By Sarah Ruttle, VNA Community Relations and Grant Coordinator
As Thanksgiving approaches and my husband and I prepare, as we do every year, to host 27 of our relatives, friends in good standing, and Cousin Kyle’s girlfriend of the moment, my mind already starts to wander to my most favorite day of the year. No, not Turkey Day itself (though it tops the list), but Leftover Day! The glorious day that I stay in my jammies all day and don’t have to do my hair – or even interact with anyone other than some basic commands given to the dog. The day I start out every year by enjoying a cold slice of apple pie and a warm cup of coffee, and begin to plot the progression of leftover consumption that will occur throughout the day.
Maybe it’s the ability to actually sit and enjoy the food in a way I can’t when I am in hostess-mode; maybe it’s the fact that my husband will actually sit and eat with me, not exhausted and un-appetized by the multi-day cooking extravaganza that precedes T-Day; or maybe it’s the excitement of finding new combinations of the food – new ways to mix-up the traditional Thanksgiving fixin’s. But there’s something about Leftover Day that gets my taste buds dancing.
This year, when talking with VNA’s Cooking Matters Coordinator and Chef Extraordinaire David Kinney about our post-holiday traditions, he took the leftover game to a whole ‘nother level with two delightful words – Thanksgiving Cakes. Whether you are already a leftover aficionado or struggle with what to do with that container of leftovers mom sends you home with every year – I highly recommend giving David’s T-Cakes a try this year!
From the chef:
Thanksgiving Cakes are my take on repurposing Thanksgiving leftovers in a fun, creative and delicious way. I don’t use a set recipe, but if you’ve ever made fritters or crab cakes, you are looking for a mixture of that same consistency.
In a large mixing bowl add chopped turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, chopped green beans, peas – pretty much any leftover food that you have. Add whisked eggs and flour until you end up with a mixture that is wet enough to retain its shape when formed.
Portion out your cakes a little larger than a golf ball, and flatten them out slightly. Add a small amount of oil or cooking spray to a griddle or sauté pan and sear each side until they are golden brown. To ensure your cakes are cooked all the way through (since we added raw egg), transfer them from the griddle or pan to a greased baking sheet and finish in a 350 degree oven for four to seven minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees.
I typically serve my Thanksgiving Cakes topped with cranberry sauce, so you end up with all of the Thanksgiving flavors in each bite.
The ingredients are totally up to the chef and what is leftover, so be creative and have fun!
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