Turkey Leftovers

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Don't know what to do with all that leftover turkey? Susie Middleton, editor of Fine Cooking magazine, offers tasty turkey ideas in her book, How to Cook a Turkey.

Turkey & Blue Cheese Salad with Tarragon-Mustard Vinaigrette
by Jennifer McLagan from Fine Cooking 60, pp. 66
Serves four

For the salad:
2 cups 1/2-inch diced cooked turkey (about 12 oz.)
1 cup thinly sliced celery hearts, including leaves
1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 sweet apple (like Mutsu or Fuji), cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 oz creamy blue cheese (try Roquefort or Maytag Blue), crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
1 large Belgian endive, separated into spears

For the vinaigrette:
2 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons tarragon vinegar
6 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 tsp Kosher salt; more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, toss the turkey, celery, almonds, and apple. Add the blue cheese. In another bowl, whisk the vinaigrette ingredients; taste and adjust the seasonings. Pour over the turkey mixture and toss well; taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve with the endive spears on the side.

Turkey Tortilla Soup
by Jennifer Armentrout from Fine Cooking 81, pp. 87
Serves two as a main course; may be doubled.

1 Tablespooon vegetable oil, plus 1-1/2 to 2 cups for frying the tortillas
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
1-1/2 Tablespooons chili powder
1 Tablespooon tomato paste
1 quart homemade turkey or chicken broth, or low-salt canned chicken broth
6 cilantro sprigs
Kosher salt
3 6-inch corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
1 cup shredded or medium-diced leftover roast turkey
3/4 cup medium-diced fresh tomato
1/2 cup cooked fresh corn kernels (or substitute thawed frozen corn)
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 to 1 ripe avocado, medium-diced
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
3 Tablespooons chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tablespooons sour cream, or to taste (optional)
1/2 lime, cut into wedges

Heat the 1 tablespooon oil in a medium (3-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until softened and just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chili powder and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 15 to 30 seconds; don’t let the chili powder scorch. Pour in the broth and scrape the bottom of the pan with the spoon to loosen any cooked-on bits. Add the cilantro sprigs and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, until the broth has reduced by about a third and is very flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes. Discard the cilantro sprigs and season to taste with salt.

While the broth reduces, fry the tortilla strips:
Line a plate or tray with two layers of paper towels. Pour 1 inch of vegetable oil into a small, high-sided saucepan (a 6-inch-diameter pan needs about 1-1/2 cups of oil). If you have a candy thermometer, attach it to the pot. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350°F, or until a tortilla strip sizzles immediately when dipped into the oil. Add 8 to 10 tortilla strips and scrunch them with tongs for a few seconds to give them a wavy shape. Fry until the bubbling subsides and the strips are crisp and very lightly browned, about 1 minute. Transfer to the paper towels to drain, and sprinkle with a little salt while they’re still hot. Repeat with the remaining strips.

Divide the turkey, tomato, corn, beans, and tortilla strips between two large soup bowls. If necessary, reheat the broth until it’s piping hot. Pour the broth over the ingredients in the bowls. Garnish with the avocado, cheese, cilantro, dollops of sour cream (if using), and big squeezes of lime juice. Serve immediately.

Music break: Tears Dry on the Own by Amy Winehouse