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As possibly the most traditional of all our holiday meals, there are two predictable results: happy, satisfied people and leftovers.

For the leftovers, there are those who smile smugly. They know what’s coming: all the leftovers will surface over the next several days. In some cases, it will be simple reheat and that’s that.

For others, the food is turned into something different than its original form and is as delicious the second time around as the first.

One of the keys is taking care of Thanksgiving leftovers properly. For a turkey, take meat from the bones, package in useable portions and refrigerate or freeze as soon as possible. Cover and refrigerate or freeze other food items in the same manner.

Next, take a breather and relax…then think of what would be really fun to prepare…something that would be simple, easy, pleasing…and make good use of all that good food.

What, for example, might you do with leftover dinner rolls? Some simply don’t reheat well. My suggestion: a topping of a butter-sugar mixture that produces a crunchy-topped sweet roll that would be good for breakfast, brunch, snack or just an afternoon treat for tea or coffee.

For your turkey, Butterball Turkey folks produced a booklet entitled “Turkey for a Special Occasion” in 1982. I’ve used those recipes for 26 years!

It included several special recipes for Thanksgiving. However, the real charm of the tiny booklet is the leftovers, including Turkey Rose, Hot Turkey Salad, Turkey Tetrazzini and Crispy Turkey Cheesewiches.

Over time, Turkey Tetrazzini has edged the others to become a family favorite. And yes, I have been known to make it at times other than Thanksgiving. It’s that good!Almost any dinner roll can be used in the following recipe. Just be sure to cut each roll evenly. Also, spread the topping lightly. Too much topping will cause the rolls to be soggy rather than crunchy.

Second Time Rolls with Butter-Crunch topping

12-16 dinner rolls, split

1 cup soft butter

2 cups sifted confectioners sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla, almond or

imitation rum flavoring

Split rolls in half horizontally. Set aside.

Cream soft butter with sugar and add flavoring. The mixture needs to be smooth and without lumps. Spread lightly on cut sides of rolls, leaving the edges free of the topping. Place each roll on an ungreased baking sheet. Broil about 5 inches from source of heat for about 2-3 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and mixture in the middle is beginning to brown and become crunchy. Take from baking sheet to rack and cool slightly as topping mixture continues to set as it cools. Serves 6-8.

This pasta-based entrée is easy and delicious. Make it the day after the holiday…or whenever you have leftover cooked poultry.

Butterball Turkey Tetrazzini

6 slices roasted turkey

¼ cup butter

2/3 cup sliced onion

¼ cup flour

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. white pepper

½ tsp. poultry seasoning

¼ tsp. dry mustard

2 cups milk

2/3 cup shredded sharp Cheddar


2 tbsp. chopped pimiento, optional

2 tbsp. sherry, optional

1 4-oz. can mushrooms, stems and

pieces or 8-oz. fresh sliced

mushrooms, sautéed in 2 tbsp butter

1 pkg. (7-oz.) spaghetti, cooked

and drained

1/3 cup shredded sharp Cheddar


Melt butter in saucepan. Sauté onion in butter until tender. Blend in flour and seasonings. Remove from heat. Gradually add milk. Stirring constantly, cook until mixture thickens. Add 2/3 cup cheese and pimiento, stirring until cheese melts. Add sherry and mushrooms and liquid to cheese sauce. Place a layer of spaghetti in a shallow 2-qt. casserole. Cover with layer of turkey and a layer of sauce. Repeat, finishing with a layer of sauce. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese over top. Bake in a 400-degree oven about 25 minutes.

Note: Casserole may be prepared in advance and frozen. To serve, heat, covered, in a 350-degree oven for 1 ½ hours or until heated through.

6 servings.

This mélange of textures and flavors makes a light and lovely casserole for lunch or dinner. Hot buttered rolls would be an ideal accompaniment.

Hot Butterball

Turkey Salad

2 cups cubed cooked turkey

2 cups chopped celery

½ cup blanched almonds

1/3 cup chopped green or red


2 tbsp. chopped pimiento

2 tbsp. finely chopped onion

1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. lemon juice

½ cup mayonnaise

Sliced Swiss cheese

¼ cup butter, melted

1 cup cracker crumbs

Combine turkey, celery, almonds, green pepper, pimiento, onion, salt, lemon juice and mayonnaise. Spoon into buttered 1 ½ qt. casserole or baking dish. Top with slices of cheese. Combine butter and cracker crumbs and sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake in a 350-degree oven about 30 minutes.

As a change of pace, top cooked rice with cubed turkey in a rose-flavored sauce. Stalks of broccoli or green beans would be a colorful vegetable accompaniment.

Butterball Turkey Rose

2 cups cubed turkey

½ cup butter

1 onion, diced

1/3 cup flour

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup rose wine

4 ½-oz jar sliced mushrooms or 8 oz

sliced mushrooms, sautéed in


1 cup cooked peas

1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

2 cups hot cooked rice

Melt butter in saucepan. Add onion and cook until tender. Stir in flour. Gradually add chicken stock and wine. Cook and stir until sauce is thickened. Add turkey, mushrooms, peas and almonds. Heat until hot. Serve over rice. 6 servings.

Simple and easy, these sandwiches might just be ideal for family guests visiting for the holiday.

Crispy Turkey Cheesewiches

8 thin slices roasted turkey

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley

¼ tsp. poultry seasoning

8 slices bread

4 slices process American cheese

Combine mayonnaise and parsley. Cream together poultry seasoning and butter. Spread bread with mayonnaise mixture. Top four slices of bread with turkey, then cheese slices. Cover with remaining slices of bread. Using about l tbsp. per sandwich, spread each side with herbed butter. Brown slowly on both sides in a skillet or griddle until crisp and cheese melts. Cut in half in triangles to serve. 4 servings.

A few years ago a friend of our column shared a recipe for chicken enchiladas. We believe that Jeanette Willis, who gave us this recipe, would see turkey would fit the bill too. Thanks, Jeanette, for your kindness then…and as inspiration for today’s variation.

Jeanette’s Enchiladas

3 cups cooked white turkey meat

1 can (19 oz.) Las Palmas green

chili sauce

1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream

12 oz. shredded Monterrey Jack


¼ cup chopped onion

Soft taco-sized flour tortillas

Green chili salsa, optional

Chop turkey finely. Mix enchilada sauce with sour cream. Combine turkey with 1/3 of the sour cream mixture and 1/3 of the cheese. Add onion.

Fill tortillas with the turkey mixture. Place in greased or buttered baking dish. Top with remaining sour cream mixture and remaining cheese.

Bake in a 350-degree oven about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until hot and bubbly. Cover with foil the last 15 minutes. Serve with green chili sauce.


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