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Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. Sure, Christmas is great, but it also comes with a lot of stress and a big price tag. But a day whose whole purpose is to show gratitude for all you’ve been given, spend time with family, and eat? That’s my kind of holiday!
This year we had the honor of hosting both sides of the family. My side came over on Friday and the Hollingsworth clan joined us on Saturday. (With all of that turkey in our futures, we enjoyed an untraditional Chinese buffet on the actual holiday!) We made those two meal preps easy by ordering our holiday meals from Cracker Barrel, and just supplementing with sides and appetizers. It was delicious, pretty economical,and as stress free as a holiday can get.
However, both Campeses and Hollingsworths are infamous for making too much food, and this year was no different. We had, I kid you not, SEVEN pies leftover!! While I haven’t come up with any creative ways to reinvent those as of yet, I do have a couple suggestions for that leftover turkey and ham.
Thanksgiving Leftover Hash for Breakfast
On Sunday morning, the hubby made us a delicious ham hash for breakfast. Hash is one of my favorite ways to get rid of leftover proteins. Add anything to potatoes and onions and it will be tasty as far as I am concerned. Mark put onions in a skillet, adding the chopped ham to crisp it up a bit. He dumped in half a bag of frozen country style hash browns to that and browned them up until they were nice and crispy. Add salt and pepper to taste, and some scrambled eggs, and you have a perfect breakfast that reinvents that leftover ham.
Turkey Cordon Bleu Casserole for an Easy Dinner
Dinners during the school year always tend to be a challenge because of our conflicting schedules. I usually get home from teaching my university class around 5:45, and Mark leaves for work at 6pm. Clearly this doesn’t leave much time for us to sit down to a good, home cooked meal together, but that doesn’t stop me from attempting it. I try to prep meals that can be done in the crockpot or casseroles that my oldest can throw in the oven before I get home. A family favorite has always been Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole. Here is my take on that bit of creamy deliciousness, using up those thanksgiving leftovers.
Turkey Cordon Bleu Casserole
FOR THE CASSEROLE
- 5 cups turkey chopped (Amount could vary, depending on the amount of leftovers!)
- 5 cups ham chopped (Amount could vary, depending on the amount of leftovers!)
- 1/4 lb swiss cheese thin sliced
FOR THE SAUCE
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp flour
- 3 cups whole milk a bit more if needed
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
FOR THE TOPPING
- 1 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 4 tbsp butter melted
- 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
- 1 1/2 tsp crushed dried parsley
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
FOR THE CASSEROLE:
- Butter a 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Put the chopped turkey on the bottom of the dish. Scatter the chopped ham over the top of the turkey. Layer the swiss cheese on top of the ham.
FOR THE SAUCE:
- Melt the butter in a large sauce pot over medium heat. When butter is melted, quickly stir in the flour to form a smooth roux. Be careful not to brown! Once the roux is smooth and bubbly, slowly pour cold milk while whisking to make a smooth sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Stir in dijon mustard, salt, smoked paprika, and white pepper. Bring sauce back to a low boil and then turn off the heat. Pour sauce evenly over the entire casserole.
FOR THE TOPPING:
- Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in the microwave in a medium sized microwaveable bowl. Heat it for 30 seconds at a time, stirring and stopping when it is melted. Stir in the panko breadcrumbs and the crushed dried parsley. Sprinkle over the op of the casserole.
- Bake casserole uncovered for 45 minutes. Remove from oven once it is hot and bubbly throughout and the top has turned a light golden brown. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.