Kate's Global Kitchen

Kate Heyhoe  

Thanksgiving Weekend

Exotic Encores with Luscious Leftovers

by Kate Heyhoe


Hopefully you bought a big enough Thanksgiving bird to have plenty of turkey for leftovers. I adore mixing roast turkey with global flavors—the meat has enough individuality to stand up to exotic seasonings but isn't as loud as beef or lamb.

Typical quick-to-fix options for leftover turkey include salads, soups, pastas, casseroles, sandwiches and anything involving tortillas. But what seasonings can you use to jazz up these dishes? Try a pinch of these flavorings for a refreshing break from the old stand-by's. Look for these products in the supermarket's specialty food aisle or in ethnic markets.


Chinese 5-Spice: This powdery blend of cloves, cinnamon, and the licorice-like tastes of fennel seed and star anise—with a boost from fragrant Szechwan peppercorn—actually plays up similar sweet spices so often found on the Thanksgiving table. A little of the seasoning goes a long way, so add just a dash to start. Make fried rice with leftover turkey and vegetables and a pinch of Chinese 5-Spice, or make a turkey-vegetable stir fry flavored with Chinese 5-Spice.

Pomegranate Molasses: Found in Middle East markets, this syrupy reduction of pomegranate juice echoes the same type of tartness as cranberries. For a sweet-sour effect, stir 1 tablespoon each pomegranate molasses and honey together. Drizzle over warmed turkey, or add a small amount to a vinaigrette for a perky salad dressing.

Garam Masala: Indian kitchens make all sorts of spice blends, known as masalas, which they grind fresh from toasted, whole spices. Garam masala is one variety of spice blend commonly used in Northern India. You can make my version of garam masala from scratch, or for convenience, buy pre-mixed garam masala found in the Middle Eastern spice section. Garam masala contains warming spices like cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, cloves and black pepper—perfect for a curry-like turkey stew on noodles or rice. Or, sauté 1/2 teaspoon garam masala in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and fry up an exotic hash of turkey, onions and potatoes.

For more ideas on turning plain leftovers into exotic encore meals, check out Rick Rodger's recipes for Turkey Tetrazzini Gratin and Mongolian Stir-Fry in Thanksgiving 101

Gobble gobble!

November 7:
Portable Thanksgiving Side Dishes, Part I
Breads of the Americas

Kate's Chevre-Stuffed Green Chile Corn Muffins

from our archives...

Skillet Pinon Cornbread, by Mark Miller
Zuni Pepita Bread by Mark Miller

November 14:
Portable Thanksgiving Side Dishes, Part II
Dishes with Oranges & Persian Flavors

Orange, Pistachio & Date Bread

Persian-Inspired Spaghetti Squash

November 21:
Portable Thanksgiving Side Dishes, Part III
Asian Medley

November 28:
Exotic Encores with
Luscious Thanksgiving Leftovers


More Holiday Recipes and Articles:

from our archives...

Thanksgiving at Foodwine.com
The Perfect Turkey Handbook
The Thanksgiving No-Brainer
Using a Meat Thermometer


Copyright © 1998, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.


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This page created 1998. Modified November 2006.

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