Once the big Thanksgiving feast has come to a close, many households take the remaining food items and store them as leftovers. While you can eat those leftovers in their original form, a local chef has offered a few unique ideas to spice things up.
Chef Brian Loo, Culinary Arts Program chair at Lanier Technical College, said it is important to bring a little life back to your Thanksgiving dishes in the days following the holiday.
"Thanksgiving food is basically a comfort food ... kind of on steroids, you know, just everything is overkill," Loo said. "Once it's leftover ... it kind of needs to be livened up, it doesn't have a lot of fresh color or spice that's really left in it, if we're talking about a traditional southern Thanksgiving."
Loo said there are a variety of ways to bring flavor back to your Thanksgiving leftovers, such as by adding certain ethnic flairs.
"You could do like turkey tacos ... you have your fresh lettuce, fresh salsa, fresh cilantro. Kind of give a Latin kind of flair to it. Kind of bring some freshness back to the dish itself and just season the protein," Loo said.
Keeping with the Latin theming, Loo also suggested a grilled quesadilla made up of leftover turkey, cranberry sauce and cheese.
"I like things that are crunchy and acidic, so I mean if you've got something that's rich and fatty like a pork butt ... you could do some quick pickled cucumbers and some quick pickled onions just in a vinegar solution, and you can put that on like a slider bun," Loo said.
Sticking with the sandwich theme, Loo said you can also make a barbeque sandwich with leftover collard greens.
"I'll take like some smoked turkey or smoked pork, and ... a bun, like I'm going to make a barbeque sandwich, and I'll heat up some collard greens and put it on there and just douse it with some pepper sauce," Loo said.
Loo said you do not have to limit your leftovers to lunch or dinner, you can also make a breakfast bowl.
"You could do like mac and cheese bowls for breakfast ... take some leftover macaroni and cheese, a couple slices of bacon, maybe a sunny side up egg or two, some green onions, roasted bell pepper and mushrooms ... awesome breakfast, if you're in the mood for a heavy breakfast," Loo said.
There are a lot of conventional turkey dishes that can be made with leftover turkey, according to Loo. Some of these dishes include turkey soup, turkey pot pie and turkey salad.
Loo said you can also put an Asian twist on your turkey leftovers by making turkey soup in the style of pho, using Vietnamese rice noodles, cilantro and fish sauce.