By Jolene Lamb, Coordinator, Culinary Institute, Lincoln Land Community College
Thanksgiving will be different this year. Following the advice of public health experts, my family will not be gathering to celebrate. However, I will still cook a traditional dinner which is going to leave me with more than the usual share of leftovers.
We’ve already planned for a few family members to do curbside pick-up at our house, or I’ll be dropping off pre-packaged meals to their doorsteps. Since I’ll have plenty to work with, I’m taking the opportunity to branch out and experiment with a few different recipes. Heck, I might even make this a year where I experiment with making a not so traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Seems like the perfect time to test new recipes. Maybe they’ll work, maybe not, but better to try them out on my husband first rather than rolling them out to 40 of our friends and family.
I’ve been brainstorming ways to use leftovers in new dishes. Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I will eat plate after plate of reheated original dishes with no problem, but I’ve never been a fan of reheated mashed potatoes, especially three to four days after Thanksgiving. I’d rather find something different to transform them into. We tend to eat big breakfasts on the weekends, so this year on the weekend following Thanksgiving, I’m going to turn my leftover mashed potatoes into waffles for breakfast. It’s not all that strange of a transformation since potatoes in the form of hash browns are often served for breakfast. Plus mashed potatoes mix well with flour and egg to form gnocchi (an Italian type dumpling) so I’ll make a dough with the potatoes, flour and egg, incorporate some other breakfast flavors – bacon, cheddar cheese and maple syrup, bake it all up in a waffle maker and enjoy.
Cranberry sauce – what to do with leftover cranberry sauce is the bane of my existence. I make it every year because it’s tradition. I eat three bites of it and then end up freezing the rest to use latter in muffins, spice cakes and cookies. But this year, I think I’ll indulge in a cranberry cocktail or several. Vodka cranberry is a popular combination, so why not use homemade cranberry sauce instead of some boring bottled cranberry juice. If you’re like me, you stocked up on some liquor this year since having a drink out with friends has been a challenge. I have some nice bourbon that will work well to make a bourbon cranberry cocktail.
I hope this article finds you all well. Have a happy Thanksgiving, stay in, stay safe and enjoy the leftovers. Also, if you have a bunch of leftovers, consider reaching out to friends and family to share, making sure everyone has enough to eat this holiday.
Mashed Potato Waffles
3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/4 cup freshly sliced chives, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Pure maple syrup (optional)
In a large bowl, stir together mashed potatoes, flour, eggs, 2 tablespoons chives, garlic powder, and paprika. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat your waffle iron and spray with cooking spray. Add about 1/4 cup of batter to your waffle iron and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer waffles to a medium baking sheet in a single layer.
When all waffles are made, preheat your broiler to high and top waffles with cheese. Broil until melty, then top with bacon and the remaining chives. Serve with maple syrup if desired.
Bourbon Cranberry Cocktail
Makes 1 drink
2 tablespoons homemade cranberry sauce
2 ounces good quality bourbon
½ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
Lemon peel for garnish
Add cranberry sauce to a rocks glass and then add the bourbon and lemon juice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a lemon twist.
Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Baking/Pastry, and Value Added Local Food, and non-credit cooking and food classes through our Community Learning Culinary Institute. For more information, visit our website at www.llcc.edu.
Cooking or food questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.