Turn leftover turkey into tasty meal

After Thanksgiving, the memories linger on — in the form of leftovers. After having all the traditional Thanksgiving fixings, I always crave spicy foods.

I’ve come to enjoy thinking up ways I can transform the mountain of plastic containers full of a few scoops of this and a few cups of that into a new recipe. I’ve discovered that leftover turkey combined with Mexican spices makes a great meal.

I’ve used leftover turkey to make soft tacos, quesadillas and enchiladas. I love this enchilada recipe because the combination of cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper completely changes the flavor of the leftover turkey, and it’s easy to prepare.

If you don’t have time to make the enchilada sauce from scratch, use a good quality, commercially made sauce and add the spices from the recipe below to give it a homemade taste. Serve this dish with a side of Spanish rice and a tossed salad, and you’ll not only have a great meal, but a great way to use up that leftover turkey.

Spicy Turkey Enchiladas

Ingredients

Serves: 4 to 6

3 cups cooked turkey, shredded

2 cups sour cream

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, one cup reserved for topping

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

¼ – ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

12 10-inch tortillas, corn or flour

Enchilada sauce

2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped mild green chile peppers

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped onion

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1½ pounds stewed tomatoes

1/2 cup water

Procedure

To make the turkey enchiladas:

Using a large bowl, combine cooked turkey with sour cream, 2 cups cheese, salt, cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Wrap tortillas in a clean dishcloth or food-safe paper towels and sprinkle both sides with a little water. Microwave for 10 to 15 seconds to warm and soften.

Place a tortilla on a flat surface. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of turkey mixture on the end of the tortilla closest to you. Lightly oil a shallow, 13-by-9-inch baking pan so that the enchiladas won’t stick. Roll up the tortilla. Arrange it, seam side down in the baking pan, placing each stuffed tortilla side by side until the pan is full.

Pour the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and bake, uncovered at 350 degrees, for about 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheese. Bake another 5 minutes. Remove pan from the oven; let set for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

To prepare the enchilada sauce:

Quick tip: A good-quality, commercially made chili sauce mixed with a teaspoon each of cumin and chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar makes a canned enchilada sauce taste like homemade.

Using a medium-sized pan, sauté chili peppers and onions in oil until onions are soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, cumin and chili powder and sauté for another minute. Add the stewed tomatoes and brown sugar and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the water.

Turn heat to high and bring mixture to a rolling boil. Then turn the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until thick, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Angela Shelf Medearis is the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is www.divapro.com. © 2016 King Features Synd., Inc.

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