The Forum: User-upper for holiday leftovers

  • By Judyrae Kruse, Herald Columnist
  • Friday, November 27, 2009 12:01am
  • Life

Here we are, the morning after the day/night before, which means Thanksgiving leftovers. And the two sentiments that always go along with that.

On the one hand, we have the “thrilled, thrilled” camp because buying more than enough has left plenty of whatever for this, that and the other.

Leftover roast, oh yummy, gives you the wherewithal for French dips. Turkey or ham — boy, oh, boy — endless possibilities.

Alas, the other, totally opposite leftovers reaction is more a “shock and horror” sizing-up of the situation.

You have accidentally wound up with so much, you could actually feed a couple of teenage boys.

When, really, really, you didn’t want to be forced to deal with even so much as a shred, let alone a wad of this or a slab of that or, vastly worse, a great big chunk or a whole pile of whatsit.

Where, then, does either category leave us? Well, with the following recipe, hopefully with a potentially satisfying way for leftover grievers to make it through, or a new recipe for leftover lovers to add to other old favorites.

The folks at Butterball have developed this for, of course, turkey. But since everybody who knows anything knows that ham and cheese go together like hogs and mud, cake and frosting, peanut butter and chocolate, and can see right off the bat that ham would also be a good alternative to turkey.

So, whether you do be a leftover lover or hater, do take a look at:

Four-cheese turkey mac and cheese

2 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (about 10 ounces)
2 cups chopped cooked leftover turkey
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
3 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) each shredded Swiss, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses (1 1/2 cups total)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup soft white or whole-wheat bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse and drain.

In a large bowl, combine the drained pasta and turkey. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, mustard, Worcestershire and pepper. Gradually stir cheeses into the milk mixture. Stir the milk mixture into the pasta mixture.

Spoon into a well-sprayed, 3-quart casserole dish. Combine the melted butter and garlic powder in a small bowl. Stir bread crumbs into the butter mixture until evenly coated; sprinkle over the top of the pasta.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pasta mixture is heated through and cheese is melted. Makes 8 servings.

The Forum is always happy to receive your contributions and requests, so don’t hesitate to send them along to Judyrae Kruse at the Forum, c/o The Herald, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.

Please remember that all letters and e-mail must include a name, complete address with ZIP code and telephone number with area code. No exceptions and sorry, but no response to e-mail by return e-mail; send to

The next Forum will appear in Monday’s Good Life section.

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