Did you have an awesome Thanksgiving? Me, too! The kids and grandkids were here and, oh baby, did we have a feast! I’m one of those people who buys 5 or 6 turkeys this time of year, when the prices are low, and freeze them. So, we eat turkey, year round. We love it, but it’s not exactly “special”. To really put our Thanksgiving dinner over-the-top, I added a Castle Wood Spiral-Sliced Ham, from Sam’s Club, to the menu. It was delicious! We loved the lightly sweet, smoked flavor and buying it spiral cut meant that it was easy to slice perfectly consistent, thin-sliced and juicy servings. Not only did it contribute to our abundant and festive Thanksgiving menu;, like turkey, ham lends itself to all kinds of tasty “leftover” recipes. Wait until you see what I prepared!
When I make Thanksgiving dinner for our large family, I serve it buffet style, in the kitchen. The sheer volume and variety of food would never fit on the dining room table, especially if we plan to fit the family around it. 🙂 We eat, we visit, we laugh and then we rest a bit and do it all over, again. The benefit of cooking a very large meal, means I don’t really have to cook again for awhile, other than to combine leftovers creatively, to give the appearance of having slaved away in the kitchen. lol “Thanksgiving Casserole is an unwritten leftover “law” in our family and I can’t get away with not preparing it with some of our leftovers, but I usually get at least a couple more really tasty meals with the abundance of leftover bounty, from our Thanksgiving celebrations.
Preparation for the actual Thanksgiving dinner is pretty standard and consistent at my house, every year. It’s when it comes to using the leftovers that I’m more free to get creative. I made THREE delicious new meals with leftovers from our Castle Wood Ham. All three were pretty simple, but SOOOO good. Thanksgiving night, I made my Ham and Cheese Sliders with Carmelized Poppyseed Glaze and Homemade Noodle Soup. Get the full recipe for Ham and Cheese Sliders, here.
I don’t know how many of you have ever made homemade noodles. Once you make soup with them, you’re pretty much ruined for other noodles in soup. The problem is that if you don’t eat ALL the soup in one meal, storing the leftovers in the fridge means that when you get them out the next day, they are no longer soup. 🙂 All your beautiful homemade noodles are very plump and flavor-filled because they have literally absorbed every drop of broth. I use these plump noodles to create another leftover casserole. There really isn’t a specific “recipe” for the casserole, since so much depends on the quantity of meat and noodles you have left over and what other leftovers are available to add to it. That’s the beauty of leftovers — flexibility to get creative with what you have on hand. The proportions I used made a large 11x15x2 baking pan full of casserole. But the basics stay the same.
- Dice up leftover ham or turkey (I used Castle Wood Ham and had about 3-4 cups, diced.) and add it to the leftover homemade noodles (I had a large quantity, probably 10 or 12 cups of cooked noodles).
- This is the point where you could toss in any leftover veggies. I didn’t have any, this time, but corn works well.
- To make the sauce for my casserole, I used 2 (8 oz) blocks of cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter and 1 cup of milk. Heat them in a microwave-safe bowl until the cream cheese is soft enough that you can whisk it all together into a smooth, creamy sauce.
- Stir in 1/2 to 1 cup of sour cream into the sauce to get the consistency you want.
- Then add 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Stir until is is distributed throughout the sauce.
- Pour the sauce over your noodles and ham, stirring to coat all the noodles.
- Bake in a large baking pan at 350 degrees until the casserole is heated through and bubbly.
We still had some yummy ham left and it was the perfect lunch ingredient for Grilled Cheese Broccoli Pockets with Ham and Diced Apples! I love this simple, meal-on-the-go recipe and the rest of Thanksgiving leftover ham was just what I needed to pull it off. Be sure to follow the link, above, to get the full recipe.
Do you make a huge feast for your family’s Thanksgiving celebration? Do you serve ham, or turkey, or both? What creative ideas do you have for using up the leftovers?
You can check out my Google+ album to see my entire Sam’s Club shop day. I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Castle Wood. The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own. #CBias #SocialFabric #Mealstogether