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Turkey leftovers for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Today’s column is sure to find many readers busy prepping for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner, myself among you. Though I’ll be cooking for only two this year, which definitely takes the pressure off, the smallest turkey I found weighed 12 pounds. The way I see it, we’ll be eating turkey for a while. Not that I have anything against leftovers.

I always make a big pot of soup with the turkey carcass that I’ll freeze in batches for those cold winter nights. I also have some tasty plans for the leftover meat that are far from boring.

For breakfast a creamy quiche in a flaky pastry crust loaded with eggs, cheese and of course, turkey, is a delicious way to start the day. Lunchtime is always the right time for a turkey sandwich and this simple Turkey Cranberry Grilled Cheese option is sure to be a favorite.

Dinner calls for a special dish of pasta shells stuffed with turkey, broccoli and cheese in a seasoned alfredo or mushroom sauce. Serve tossed salad and warm bread to complete the meal. If the recipe, which serves 7, seems like too much, simply freeze the extra for later. Leftover leftovers are always good.

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving everyone.

Turkey Swiss Quiche

1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell

1 1/2 cups finely chopped cooked turkey

4 eggs

3/4 cup half-and-half cream

1/4 cup dry white wine or sherry, optional

2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

4 green onions, finely chopped (white and green parts)

2 T. chopped pimientos

1 tsp. dried oregano or tarragon

1 tsp. parsley flakes

Dash of salt and pepper

3 long slices Swiss cheese, cut into thin strips

Directions: Preheat oven to 450-degrees F. Line pastry shell with double thickness heavy-duty foil. Bake 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5 to 7 minutes, or till golden brown. Reduce oven temperature to 375-degrees F.

Sprinkle turkey into baked shell. In large bowl, whisk together eggs and cream. Stir in shredded Swiss, onions, pimientos and seasonings. Pour over turkey.

Bake 20 minutes. Arrange Swiss cheese strips in lattice pattern over the quiche. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or till knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Serves 6.

Turkey Cranberry Grilled Cheese

8 slices hearty bread (sourdough, Italian or French)

4 T. Dijon mustard

8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, sliced

12 ounces roasted turkey, sliced

8 T. cranberry sauce, whole berry or jellied

4 T. butter, room temperature

Directions: Spread 4 slices of bread with Dijon. Layer with cheese, turkey and cranberry sauce. Top each with a remaining bread slice.

Spread both sides of sandwiches with butter. Place sandwiches in preheated large skillet over medium heat, pressing down lightly with back of spatula. Cover and cook till golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve immediately. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Turkey Broccoli Shells

1 (16-ounce) jar Alfredo sauce or 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup combined with 1/3 cup mayonnaise and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

2 cups frozen chopped broccoli, cooked

2 cups diced cooked turkey

1/4 tsp. curry powder, optional

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

21 jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained

Buttered fresh bread crumbs for topping

Directions: In large bowl, combine the Alfredo sauce or soup mixture, broccoli, turkey and cheeses. Spoon into pasta shells. Place in greased 13×9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle tops with buttered bread crumbs.

Cover with foil and bake in preheated 350-degree F. oven 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 to 15 minutes or till crumbs are golden brown. Serves 7.

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