After your third turkey sandwich, then what?

OK, time to fess up: You offered to host Thanksgiving this year not because you love to entertain but because you can't wait until the guests leave and you can binge for a week on turkey sandwiches. Or maybe you (reluctantly) agreed to go to Cousin Bernice's home, but you plan to roast your own 20-pound turkey afterward so you won't be deprived of your favorite part of the holiday feast: leftovers.

If you relish the remains of the stuffed, roasted bird even more than its original, read on.

Turkey is the most versatile of all Thanksgiving foods. It can be reinvented in so many imaginative ways - as stew, risotto, tacos, quesadillas, and more. And yet when

it comes time to don the apron, fire up the stove, and start cooking, our creativity often freezes up. That's when we resort to the same old sandwich, day after day.

Don't get me wrong. A turkey sandwich can taste great, and it doesn't need much - just a little cranberry sauce, lettuce, and a touch of salt. It's also quick to make - a key consideration for today's cooks. But after your third sandwich, the routine can grow well, stale. With a little more effort, you will get back a lot more satisfaction.

The following recipes, tested and developed by the Monitor food team, are aimed at jump-starting your creativity and pleasing your palate. And who knows, you may even decide not to wait for Thanksgiving before roasting your next turkey.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 to 3 cups diced, cooked turkey meat

1 14-ounce can kidney beans, drained

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1-1/2 cups water or chicken broth

2 teaspoons cumin powder

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

Salt and pepper, to taste

Tabasco, to taste

Tortilla chips

Heat about 2 tablespoons oil in a large pan. Add onion and garlic, and cook over low heat until tender.

Add turkey, kidney beans, tomatoes, water or broth, cumin powder, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, salt, pepper, and Tabasco, to taste.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until it has the consistency you like. Taste, adjust seasonings. Serve with tortilla chips.

Serves 4.


3 tablespoons corn, or other vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 28-ounce can of enchilada sauce

5 canned plum tomatoes, drained and chopped

1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon

1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle chilies

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

3 to 4 cups cooked turkey, finely chopped

2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup sour cream

For the tortillas:

Corn or other vegetable oil for lightly frying tortillas

12 6-inch corn tortillas

In a large saucepan, heat oil over low to medium heat. When hot, add chopped onion and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Stir in garlic. Cook another 2 minutes; add enchilada sauce, tomatoes, cinnamon and chipotle chilies. With heat on low, cook 20 minutes; stir occasionally. Remove from heat and add cilantro.

In a medium bowl, combine turkey, cheese, and sour cream. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Heat 1/4-inch oil in a small frying pan. Cook tortillas, one at a time, for about 20 seconds; drain on paper towels.

Pour some sauce (about 1/2-inch depth) in a 9 X 13-inch baking dish. Spoon about 3 tablespoons turkey mixture along center of each tortilla and roll tortilla. Place seam-side down in baking pan. Pour sauce on tortillas saving enough to garnish tortillas when serving.

Bake tortillas for about 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Top tortillas with sauce and sprig of cilantro. Serve with white or Spanish rice. Serves 6.


1 cup mayonnaise (light if you prefer)

3 to 4 tablespoons mango chutney, chopped

2 teaspoons curry powder

3 cups cooked turkey meat, diced

4 green onions (scallions) minced

1 large stalk celery, minced

1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Lettuce or mesclun mix

In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, chutney, and curry powder. Stir in turkey, green onions, celery, pecans, and cranberries.

Add salt and pepper. Serve over lettuce or with mesclun mix. Serves 4.

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