EVERYONE knows what Thanksgiving brings besides family get-togethers and the joys of a festive weekend: lots of leftover turkey. So you've had your Thanksgiving feast.
You bought the biggest, most beautiful bird you could find.
Now you're wondering what else you can do besides those endless turkey sandwiches.
When you get to the point where you can't face another post-holiday turkey sandwich, turn your leftovers into a zesty batch of turkey chili with an especially delicious seasoning.
Or try putting the bits and pieces in a food processor or grinder for turkey meatballs. Add an egg, parsley, salt and pepper, and coriander or your favorite seasoning.
This mixture will make turkey balls that can then be poached and added to turkey broth for soup or can be cooked in the same way as other meatballs are.
A familiar favorite, and not overdone by those who like pasta in any combination, is Turkey Tetrazinni casserole made of layers of turkey in cream sauce or gravy and layers of pasta mixed with mild seasonings and mushrooms, topped by more sauce and a sprinkling of bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
But if your family does insist on a sandwich or two, try Jim Bildner's roast turkey with Boursin cheese and shredded lettuce on whole-wheat pita.
Mr. Bildner is the owner of the upscale grocery gourmet store chain. He has written a cookbook with his recommendations for ``casual feasts, food on the run, and special celebrations.''
Chef Henry Haller, White House executive chef for many years, says that he often makes turkey sandwiches, and that President Ford's family, especially, liked to have leftovers on Thanksgiving. It was Mr. Haller's job to plan for extra food for this purpose.
Chef Haller's sandwich suggestion is a turkey club made with bacon, avocado, and jalapeno cheese, served on fresh sourdough bread with a generous slathering of hot mustard.
The most challenging way to use up holiday leftovers, Haller believes, is to make an interesting casserole. One of his suggestions is a South American turkey casserole with pimentos, olives, onions, and capers, seasoned with Spanish paprika.
But the Fords' favorite was Haller's country-style turkey casserole made with Virginia ham, along with some other ideas for ways to use up the leftover turkey. President Ford's Favorite 4 tablespoons butter 2 medium green peppers, julienned 6 tablespoons flour 3 cups hot chicken or turkey broth 2 cups cooked turkey, julienned 1/4 pound Virginia ham, julienned 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1 cup milk 10 ounces thin noodles 6 saltine crackers, crushed 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in 3-quart pan; add pepper strips and saut'e 5 minutes. Add flour, stirring constantly. Add hot broth and bring to boil. Cook 5 minutes or until smooth, stirring constantly. Add turkey, ham, parsley, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper. Bring to boil, add milk gradually, stirring gently. Simmer 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook noodles in 2 quarts boiling water 7 minutes; drain well. Spread noodles in buttered baking pan. Spread turkey mixture evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with crumbs and cheese.
Bake on middle shelf of preheated oven 20 minutes, or until heated through and lightly browned on top. Serve warm or cold.
Turkey Tostados Lime Vinaigrette (see recipe below) 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 6 flour tortillas, 6-8-inch diameter 1 1/2 cups cooked turkey, diced 3 cups romaine lettuce, shredded 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated 1 cup black beans, rinsed 2 small red or green peppers, diced Garnishes: guacamole, salsa, sour cream
Lime Vinaigrette 1/2 cup minced fresh coriander 1/3 cup olive oil 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 clove garlic, minced Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine and whisk all ingredients. Let stand at room temperature.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tortilla and cook 45 seconds, then turn and cook second side until tortilla is crisp and golden, about 30 seconds. Drain thoroughly on paper towels.
Combine turkey, lettuce, cheese, beans, and pepper in large bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss to coat. Place tortillas on plates and top with turkey mixture. Serve at once with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. Serves 4. Curried Turkey Salad 3 cups cooked turkey 1/4 cups mayonnaise 1/4 cups plain yogurt 1 tablespoon curry powder 3 tablespoons chutney, minced 3 scallions, chopped with green 3 celery stalks, chopped 1 cup seedless grapes, halved Garnish: 1/2 cup cashews, toasted Honeydew wedges, peeled Cantaloupe wedges, peeled Clusters of seedless red grapes
In large bowl whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, curry powder, chutney until well combined. Add turkey with scallion, celery, grapes, and toss until well combined. Chill. Mound on a chilled large platter, sprinkle with cashews, and garnish with melon wedges and grape clusters. Serves 12. Turkey Stuffed Tomatoes 6 medium tomatoes 2 cups turkey, cooked, cubed 1 cup (1 small) zucchini, grated 1/3 cup green onions, chopped 1/4 cup chopped celery 1/3 cup chopped green pepper 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced 1 tablespoon dried dill 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/4 cup mayonnaise
Cut tops from tomatoes, scoop out pulp and seeds, and discard. Turn upside down and drain on paper towel.
In medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients, cover, and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours, or overnight. Stuff. Serves 6.