Monday, December 14, 2015

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Appetizer with Balsamic Reduction

I finally dealt with all the Thanksgiving leftovers.  In our basement fridge only beer and one package of brussels sprouts remained.  The original brussels sprouts had been part of a salad.  The first round of leftovers were repurposed into cole slaw to top pulled pork.  This last batch was looking a little sad in there when a friend gave me the great idea to serve them as an appetizer.  Roasted anything is amazing, and Jon, James and I pretty much inhaled these in no time.  Colin would have loved them, too, if his initial response to trying new foods these days wasn't an automatic "no thank you." 

These were easy to prep and ready in 20 minutes.  It's taken longer than that to get the balsamic reduction out of my shirt.  Holding a toddler while eating is recipe for disaster.  You'd think I'd have learned by now, but my sleeve is currently sporting peanut butter from lunch, so clearly not.  

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Reduction

2 cups brussels sprouts, ends cut off, outer leaves removed, and sliced in half
Olive oil

Balsamic Reduction:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
Arrange brussels sprouts on baking sheet and toss with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast for 25 minutes, turning once.
In a small saucepan, bring balsamic and brown sugar to a simmer.  Cook, whisking frequently, for about 5 minutes until reduced and thickened.  
Drizzle brussels sprouts with balsamic reduction and serve with spicy honey mustard for dipping.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thanksgiving Leftovers

The day after Thanksgiving, you make the turkey sandwich with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce.  It's amazing.  The next day, you make the same thing.  It's slightly less exciting, but still good. By the third day, you want nothing to do with any of it, and still have a refrigerator full of leftovers.

We hosted 20 people for Thanksgiving. Never mind the fact that I had never hosted Thanksgiving before and we don't have a dining room table.  It all came together and was great to have a crowd.  In my true fashion, I was worried there wouldn't be enough food and prepared enough for twice as many people.  And wine for four times as many.  Needless to say, we had a lot of leftovers.

Here are a few ideas for repurposing all that delicious food without going out of your mind with boredom.

Stuffing Muffins
recipe from Budget Bytes

3-4 cups leftover stuffing
1/4-1/2 cup chopped ham or turkey
1/4 cup chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)
6 eggs
1/4 cup milk or cream
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare a standard sized muffin tin with butter or cooking spray.
Mix together stuffing, meat and spinach.  Spoon into each muffin cup.
Whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper.
Pour egg mixture over stuffing.
Bake about 25 minutes until eggs are puffed and set.

Mashed Potato Croquettes

2 cups (or so) leftover mashed potatoes
1 egg
1/4 cup cheese (cheddar or parmesan)
1/4 cup flour
Oil, for frying

Mix together mashed potatoes, egg and cheese.  Add a little flour if your mixture seems too wet.
Portion into small patties and dredge in flour.
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium low-medium heat.
Cook croquettes for about 3 minutes a side until golden brown.  Don't try to flip them too early, or they will fall apart.

Thanksgiving Casserole
This is essentially that leftover sandwich in casserole form, but you can stick it in the freezer to bring out when your delicious Thanksgiving is just a memory.

In a prepared casserole dish, layer stuffing, turkey, gravy, vegetables, and mashed potatoes.  Freeze.
To reheat, bake at 350 for 1-1 1/2 hours, covered.

Turkey Soup
A classic, for when you are really done.  Use whatever quantities you have.

Leftover cooked turkey
Chicken or turkey broth
Leftover green beans

Simmer for about 20 minutes and top with parsley.

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