he helped with a holiday meal, he made bacon scallion cornbread. I sense a theme here! YUM.
After the Thanksgiving meal, we were gifted some leftovers from my mother-in-law, and I don't like for things to go to waste, so I was determined to repurpose them into something my family would enjoy. I came up with this:
If you look closely in the bottom photo, even my youngest was nervous about MORE turkey after Thanksgiving! This is more than a generic turkey salad sandwich. I call it, "Year Round Thanksgiving Turkey Salad" because sometimes I want the flavors of this season in the Summertime, and this would satisfy the craving. It's also a perfect way to use up the leftover turkey and other ingredients you used for your family dinner.
Here's how to make your own. You'll need:
4 cups of chopped leftover turkey (white, dark, or combination)
1 1/2 cups light mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 stalk of diced celery
1 heaping tbsp minced shallot, or other leftover onion
1/4 cup chopped parsely
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts
Salt & pepper, to taste.
Leftover cranberry sauce, sliced swiss or provolone (optional), grainy mustard
Your favorite sandwich bread
Mix the turkey, mayonnaise, and poultry seasoning together in a large bowl. Stir in the cranberries, celery, shallots, parsley, & nuts. Season with salt & pepper.
Spread the top half of your bread with grainy mustard and a dollop of cranberry sauce, place approximately 1/4 cup of turkey salad on the bottom half. Place a slice of cheese on the salad side and broil to melt (optional). Make your sandwich and enjoy!
Hope my daughter loves it as much as I do--she'll see it in her lunchbox for the next two days!
(Please throw out remaining leftovers after they've mingled in your refrigerator for a week. I'm a stickler for food safety and don't want anyone to get sick--plus I need you to come back for the next blog post!)