What to do with left over turkey

PHILADELPHIA - November 21, 2012

You can only do so many soups and sandwiches. But there are other things you can do with pre-cooked meat. We asked owner/chef Josh Lawler of The Farm and Fisherman to help us out.

The chef says you have two basic options...commemorate the flavors of Thanksgiving or go in a completely different direction.

If you want to re-create Thanksgiving, it might be as easy as mixing all your leftover elements in a baking dish and heating that through.

You enjoy the turkey, the stuffing, vegetables, gravy and mashed potatoes. But a quick heat-through in the oven blends the flavors without drying everything out...the enemy of leftovers! The chef also put a blend of meat and vegetables in ravioli.

You can buy pasta sheets in a specialty store, cut it to size, and just seal with a little water on your fingertip. These cook up in minutes, and you've transformed Thanksgiving. You have the traditional flavors in a presentation that looks and eats different.

Have you thought about turkey for breakfast? The chef used some cut-up turkey, some pork sausage and gravy over a homemade biscuit. Top that with a poached egg and you have a visually-interesting way to start your day. These are the chef's ideas, but you can create your own, perhaps more easily than you think. Pre-cooked meat is "raw material" in a chef's kitchen.

It's something that doesn't need a lot of work to be made into something new and different. Ask yourself what you like to eat, what your family would enjoy. Then think about incorporating pre-cooked turkey into those things. It might be as simple as mixing shredded turkey into a Mexican dish or putting some on top of a pizza. Don't be afraid to experiment a little.

You might end up creating a new family favorite. If you need additional ideas, many turkey providers offer them online. The National Turkey federation maintains, where you'll find recipes for all occasions. Butterball has its own library of recipes, and you need not have their brand of turkey to use the recipes.

For those who maintain the kosher tradition, Empire Kosher is online with its own library of recipes. And don't forget Camden-based Campbell Soup Company. They're touted their soups for years as a way to create new taste treats.

Campbells Kitchen features a searchable database of recipes. We put in the word "turkey" and got 143. If all of that isn't enough, chances are your favorite supermarket's website has recipes, too.

If you'd like to enjoy Chef Lawler's food creations, the Farm and Fisherman is open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner at 5:00pm. They're at 1120 Pine Street in Center City. You may phone them at 267-687-1555. Or visit online at Farm and Fisherman.

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