Kathy Gunst Gives Thanksgiving Leftovers A Foreign Flair

Download Audio
(one woman's hands/Flickr)
What to do with all those leftovers? Kathy Gunst has five recipes to share. (one woman's hands/Flickr)

Do you want something other than a plain turkey sandwich the day after Thanksgiving? Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst says turn turkey into turkey ramen or a turkey bánh mì, leftover bread into savory leek and bread pudding, and mashed potatoes into mashed potato and turkey croquettes.

As Gunst tells Here & Now's Meghna Charkabarti, "that's the idea with leftovers — you don't want to be reminded of what you already had, you want it to taste new." She shares five recipes:

Turkey Ramen

(printer-friendly PDF of all five recipes)

Kathy’s Note: Use homemade turkey or chicken broth or use a good organic low-sodium canned broth.

For the broth:
6 1/2 cups turkey or chicken broth
2 tablespoons miso paste
2 tablespoons very thinly sliced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari

For the ramen:
6 ounces ramen noodles
1 to 1 1/2 cup leftover cooked turkey, cut into small cubes or thin slices
1 cup watercress or winter greens
1 cup leftover cooked vegetables, like winter squash or Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced or cubed, optional
1/2 cup fresh scallions cut into 1 inch pieces, white and green sections
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Hot sauce

Make the broth: heat the stock in a medium pot. In a bowl mix the miso, ginger and soy sauce. Add a few tablespoons of the hot broth to the bowl and mix until smooth. Add the miso mixture to the stock pot. Let simmer over low heat.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil over high heat. Cook the ramen noodles until just tender; drain.

In 4 large bowls, divide the hot noodles. Divide the simmering broth on top. Divide the turkey, greens, vegetables, scallions, cilantro, and a dash of hot sauce. Serve hot.

Serves 4.

Bánh Mì: Vietnamese-Style (leftover) Turkey Sandwiches with Daikon-Carrot Slaw

Kathy's Note: Bánh mì may just qualify as the ultimate sandwich. This Vietnamese favorite features using leftover cooked turkey—instead of grilled beef. The thinly sliced turkey is layered on a crusty baguette spread with a daikon-carrot slaw, slices of jalapeño pepper, fresh cilantro, and mayonnaise.

The Daikon-Carrot Slaw
8 ounces daikon, peeled
1 medium carrot, peeled
1/2 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch salt

The Sandwich
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (nuoc nam)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 crusty baguette, 20 to 24 inches long
2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro sprigs
About 3/4 pound thinly sliced leftover cooked turkey
Tender lettuce leaves, such as Boston lettuce

Make the slaw: Grate the daikon and carrot on the large holes of a cheese grater and mix in a bowl. Add the vinegar, sugar, and salt, and stir well. Let sit for about 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix the oil, fish sauce, and soy sauce and set aside.

Preheat the broiler.

Cut the baguette down the middle lengthwise and place in a broiler pan. Place it under the broiler for about 2 minutes, or until warm. Place the baguette halves on a clean work surface and spoon the fish sauce mixture on 1 side and the mayonnaise on the other. Sprinkle the cilantro sprigs on top of the mayonnaise and place the turkey on top of the other side. Distribute the daikon slaw on top of the turkey, add the lettuce leaves, and carefully put the 2 sides of the bread together. Cut into four 6-inch sandwiches. Serve with hot pepper sauce.

Serves 4.

Kathy Gunst’s Savory Leek and Cheese (and leftovers) Bread Pudding

Kathy’s Note: The inspiration for this rich creamy dish came from “Ad Hoc at Home” by Thomas Keller (Artisan). This is a great way to use up leftover bread, vegetables or even turkey.

About 10 to 12 cups leftover bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups cooked leftover vegetables like leeks, onions, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, cut into thin slices
1 cup thinly sliced leftover turkey, optional
3 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

If your bread is still soft you need to toast it in the oven on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes or until dry and golden. Mix the dried out bread with the leftover vegetables and turkey if using.

In a large bowl whisk the eggs. Add the milk, and cream and half the thyme, chives, parsley and nutmeg.

In the bottom of a large 9 X 13 inch baking dish, sprinkle ¼ cup of the cheese. Spread half the bread/vegetable mixture on top and sprinkle with another ¼ cup cheese. Spread the remaining bread/vegetable mixture on top and top with another ¼ cup cheese. Pour in enough of the milk/cream mixture to cover the bread and press gently on the bread so it soaks up some of the milk mixture. Let sit 5 minutes.

Pour the remaining milk/cream mixture on top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and herbs, salt and pepper.

Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the pudding feels set and the top is brown and bubbling.

Serves 6 to 8 as a main course.

Spanish-Style Mashed Potato-Turkey Croquette

Kathy’s Note: Using leftover mashed potatoes and turkey you can make a very authentic style croquette in no time.

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes at room temperature
2 eggs, well beaten, plus 1 egg
1/2 cup cooked turkey, cut into cubes
1/2 cup grated Manchego, Parmesan or cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup milk
About 1/2 cup flour
About 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

In a large bowl mix the mashed potatoes with 2 of the beaten eggs, turkey, cheese, and salt and pepper.

Place the flour on a plate. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the breadcrumbs on another plate.

In a medium bowl whisk the milk with the remaining egg and season well with salt and pepper.

Use your well floured hands to form the mashed potato mixture into a small ball the size of a golf ball. Dip the balls into the seasoned flour, then the egg/milk mixture, and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat using all the mixture. You can make the croquettes up to this point several hours ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Heat about 4 inches of the oil in a deep skillet until it reaches about 375 degrees. A drop of breadcrumbs added to the hot oil should sizzle but not burn. Adjust the temperature.
Drop a few of the croquettes at a time into the hot oil and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and cook the rest. Serve hot.

Serves 3 to 4.

Gingered Cranberry Sauce with Maple Syrup, Pineapple & Pecans

Total time: 1 hour; Hands-on time: 35 minutes

Kathy’s Note: This is an adaptation of a recipe from Kathy Gunst’s book “Notes from a Maine Kitchen” (Down East Books; 2011). You can use any or all of these flavors to spice up canned cranberry sauce as well---simply stir in the ginger, pineapple, orange zest and pecans. This recipe also appeared in the November/December issue of Yankee magazine.

Kathy Gunst serves leftover cranberry sauce with a cheese plate. (Kathy Gunst/Here & Now)
Kathy Gunst serves leftover cranberry sauce with a cheese plate. (Kathy Gunst/Here & Now)

3 large oranges
1 cup pecan halves or your favorite nut
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries (no need to thaw)
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon very thinly sliced crystallized or candied ginger (optional)
1 cup diced fresh pineapple

Preheat your oven to 350° and set a rack to the middle position. Prepare the oranges: Use a vegetable peeler to remove strips of zest from one orange, then finely chop enough of this zest to yield 3 tablespoons. Use another orange to finely grate enough of the outer layer of zest to yield 1 tablespoon. Then squeeze all of the fruit to yield 1/3 cup of fresh juice.

Place the nuts on a piece of foil or a small baking sheet and bake until you can smell the roasted nuts and they’re just beginning to turn a light golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove and let cool. Coarsely chop, and set aside.

Meanwhile, put the sugar and 2 cups of water into a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook about 15 minutes, or until the syrup begins to thicken slightly and turn a gold color.

Add the maple syrup and cook 2 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook, stirring, until the berries begin to pop their skins, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the orange juice, rind, and zest; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the fresh and candied ginger and the pineapple and stir well. Cook another 5 minutes, or until the sauce appears slightly thickened (it will thicken more as it cools). If it appears too thin, remove the cranberries and fruit with a slotted spoon and boil down the liquid about 4 to 5 minutes over high heat, and then mix it all together again.

Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the toasted nuts. Cool. Transfer to a tightly sealed glass jar, and refrigerate up to a week before serving.

Yield: 6 cups (10 to 12 servings)


This segment aired on November 29, 2013.


More from Here & Now

Listen Live