Thanksgiving Repurposed: Part 2

I left off talking about my Thanksgiving Pizza. Since I had so much fun repurposing my Thanksgiving leftovers this year I had to do 2 blog entries. I’ll continue now with Potato Croquettes and my mother’s Cream of Turkey.

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I’ll start with the Cream of Turkey I grew up eating. It was an after Thanksgiving staple in my house. I remember my favorite way of eating it was on toast. But I’m pretty sure it was also served with rice or some other carb that was lying around the house. But on toast it is like an open faced piece of creamy turkey bliss. And this is from a child that hated the dense whole wheat toast it was smothering. But I guess I learned early that anything can be yummy if smothered in a cheese sauce.

There’s another thing. I didn’t realize exactly how simple it was to make the cream of turkey my mom has been dishing up all these years. Technically all it consists of is a bechamel sauce with chunks of turkey mixed in. Seriously. That’s it. I call it bechamel, my mother calls it white sauce, my stomach calls is amazing. It’s all the same in the end.

So you take 2 tbsp butter and melt them in a sauce pan. Then you add one cup milk and stir together. Then add 2 tbsp flour. Once mixed add one cup shredded cheese. I used mozzarella because it was on hand, my mother recommends white cheddar. Slowly stir until all the cheese is melted and the mixture thickens, then add more cheese because you can. I was advised to double the batch. I didn’t and wish I had. It was easy adding a little of this and a little of that to get more sauce, but starting out by doubling it would’ve been easier. When I had enough sauce I mixed in about 1 1/2 cups of chopped up turkey. Et voila! Cream of turkey.

Now I know I talked about the classic move of toast smothered in cream of turkey, but I like to pretend I’m classier than that. So in an attempt to uphold my fancy pants I chose to use my leftover brown butter mashed potatoes to make potato croquettes as a carb base for the cream of turkey. Potato croquettes=pan fried breadcrumb coated mashed potato balls. So not only did the snob in me feel like I made something fancy, but I got to practice pan frying breaded carbohydrates. Another win/win situation.

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To make potato croquettes you need about 4 cups of mashed potatoes. I added one egg and half of a finely chopped sweet onion to the mashers. I mixed it all thoroughly. I also added a half cup of buttermilk which probably wasn’t needed. It made my mashers a bit hard to shape into balls, so you will only need milk if you have super dry mashed potatoes. Then I took a large spoonful of the masher mixture and shaped it into a ball. Next I dredged it through a bowl with two whisked eggs and then coated the ball in panko breadcrumbs. I filled a frying pan with an inch of vegetable and heated until shimmering, then fried the croquettes in batches until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Then I set croquettes on some paper towels to soak up the excess oil while frying up the next batches.

I then steamed some broccoli (because I suppose you need something healthy at a meal) and smothered the croquettes in the cream of turkey. Yeah, it was pretty decadent. There was some left over masher mixture which I threw in the fridge. I used it to quickly whip up some more croquettes for raclette a couple days later. You don’t know what raclette is? Just wait, you’ll see soon enough. 🙂

P.S.
I think I fell in love with pan-frying breadcrumb coated anything… Watch out, I think this may be dangerous.

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