What’s the best thing about Thanksgiving? I know we’re supposed to say it’s all the friends and loved ones gathered around the table groaning with traditional food and all the blessings and thankfulness. Yes, yadda, yadda, whatever. Just admit it: It’s the leftovers.
It’s knowing for the rest of the long weekend you can stand in front of your open fridge with nothing but a plate and a fork and come away with the makings of a gastronomic masterpiece.
So, what if we could buy an extra ingredient while doing our last-minute shopping that will transform these anticipated leftovers and make them even better? Something beyond the usual soup and sandwich (no offense to any sandwiches or soups reading this). Something like pie dough or puff pastry.
You know that perfect Thanksgiving bite where you load up your fork with turkey, potatoes, stuffing and cranberry? Well, I think it’s even better when it’s wrapped in a buttery, flaky crust. See how I am?
THANKSGIVING HAND PIES
Yield: 12 mini-pies Time: 45 minutes
One package (two 9-inch) pie crust, or homemade equivalent
1/2 cup diced turkey
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup stuffing
1/4 cup sweet potatoes or carrots
1/4 cup cranberry sauce
Gravy for dipping*
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Thinly roll out the pie dough and cut into desired size circles. (I used a 4-inch cookie cutter.)
- Using a teaspoon measure, place a small amount of each ingredient on one half of the round, being sure to leave about 1/4 inch clear on the outer edges. Fold each dough circle over to cover the filling, pressing around the edges with your finger, letting out as much air as possible. Use the tines of a fork to seal the edges. Place on baking sheet.
- Whisk the egg in a small bowl with a teaspoon of water and brush the tops of the pies with the egg wash.
- Poke the tops with a fork to vent steam. Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden and irresistible. Serve with gravy for dipping.
*optional, but why wouldn’t you?
THANKSGIVING POT PIES
Yield: 6 pies Time: 50 minutes
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups cooked turkey, diced
3 cups assorted leftover Thanksgiving veggies
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease six (12-ounce) ramekins or bowls, place on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add poultry seasoning and stir. Sprinkle flour over onion and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk.
- Bring to a simmer; cook, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in turkey and your choice of leftover veggies. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into prepared ramekins, let cool.
- Roll out thawed puff pastry on a floured surface to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out six circles, or squares, that are 1-inch larger than ramekins or bowls being used. Top each ramekin with puff pastry, crimping edges over sides to seal.
- Beat the egg with a teaspoon of water or milk. Brush the pastry with egg. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
So, to reprise, if you pick up a package of pie crusts or puff pastry, you can make perfectly portioned pot pies or palate-pleasing portable hand pies. Happy Thanksgiving leftovers from Divas On a Dime!
Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of the website “Divas On A Dime — Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at firstname.lastname@example.org
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