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Jeff Houck

The Tampa Tribune’s food writer since 2005, Jeff Houck covers the way people live through their food. He also hosts the Table Conversations food podcast and believes that everything crunchy is good.

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You’ve Got Turkey. We’ve Got Answers. [Thanksgiving Leftovers Make Great Belly Stuffers]

Posted Nov 23, 2012 by Jeff Houck

Updated Nov 23, 2012 at 01:52 PM

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Last year, I wrote a story in which I asked several local chefs for their recipes to make something interesting with Thanksgiving leftovers.

So, true to the nature of leftovers, I’m using part of that story again this year.

My two favorite recipes from last year came from Chad Johnson executive chef at SideBern’s in Tampa, who created an amazing sandwich (pictured above), and Habteab Hamde executive chef at Bern’s Steak House, who turned the usual Thanksgiving residuals into an elegant stuffed chicken dish.

Johnson used leftover stuffing as the bread in his Day After Sandwich. He pressed refrigerated stuffing into a ring and then sears each disc on one side. The key to great flavor: Japanese mayonnaise mixed with Sriracha. He keeps a bottle of the Kewpie mayonnaise close by at home.

“Mix them together, and it’s the same as the pink mayonnaise you get at a sushi restaurant,” he said.

* * * *

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Chad Johnson’s Day After Sandwich

Makes 1 large sandwich

1 1/2 cups cold stuffing (bread-based works better than cornbread stuffing)

5 ounces cold leftover turkey, sliced or shredded

1 1/2 tablespoons Kewpie (Japanese mayonnaise)

2 teaspoons Sriracha chili sauce

½ cup arugula or lettuce

Sliced tomato

Split stuffing into two equal increments, pack in a ring mold applying heavy pressure to create two ¾-inch-thick disks

Preheat oil or butter in a nonstick pan and sear stuffing disks until dark golden brown and crunch on one side, drain on a paper towel

Mix Kewpie, Sriracha and turkey together in a bowl

Assemble sandwich using the stuffing disks as the bread, garnish with arugula and tomato

* * * * * * *

Hamde suggested using leftover stuffing and cranberries for a stuffed chicken dish and added a bit of the Bern’s sophistication to the leftovers, with turkey gravy, flash-fried greens and an apple cranberry chutney.

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Habteab Hamde’s Stuffed Chicken

1 8-ounce butterflied chicken breast

2-3 cups leftover stuffing

1 egg

1/2 cup heavy cream

Turkey stock to moisten

1 shallot

2 cloves garlic

1/2 stalk of celery

1 carrot, sautéed and deglazed with brandy

Generous portion of chopped chives, parsley, oregano and sage

Lay butterflied chicken breast flat and place stuffing evenly in the middle. Roll the chicken from end to end until the entire piece resembles a log.

Dust the rolled chicken with flour and paprika. Pan-sear the roll on all sides. When browned, finish in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

Slice the roll crosswise into medallions and place on fingerling potatoes.


Thanksgiving LeftoversTurkey Stock

Leftover turkey bones

1 carrot chopped

2 stalks of celery chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 head of whole garlic, cut in half

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon peppercorns

Put all ingredients into a large stew pot. Cover contents with cold water until the bones are covered with liquid. Simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours. Strain mixture and save the stock. Discard solid ingredients.


Turkey Gravy

1 teaspoon shallots, minced

1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 cups turkey stock

Sauté garlic and shallots until soft. Add flour. Add turkey stock and reduce to 1/4 cup.

Crushed Fingerling Potatoes

½ pound cooked fingerling potatoes

1/4 cup turkey stock

1/4 cup heavy cream

Put cooked potatoes into a bowl and mash several times with a fork. Add turkey stock and cream and mix until desired consistency.

Seared Spring Mix

1 cup spring mix salad greens

2 tablespoons oil

Heat oil in sauté pan. Toss greens for 10 seconds and remove.


Apple, Cranberry, and Ginger Relish

1/4 red onion

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 teaspoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup apple cider

1 red onion, chopped

Sauté onion until translucent. Add ginger, cranberries, sugar and apple cider on medium heat. Reduce until the mixture thickens.

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