After Thanksgiving, make a weekend feast from the leftovers

There definitely is a life after Thanksgiving, and that’s why I give thanks for leftovers. In my house, eating does not come to an end after the “Big Feast” on Thursday. There’s still Friday, Saturday and Sunday to be reckoned with.

With house guests and continual drop-ins during this busy holiday weekend, it seems like my kitchen never shuts down. My family knows that during Thanksgiving weekend, Shabbat dinner will not include the traditional chicken soup. Turkey soup and sandwiches created from the remains of the big bird are almost as traditional as the roast turkey itself. And this year a big pot of a hearty, flavorful turkey chili and turkey minestrone sounds deliciously different and very sustaining.

Leftover steamed Brussels sprouts will take on new meaning when marinated in a zesty tomato sauce. Serve them with the sandwiches and watch Brussels sprout grimaces turn into smiles.

Don’t forget that small dish of leftover cranberry sauce. Combine it with some mayo and mustard and use it as a fabulous spread for those turkey sandwiches.

The following recipes do not have to be limited to post-holiday fare — if leftovers are not part of your tradition, use them in your Thanksgiving menu and patronize your neighborhood takeout places the remainder of the weekend.

Turkey Minestrone | Serves 8

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1 tsp. dried
1 lb. red new potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
3 cups diced leftover turkey
8 cups turkey stock
salt and pepper
chopped parsley
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook onion, garlic and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in rosemary, potatoes and stock, simmer 12 minutes. Add carrots, green beans and turkey. Simmer another 8 minutes. Salt and pepper for taste. Remove rosemary sprig and sprinkle each serving with parsley.

Turkey and White Bean Chili | Serves 6

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 Tbs. chili powder or to taste
1 28-ounce can tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
3 cups diced, cooked turkey
2 cups cooked white beans
salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
In a large, shallow saucepan heat oil. Cook onion, garlic and peppers until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder and add tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add turkey and beans. Simmer 10 minutes. Salt and pepper for taste. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Tomato Marinated Brussels Sprouts | Makes about 3 cups

1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. sugar
pinch cayenne pepper
1 Tbs. olive oil
3 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 cup tomato puree
3 cups cooked Brussels sprouts
salt and pepper
In a medium saucepan combine all ingredients except sprouts. Bring to a boil and let simmer 2 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl combine Brussels sprouts with tomato sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 hours. Salt and pepper for taste before serving.

Louise Fiszer is a Palo Alto cooking teacher, author and the co-author of “Jewish Holiday Cooking.” Her columns alternate with those of Rebecca Ets-Hokin. Questions and recipe ideas can be sent to j. or to [email protected].