Delectable Thanksgiving Leftovers, with The Passionate Foodie

Delectable Thanksgiving Leftovers, with The Passionate Foodie

Photos L-R: Taming Twins, Simple side dishes

Lucinda Frye

Diverse and indigenous cuisine brought by the many ethnic people to St. Maarten from all over the world piques our interest. To this end, we are on a quest to find where it comes from, if it is used for celebrations, if it is exotic to some but everyday food to others. Anything to do with keeping the body and soul nourished with that which is produced from good old terra firma, is what makes the world go around.

The most meaningful meal of the year has just been eaten. For most of us, this means we have had a turkey feast. Thanksgiving is an American and Canadian celebration, but many others around the world have taken to celebrating the meaning of Thanksgiving – not always by eating turkey, as turkey is the Christmas food. They celebrate by sharing a meal with those folk, who mean a lot to them, and giving thanks for the good things life has to offer. One of those good things this side of the world is the leftovers!

We hear the same thoughts uttered after the Christmas meal: “I am so sick of turkey. Every year, there is a surplus of turkey and I think I don’t really like turkey anymore.” What? Turkey is wonderful. I know many who live for their turkey meals, so let’s see what we can do with the leftovers.

First, we need to be a tad organized and break up the carcass into smaller pieces and then bag and freeze the carcass along with the spindly wing bits and any skin and bits on the carving board. In another bag, we can put the leftover chopped up turkey meat, this too can be frozen. If there is a lot of meat; mince half of it and chop the rest small and save it in smaller bags – this helps when taking out a frozen bag that will be enough for a meal.

You should not bag all the meat in a large bag and then defrost and take the little that you want then re-freeze the meat! Any vegetables left over can also be frozen if they are not sauced with creamy sauces.

Plan to have a little cooking time soon and use the veggies along with the carcass to pop into the pressure cooker to make a good turkey stock. Strain and use or freeze in smaller bags. This stock should be rich and tasty. If you have cooked it back to being quite an intense stock, you could freeze blocks in an ice cube tray. These are perfect to add that extra flavour to many dishes.

You can also freeze leftover gravy in ice cube trays. Turkey stock, broccoli and onion and bits of turkey make a superb Turkey, Broccoli Swiss Cheese soup!

Mashed potato – does anyone actually have leftover mashed potato? We love leftover mash, not only can we add cheese to it and make potato cakes, you can add canned fish, like salmon or tuna, even finely diced ham and bacon to the potato along with a little flour and an egg. Salt-fish and potato cakes are delicious.

Leftover boiled potatoes can be used in many ways – but I don’t suggest freezing boiled potatoes. Use these leftovers as soon as you can. A dish we grew up with is called Bubble and Squeak – I have found that there are many recipes out there for this. I prefer to use mashed potato made into cakes, but many recipes just use small diced boiled potato and cabbage, fried.

Another great way to use up leftover mashed potato is to use it as a layer on a pizza base. Top with cooked bacon crumbs, chopped spring onions, basil and tomato. Then spread a layer of grated cheese all over and cook.

We love making waffles out of leftover veg (carrots, kale, spinach, etc.) it is a way of hiding those veg from some non-veggie eaters. Mashed potato waffles are simply divine.

As to all that leftover turkey meat; a favourite way to use it up is to mix some of the finely diced meat with a gravy cube and chopped onion and garlic (you can fry this off first) and perhaps some spinach and then using the all-butter puff pastry from Holland, or your own homemade sour cream pastry, make turkey pies in your pie maker. Without a pie maker, you can form the pastry into “hand pies”. You can’t go wrong with these.

There are countless ways to use up the leftover meat if still kept in the fridge; sandwiches, burritos, wraps, pasta. If it has been frozen, then pies and stews and curries are called for. Of course, these do not have to be cooked and eaten in the next few days, but over the course of the next couple of months. Oh yes! Leftovers rule!


Bubble & Squeak – eaten for breakfast in England! Eat it as a side, or make it a main with salad!


1lb leftover mashed potatoes (some recipes call for leftover roasted potatoes)

1lb leftover cooked cabbage (some recipes call for leftover chopped up Brussel sprouts)


2 oz butter

Salt and black pepper



Mix the potatoes and the cabbage together.

Season with salt and pepper, if needed.

When using mashed potato, form into cakes and coat cakes with flour, shaking off excess flour.

Fry bacon in a frying pan, remove bacon.

Add butter to the bacon fat.

If using diced boiled potato, fry up the potato mix until there are nice brown bits flecked through it.

If making potato cakes, fry the cakes until they are golden.

Serve with fried bacon and, if you like, tomato, fried egg, pork sausages and baked beans. This makes a full English breakfast!


Mashed Potato Waffles – you will need a waffle iron for these. This mixture needs to be wet, but not a pourable liquid! Add a little more buttermilk if you think it needs it.


2TBL vegetable oil

¼ cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

2½ cups leftover mashed potatoes

3TBL chopped spring onions

1 cup grated cheese

½ cup self-raising flour

¼ tsp baking soda


Preheat the waffle iron.

Using cooking spray, grease top and bottom lightly.

Whisk together oil, buttermilk and eggs.

Combine with mashed potatoes, spring onions and cheese.

Whisk flour and baking soda together and fold into the batter.

Scoop out the mixture – depending on the size of your waffle iron – spreading an even layer onto the greased machine.

Close the lid and bake until golden brown and slightly crispy.

NB - Do not lift the lid too soon – you will end up with a mess!

Repeat with the rest of the mixture.


Turkey Cashew Curry


3TBL olive oil

2lb turkey diced into chunks

Salt and pepper

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 red chili, (deseed if you prefer) finely chopped

2” piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely grated (this is about the length of your thumb)

1TBL garam masala

28oz can crushed tomatoes

¾ cup coconut milk

½ cup minced cashews – finely chop or blend cashews to make cashew butter


Heat oil in a large oven dish.

Add onion, cook, until turning translucent.

Stir in garlic and chili, cook a bit.

Stir in ginger, garam masala and salt to taste, cook 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, coconut milk and cashew butter and mix to combine.

Add defrosted turkey, simmer, covered, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle with cilantro, cashews and chilis.

Serve with basmati rice.


Turkey Nachos – This is a delightful way of making a change!


1 large poblano pepper

1TBL olive oil

½ cup salsa verde

2TBL sour cream

2½ cups fresh cilantro, divided

2½ cups shredded turkey

7 cups tortilla chips

8oz Muenster cheese, coarsely grated

¼ small white onion, finely chopped

A couple small radishes and spring onions, thinly sliced


Blacken poblano all over then remove blackened skin using a paper towel.

Cut the pepper into strips.

Preheat oven to 450° F.

Puree salsa verde, sour cream, and 2 cups cilantro until smooth.

Toss with turkey to coat.

Now lightly toss turkey meat, half the cheese and chopped poblano together then spread out on a baking sheet.

Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Bake until cheese has melted, 6 to 7 minutes.

Chop remaining cilantro and toss with chopped onion.

Scatter onion mixture and radishes and spring onions over nachos.


Turkey and Potato Samosas – the potato can be cubed boiled or mashed potato. This makes four large samosas; you can make smaller ones too. You may need a little practice folding these into triangles.


3TBL Korma curry paste

2TBL mango chutney

2TBL natural yogurt

200g leftover cooked potatoes chopped into small chunks

250g cooked turkey, chopped into small pieces

250g frozen peas

Bunch coriander, chopped

6 sheets filo pastry

4TBL vegetable oil

1 egg, beaten

1TBL sesame seeds


Combine curry paste, mango chutney and yogurt – and mix well.

Fold in potatoes, turkey, peas and coriander.

Season well to taste.

Preheat oven 400° F.

Cut the sheets of filo in half lengthways; make 12 strips.

Keep the pastry covered with a tea towel as you work.

Layer up 3 sheets of filo, brushing a little oil between each sheet.

Pile a quarter of the filling in the top corner of the pastry in a triangle shape.

Fold the pastry over to encase the filling; keep folding in a triangle fashion until you reach the end of the strip.

Brush the final edge with a little beaten egg to help stick the pastry together.

Repeat to make all 4 four big samosas.

Lay samosas on a baking sheet.

Brush each one with beaten egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake 35 mins until golden brown.

Serve with yogurt and mango chutney.

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