I deliberately haven't written here about Thanksgiving. In some ways that seems odd–a food freak ignoring the biggest cooking day of the year. But I just felt I had nothing to say that hasn't been covered a million times over. Every year it seems like all the food writers are just rehashing the same old topics–all the different theories on the best way to cook the turkey (slow or fast, brine or not, breast up or breast down etc. etc. etc.), stuffing vs. dressing and all the permutations thereof, updated twists on the traditional side dishes (curry flavor in the squash soup!) blah blah blah. Yeah,I've got nothing to add to any of that.
And of course there are also all the articles about what to do with the leftovers–turkey chilis, turkey curries, turkey burritos. Not much new to add there either. BUT I have to say I was pretty pleased with my quick and tasty leftover creation this afternoon for snacks for the kids. I ground up some of the leftover turkey breast and combined it with about an equal part of leftover mashed potatoes (and a few carrots). I added a couple eggs, salt, pepper and a little fresh thyme. Then I rolled balls and coated in panko and fried. Yum! The kids loved them–crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. I was happy they were gobbling down veggies and protein so rapidly. Of course the frying wasn't the healthiest but we do it so rarely I don't feel too bad about it.
And for the record, I cook my turkey the same way every year–I brine it over night (about 12 hours), then I cook it very rapidly at 500 degrees. I've found this a really winning formula for very moist, delicious and evenly cooked meat. I don't stuff the bird (think it inteferes with the cooking of both the turkey and the stuffing) but do a three mushroom (porcini, shiitake and cremini) and challah dressing on the side. The rest of the side dishes vary and I usually leave a lot of this up to guests to contribute so that we always have some variety mixed in with our traditions.