Welcome to leftover-ology 101

Published 3:47 pm Thursday, November 25, 2010

Now that Thanksgiving is over, many of you probably think I’m one sad foodie right now. It is quite the contrary, actually. Because where there was Thanksgiving dinner, there are leftovers. And there is quite simply no bigger fan of leftovers than myself.

I am artist and self-proclaimed professor of leftover-ology.

I am not content with the usual leftover concoctions of turkey sandwiches, slathered with mayo and some sprinkles of salt and pepper paired with the same old reheated side dishes. I look at a fridge full of once-primetime players and see not what is or was, but what could be.

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So, good people of Suffolk, class is in session, as I am going to share with you my experiments in lefover-ology in the hopes that you will see leftovers in a more positive light.

But first, you have to know the rules. Here are Troy’s Top 5 Commandments of Leftover-ology:

  1. Thou shalt not use more than 3 new ingredients in your new leftover dish
  2. Thou shalt use any condiments at hand
  3. Thou shalt not neglect any part of the turkey
  4. Thou shalt not stop leftovering until all storage containers in the fridge are empty
  5. Thou shalt not continue leftovering if items in said containers have turned gray or developed that fuzzy stuff. (Caution: Fuzzy stuff is not cotton candy, even if it grows on candied yams. Do not engage it, no matter what.)

Now, let’s get cooking.

Turkey sandwich revisited

Don’t let your taste buds trick you into thinking a turkey sandwich has to be just turkey, mayo and bread. Oh no. You see collard greens in the fridge? I see an awesome lettuce substitute. And that cool cranberry jelly stuff hiding back there? Sliced up, I see what looks a lot like some tomato slices. And while mayo is awesome, a thin layer of that sweet potato casserole in its place adds a hint of sweetness. This one is a tried-and-true leftover winner in my book.

All hail the spicy turkey bowl

This one is for those with so much stuffing, they simply need a solution. Get your favorite bowl and fill it halfway with some of that stuffing. Douse it with about three tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce (I recommend Texas Pete.) Then layer as follows: gravy, white-meat turkey, hot and sweet banana peppers, cranberries, and black pepper. Heat it. Mix it. Eat it. Get some of that ice-cold leftover tea to go with this one.

Lady Bird goes to Italy

This is the ultimate in visionary leftovering. It is my doctoral thesis in leftover-ology, if you will. In this experiment, leftovers are no longer leftovers but ingredients for the world’s best Thanksgiving pizza. Grab the pizza dough of your choice. The sauce: gravy. Toppings: turkey, greens, corn, etc. … whatever your spirit of creativity and taste buds can stand. Then, you’ll need to call in two more fresh ingredients, which is just inside the rules of proper leftover-ology. Top your creation with some mozzarella and bacon (you can create a nice lattice design on top, depending on how fancy you are or if you are trying to impress a date.) Bake it until the cheese melts and voila!

I hope you enjoyed you first class in leftover-ology. Just remember, leftovers are never about what they are or were, but what they could be.

Class dismissed. Report to the fridge.