Nothing is more traditional for the holiday feasts than turkey and ham with all the trimmings. However, after the meal, what to do with the leftover turkey and ham can sometimes be a problem; but don’t throw anything out.

With the economy in such a sad shape and the expenses of Christmas around the corner, budgets are probably more limited this year than ever before. Before you get tired of sandwiches or a steady diet of these leftover meals, freeze small amounts for later use to have for other meals with a different twist.

Add a little touch of the gourmet chef inside of you. Pick out recipes for future meals and freeze the appropriate amounts of turkey or ham and mark your packages. Just plan ahead.

Remember a gourmet meal need not be expensive or difficult. It just consists of a delicious, well-presented dish that makes your meal a delightful experience. Add a vegetable, salad and bread when appropriate and you will get rave reviews from your family – not complaints about leftover turkey or ham.

Turkey Pot Pie

2 cups cooked turkey, chopped

3 hard-boiled eggs

1 small can English Peas

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 3/4 cup chicken broth (1 can)

1 cup self-rising flour

1 stick margarine, melted

1 cup buttermilk

Line bottom of 9x13-inch dish with turkey. Slice eggs, layer over turkey. Add drained English peas.

Mix soup and broth; bring to a boil. Pour over turkey and eggs. Mix flour, margarine and buttermilk. Pour over casserole ad bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then 20 minutes at 450 degrees. Serves 6.

Quick and Easy

Turkey Tetrazzini

3 bacon slices

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup milk

1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

1 (8-oz.) loaf pasteurized prepared cheese product, cubed

2 cups chopped cooked turkey or chicken

8 oz. Spaghetti, cooked

1 (2-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove from skillet, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in pan. Crumble bacon, set aside.

Add onion and bell pepper to drippings, and sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in milk, soup, and cheese; cook, stirring constantly, until blended.

Stir in turkey, spaghetti, and pimiento. Spoon into a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with reserved bacon. Serves 4.

Hot Brown Soup

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup minced onion

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1/8 tsp. hot sauce

4 cups milk

1 cup (4 ozs.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup chopped cooked ham

1/2 cup chopped cooked turkey

Toppings: cooked and crumbled bacon, chopped tomato, chopped fresh parsley

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion. Sauté until tender. Add flour, garlic salt, and hot sauce.

Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually stir in milk; cook until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; stir in cheese until melted.

Add ham and turkey; cook stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated. (Do not boil.) Serve with desired toppings. Makes 5 cups.

Baby Hot Browns

24 pumpernickel party rye bread slices

3 tbsp. butter or margarine

3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1 cup milk

1 1/2 cups diced cooked turkey

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Arrange bread slices on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 500 degrees for 3 to 4 minutes.

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat; add four, and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth.

Add cheddar cheese, whisking until cheese melts. Gradually whisk in milk; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbly.

Stir in turkey, salt and pepper. Cover and chill, if desired.

Top bread slices evenly with warm cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese and bacon.

Bake at 500 degrees for 2 minutes or until Parmesan is melted. Makes 2 dozen.



3 cups soft breadcrumbs

1/4 to 1/2 cup melted butter

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

2 tbsp. Grated onion

2 cups cooked ham, diced

1 pkg. frozen broccoli, broken into pieces

2 cups thin white sauce

Combine crumbs, butter, cheese and onion. Line buttered baking dish with half of the crumb mixture. Mix ham and broccoli. Spread over crumbs; cover with white sauce. Top with remaining crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 6.

White Sauce

2 tbsp. Butter

2 tbsp. Flour

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/8 tsp. Pepper

1 1/2 cups milk

Melt butter over low heat. Add flour and seasonings. Cook and stir until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Stir in milk. Bring to boil, slowly, and cook until thickened stirring constantly.

— Judy O’Daniel’s “Country Gourmet” column appear in the Times-Journal. This column originally ran Nov. 26, 2008.

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