Once the turkey has been eaten, the children have all left to play and the rest of the family is watching football, you look out across a table of heaping left overs. You think to yourself, “what am I going to do with all this food?” With a little creativity and panache you can turn those old staples into something new and fabulous. The trick is to know what to eat right away and what you can freeze. With a little help from our friend Martha Stewart we are providing you with this very information.
Rarely is there left over gravy at my house. However, if you are lucky enough to have some try placing it in muffin tins or ice cube trays. After it is frozen, pop them out of the tins and store in a zip- top bag and use as needed. Melt a cube to use with roasted chicken or spread on top of turkey sandwiches. There is a reason why gravy is synonymous with all things delicious and this holiday staple will turn any dry meat into an irresistible meal.
In our home the cornbread dressing is really the main dish and the turkey is a distant side dish. We gather around each year as my mother removes it from the oven and we ewww and ahhh over the smell and the texture. The key to making this dish delicious is to keep it moist, but not too soupy. The great news is that no matter how you make stuffing, whether inside the bird or in a separate dish, you can freeze it for up to three months. Store in small portions in airtight containers and reheat it later in a 325 degree oven, covered for 15 minutes. Serve this in place of other grains and it is delicious with pork or steak. Don’t forget to add some gravy on top.
Green Bean Casserole- Eat
This dish is my older brothers favorite and he insists we make extra every year. My poor mother is so tired of making it that she literally makes faces and complains each and every year. Well, all I can say to them is “eat your greens!” If you freeze this dish the green beans will wilt and the fried onions will go soggy.
Cranberry Sauce- Freeze
Who made the rule that cranberry sauce is only for Thanksgiving and turkey? I say defy that and add this sweet and sour side with pork, ham or chicken. Not only does it add a beautiful color to any meal, but the delicious flavor is sure to perk up any meat. Freeze in airtight containers or individually in ice cube trays for up to three months and defrost over low heat in a sauce pan.
Mashed Potatoes- Eat
At my house the creamy mashed potatoes get top billing. Unfortunately, when freezing mashed potatoes they tend to become mealy. Sadly I have to inform you that you should eat them now or forever hold your potato.
Turkey and Desert- Eat
Some items are just better going down the hatch the first time around. Turkey and pies are two examples of this. Eat and enjoy no freezing necessary.