Cooks conjure up creations with Thanksgiving leftovers

While Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas looms on the horizon, the ghost of Thanksgiving lurks in the fridge.

But there's nothing to fear. Wrangell is populated with creative types who are happy to share their tasty ideas on what to do with those lingering leftovers.

Diane Hillyer Ivy-Dahlin said her family's favorite leftovers tradition is turkey enchiladas. This recipe can be frozen after preparing, then reheated. "You can use chicken too, but it's just a great flavor with turkey," she said.

Diane's Enchiladas


3 to 4 cups chicken or turkey (chopped or shredded)

8 large flour tortillas

1 large can of enchilada sauce (mild to medium, or hot but only if you like really hot)

1 small can chopped green chiles

1/2 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (mixed cheese is good, too)

1/2 cup black olives

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup onions


Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together, using only half the can of enchilada sauce (can stand in the fridge for a day if need be).

Spray a 9-by-13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap half a cup of the mixture in flour shells, roll with the open side down. Layer the filled tortillas in the pan. Then add the other half of the can of enchilada sauce on top. Cover every inch of the shells. Add one cup of cheese. Cover the pan with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and add a little more cheese. Bake for 15 minutes uncovered. Serve with salsa, sour cream and salad.

Angela Allen, a business owner and school board member, offered up a dish that can be served using leftover broccoli or made as a Thanksgiving side dish.

"This recipe is always a favorite and goes well with Thanksgiving meals," she said. "My kids love it too! My mom has made this for years and I take pride in making it, following in her tradition."

Cheesy Broccoli Casserole


2 bags frozen broccoli florets

1 block (8 oz.) of cream cheese

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cup of milk

1 small white onion, diced

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or any cheese that you would like

Garlic seasoning, salt and pepper to taste


Defrost broccoli florets in the refrigerator before making the dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add broccoli florets to a 13-by-9 glass dish or aluminum pan if taking it to another house.

Place the diced onion in with the broccoli florets.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add flour, salt, pepper and garlic. Cook until light brown. Add the milk. When the milk starts to thicken, add the cream cheese. Continue stirring until cream cheese is melted.

Pour mixture over broccoli florets and onions. Gently stir together. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of the mixture. Cover dish with foil and place in oven for about 30 minutes.

Optional: About five minutes toward the end of baking, remove the aluminum foil and let it bake uncovered (this will give the top a nice crispy cheesy texture).

Some people like to keep it simple with sandwiches and wraps. James George and Katherine George-Byrd, of Zak's Café, will prepare wraps before Thanksgiving, filled with turkey and all the typical fixings. George-Byrd said they are the most popular pre-holiday menu item.

When it comes to after the holiday, George said the best approach is to make extra plates, seal them, then freeze them for eating later. Or, they both agree, just make a sandwich using the turkey, yams or potatoes, stuffing, but keep the gravy on the side for dipping.

Byrd-George recommends using a heartier bread for the sandwich.

"I like Dave's Killer Bread. The Good Seed kind," she said. "It's sturdy enough to hold everything."

If it's a sandwich with zing that craved, Devyn Johnson, co-owner of Sweet Tides Bakery, has a slightly different approach. "Our favorite is a Thanksgiving sandwich on Sweet Tides baguettes."

Sweet Tides Turkey Sandwich


Sweet Tides baguette



Spicy mayo

Cranberry sauce

Jalapeño jelly

When it comes to making something a little more complex with leftovers, Devyn Johnson said she uses a mini pot pie recipe found on that uses turkey, potatoes and cranberry sauce.

Mini Thanksgiving Turkey & Cranberry Pot Pies



2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling out the dough

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

8 ounces (16 tablespoons( unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1 cup diced, peeled russet potato

1 pound ground dark meat turkey (ground or cut-up chunks of turkey can be used)

Kosher salt, as needed

Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup shredded Havarti cheese

½ cup canned chunky cranberry sauce

2 tablespoons diced chives


1 large egg (beaten)



Place the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Pour six tablespoons of cold water over a few ice cubes. Let sit for a few seconds to chill. Remove the ice cubes from the chilled water and add the butter and water to the flour mixture.

Pulse until the mixture forms a rough dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough. Form into a square, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.


Heat a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the onion, celery and potato and sauté until tender and opaque, about six minutes. Add the turkey and cook until the meat is browned all over and the potatoes are soft, about six to eight minutes. Season with salt and pepper then stir in the flour. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer, until the sauce thickens, about four minutes. Fold in the cheese, cranberry sauce, and chives.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap and roll out on a lightly floured surface so the dough is about a quarter-inch thick. Cut the dough into four-inch squares, gathering the dough and re-rolling as needed. Press the dough into a lightly oiled standard size muffin tin and scoop about two rounded tablespoons of the turkey filling mixture into each tin.

Cover each with second piece of dough, and use a fork to seal the edges together. Brush the beaten egg over the top of each mini pot pie. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.


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