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Alex Guarnaschelli's Tips For Thanksgiving Leftovers

Alex Guarnaschelli's Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes Are Transformative

The day after Halloween marks the beginning of a new holiday as we turn our focus to Thanksgiving. Can't you just taste the turkey and stuffing already? Alex Guarnaschelli can, and she's not only looking forward to the feast itself, but she's even more excited about the most underrated and underappreciated part: leftovers.

The Food Network star partnered with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi wines to dream up a few recipes that put Thanksgiving leftovers front and center. "Incorporating leftovers with new, fresh ingredients creates new traditions," she said. Another tip? Drink the wine you cook with. "This idea of adding wine to food and then drinking it as you eat, I like that," she proclaimed. After taking her advice, we highly recommend it.

Keep reading for some of her recipes.

Spinach and Turkey Phyllo With Fondue

Turnovers:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 pound leftover roasted Butterball turkey meat, dark and white meat, "flaked" into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup leftover (thick) turkey gravy
  • 1 box spinach and feta phyllo appetizers
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parley

Fondue sauce:

  • 2 cups Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Chardonnay
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons smooth dijon mustard
  • 2 cups finely grated swiss cheese
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco

Turnover directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Make the filling: In a medium-size skillet, heat the butter and add the turkey meat. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the turkey is warm. Stir in the gravy and cook until the gravy coats the meat, an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Bake and serve: Arrange the spinach and phyllo appetizers in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the center of the oven. Bake until they are golden brown, an average of 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the phyllo out onto a platter and arrange in a single layer. Stir the parsley into the turkey and arrange a generous spoonful on top of each phyllo triangle. Serve immediately with the warm fondue sauce for drizzling and dunking.

Fondue directions:

  1. Reduce the wine: In a medium pot, reduce the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Chardonnay over medium heat until the liquid measures about 1/2 cup, 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Make the fondue sauce: In the same pot, add the cream and the mustard to a simmer gently with a pinch of salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the swiss cheese, parmesan, Worcestershire, and Tabasco, and continue stirring until cheese melts. Taste for seasoning.

Root Vegetable and Mashed Potato Cake

The sauce:

  • 3 cups Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

The root vegetable cake:

  • 2 large Idaho potatoes
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1 medium head rutabaga, peeled and quartered
  • 1 medium head celery root, peeled and quartered
  • 3/4 cup clarified butter
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups leftover stuffing

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Make the sauce: In a medium pot, reduce the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon until about 1/2 cup liquid remains. Transfer to a medium bowl. Whisk in mustard, red wine vinegar, and olive oil with a pinch salt.
  3. Make the vegetable mix: Use the largest size holes on a box grater, the "teeth" of a mandolin, or a food processor attachment to shred the potatoes, rutabaga, and celery root. Toss them in 1/2 cup of the butter and the garlic and season with salt. You should have about 4 cups of grated vegetables.
  4. Cook the vegetable cake: In a 9-inch nonstick skillet, heat the remaining butter over medium heat. Remove skillet from the stove and fill halfway with vegetables. Top with a layer of mashed potatoes. Top with remaining vegetables. Skillet will likely be overfilled. Put the skillet back on the stove and cook over high heat until the edges of the underside brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Finish cooking and serve: Spread the stuffing in a thin layer on a baking sheet and place in the center of the oven. Place the skillet on another baking sheet in the oven and cook until tender when pierced in the center with the tip of a knife, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove both from the oven. Drain excess butter. Season with salt. Place a 12-inch round platter over the skillet and turn the cake out on its second side onto the platter. Cut into 8 to 10 wedges. Top with all of the stuffing. Serve immediately with sauce.
Image Source: Getty / Matt Eisman
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