CABOT, Vt., Nov. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- While there are a number of significant holiday meals to prepare throughout the year, for the amateur cuisinier and professional chef alike, the true test of culinary dexterity and gastronomical fortitude is the Thanksgiving Day dinner. Laying out a traditional yet daring menu, then executing a meal that dazzles from appetizer to dessert, is what truly separates the chef de cuisine from the short-order cook. But no matter how good the meal, the triumphant chef will assuredly be left with leftovers. While this may seem burdensome after a long day in the kitchen, some – like the frugal farm families owners of Cabot Creamery Cooperative - feel this is an opportunity to but shine once again.
"After working so hard in the kitchen, the last thing you want is to have to package up the leftovers and find room to store them in the fridge," says Beth Kennett, the proprietor of Vermont's Liberty Hill Farm Inn and a farm family owner of Cabot. "But, I guess I'm a frugal farmer at heart, because there's never a good reason to waste leftovers. The great thing about Thanksgiving to me is the fact that turkey always seem to taste better the next day."
This may be because of some yet undiscovered chemical property of turkey aging deliciousness, but more likely, it is because of the amazing dishes Beth concocts with her leftovers.
"One dish I make every year after Thanksgiving for my family and guests is Turkey Pot Pie. It's a very New England dish, and incorporates not only the leftover turkey, but the gravy and cooked vegetables as well, along with Cabot Sharp Cheddar. It's so good that I've had a few of my repeat guests refuse extra helpings of turkey on Thanksgiving so that they could enjoy more pot pie the next day."
A Thanksgiving menu isn't something you throw together at the last minute; it takes careful consideration and planning. Why then, would you settle for any less with your leftovers? To give Thanksgiving leftovers their proper place of prominence, Cabot Creamery, best known as the makers of the "World's Best Cheddar," has developed a recipe page on their website dedicated to leftovers.
Along with Beth's Turkey Pot Pie, you'll find other recipes inspired by Cabot's farmer owners, including Alison and Ransom Conant of Conant's Riverside Farm in Richmond, VT.
"Thanksgiving is a time to surround ourselves with family and friends, to reflect, and to express gratitude," says Alison. "We love the fall, and all the beauty and bounty that it brings. There's a lot to be thankful for, and we try to honor the occasion with a meal worth remembering for the entire year. And who could forget the joy of leftovers? One of my favorite recipes to prepare with our leftovers is Butternut Squash and Cheddar Risotto. It's a hearty, cozy dish that can be made with traditional cheddars like Cabot's Seriously Sharp Cheddar, or with Cabot Sharp Extra Light Cheddar if you want to cut back on the fat."
On Cabot's recipe page, you'll also find inventive dishes like Turkey, Two-Potato and Cheddar Hash and Cranberry Cheddar Pita Bites, along with a number of other recipes that will breathe new life into your Thanksgiving leftovers.
Tradition is wonderful, but discovering a new dish is something to be thankful for. These recipes, along with many more, can be found on Cabot's website at: www.cabotcheese.coop/turkeyleftovers
Turkey Pot Pie
Makes 8 Servings
4 cups diced cooked turkey
3 cups turkey gravy (thin with broth or water if needed)
1 cup additional diced cooked vegetables (such as carrots, onions, fennel, green beans, peas or celery)
Beth's Best Biscuits
6 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold Cabot Salted Butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
2 cups very cold lowfat 1% milk
To make filling:
- In large saucepan, combine turkey, gravy and vegetables; stir over medium heat until hot. Transfer to 9-by-13-inch baking dish, making sure turkey is covered with gravy.
To make biscuits and finish pie:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; add butter and work into dry ingredients with pastry blender or fork.
- Stir in cheese. Gradually stir in milk.
- Turn dough out onto well-floured surface and knead gently (do not overwork). Roll out into 1-inch-thick layer. Cut out biscuits with round cutter or small glass.
- Arrange biscuits on top of filling. Place extra biscuits on baking sheet.
- Bake pot pie and biscuits for about 15 minutes or until golden.
Butternut Squash and Cheddar Risotto
Makes 4 Servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 cup white rice
2- 2 1/2 cups low fat no-salt added chicken broth
1 1/2 cups cooked and mashed butternut squash*
1/2 cup fat free half-and-half
2 ounces Cabot Sharp Extra Light Cheddar, grated (about 1/2 cup), plus more for garnish
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- In large saute pan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat; add onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.
- Splash sherry over vegetables and let simmer for 2 minutes. Add rice, stirring to coat with liquid, and let cook until liquid is absorbed. Reduce heat to medium-low.
- Add chicken broth 1/2 cup at a time and cook, stirring often, until all of broth is absorbed before adding more. (Add just enough of broth to make rice firm but cooked through to center.)
- In bowl, combine squash, half-and-half and 1/2 cup cheese. Stir squash mixture into risotto. Stir until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with parsley, plus additional grated cheese if desired.
* Use fresh squash that has been roasted, boiled or microwaved or frozen squash, thawed. Consistency should be smooth and soft. Roasted butternut squash will give the richest flavor (bake at 400 degrees F for about 1 1/4 hours).
Turkey, Two-Potato and Cheddar Hash
Makes 8 Servings
3 cups (1/2-inch) peeled and diced sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
3 cups (1/2-inch) peeled and diced russet potatoes (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 large cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
4 cups finely chopped leftover cooked turkey*
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
About 1/3 cup leftover turkey gravy, warmed
8 ounces Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar or Extra Sharp Cheddar, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)*
- Place rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On large baking sheet with sides, toss together sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, onions, olive oil, salt and pepper. Tuck garlic cloves into corner of baking sheet.
- Roast potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender and lightly colored, scraping them up with metal spatula every 10 minutes to loosen and turn.
- When potatoes are done, remove garlic cloves from corner and chop/mash into puree; stir back into potatoes until evenly distributed. Cover potatoes with dish towel and set aside to cool.
- In large bowl, combine potato mixture, turkey, parsley and thyme, tossing gently to blend. Add just enough of gravy to moisten hash. Add cheese and toss again. Spread hash in large shallow (2-quart) baking dish or oven-proof skillet (Hash can be made in advance up to this point; cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake hash for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned on top.
* If you don't have leftover turkey, use the meat from 2 fresh bone-in turkey thighs (2 1/2 pounds total), braised in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours at 325 degrees F until very tender. Moisten the hash with the cooking liquid, boiled down to about 1/3 cup.
Cranberry Cheddar Pita Bites
Makes 32 Bites
- Place one oven rack in upper position and one in center position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet with foil.
- Cut each pita bread into eight 2-inch rounds with biscuit or cookie cutter. Split each round in two. Arrange on baking sheet and bake on center rack for 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp and toasted.
- Adjust heat to broil. Top each toasted pita round with 1/2 teaspoon cranberry sauce and top with cheddar, dividing it evenly among them.
- Broil, carefully monitoring and rotating as necessary, for 30 seconds to 3 minutes or until cheese is evenly melted. Cool slightly before serving.
For photos of the recipes, Beth and Alison, visit: https://cabot.imagerelay.com/sb/8f48dbd6-0963-4319-83f1-e02d83728911
ABOUT CABOT CREAMERY COOPERATIVE
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and we make a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, and butter. Best known as makers of "The World's Best Cheddar," Cabot is owned by 1200 dairy farm families located throughout New England and upstate New York. For additional information on Cabot Creamery, visit: http://www.cabotcheese.coop
Cabot Creamery Cooperative is the world's first dairy to achieve B Corporation Certification, a validation of its attention to environmental and social impacts on stakeholders.
Contact: Bob Schiers
1.888.214.9444 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Cabot Creamery Cooperative