Leftovers Redux

Am I the only one at holiday time that is overwhelmed with what to do with all the leftovers before they go bad?  I think the fact that hubby always insists on making three proteins only adds to the equation. 

This year he made traditional turkey, we bought a Honey Baked spiral cut ham and he made red beans and rice.  Last year we had all three girls to send food home with but since #3 moved back home we only had two to send home with and we sent home lots with both of them and we still have bulging refrigerators.  Yes…plural.

 We actually had our dinner on Wednesday night because #1 had to leave fairly early on Thursday since she had to work on Friday and didn’t want to have to deal with the ensuing “food coma” from overeating while she was driving home, plus #3 had to work Thanksgiving day and so #2 made other plans.  Add to this the fact that #3 not only didn’t take any food “home with her” since she lives at home now, but, since she had to work on her employer decided to cook dinner for all the employees for them to eat after closing.  So instead of taking food away from the house, she brought more food into the house in the form of leftovers from her work. 

 I know I don’t usually cook but lately I’ve had the cooking bug so I’ve been trying to find new recipes to use to incorporate the leftover protein from the holiday dinner.  Of course there’s not much you can do to use red beans and rice in another recipe so we just sent most of that back to Nashville with #1 and her hubby since I think hubby primarily cooked it for him anyway as it’s one of his favorites.  That only left a small portion of red beans and rice here at the house which I’m sure hubby will end up eating.

 That leaves a butt load of ham and turkey.  Despite sending lots home with both #1 and #2 we still have lots of both leftover.  So I got up Thursday morning and made a ham frittata for breakfast.  It was pretty good if I do say so myself.  I’ll include the recipes at the end of this post.

 Then for lunch I used some of the leftover turkey to make “Hot Browns”.  It’s an open faced sandwich that I used to get at this restaurant I used to go to years ago in Greenville, North Carolina called Sweet Carolines.  I don’t even know if it’s correct but it’s as close as I can remember it and the family loves it.  It’s become a “tradition” with our family that whenever we have roasted turkey, the leftovers make hot browns.  Of course they are probably so fattening that I’m surprised any of us can move afterwards.  Basically, you take buns (hamburger, yeast, whatever kind you prefer) and slice them open (so that you have a top and bottom) and line the bottom of a 9 x 13 sprayed pan with them.  I even cut them in half again if I have to in order to cover the whole bottom of the pan (sort of like making a “crust”).  I fry/microwave (or however you cook your bacon) a pound of bacon (yes…a whole pound) and set it aside to cool.  I dice up a couple of cups of leftover turkey meat.  I brown the buns slightly in a 350 to 375 degree oven.  I top the buns with the diced turkey and then I crumble the bacon and sprinkle it on top of the turkey.  I make a cheese sauce (typical white sauce and add cheese of your liking) and pour over the entire dish and pop it in the oven and bake until it’s bubbly.  Eat right away with a knife and fork because you won’t be able to pick it up! 

The hot browns

Hubby and the son in law both ate double helpings.  In fact, before they even came in from Nashville #1 informed me that son in law had already said they were not leaving until he got his hot browns!  Since #3 was working when I made them, the first thing she asked when she came in from work was “Did you save me any hot browns?”  They all LOVE them.  But, I STILL have quite a bit of turkey left over!

 This morning I asked hubby what he wanted me to make him for breakfast and he said he wasn’t really hungry and then a little while later he said he was going to make a couple of ham sandwiches which took up more leftover turkey but we still have a lot of it left.  So this evening I started searching for “leftover ham dishes” and found a recipe for “Ham and Cheese Casserole” which sounded pretty good and I had all the ingredients to I made that for dinner.  Of course I am the only one here right now since everyone else is working or gone back to their respective homes but it was really good if I do say so myself!  It’s got ham, and cheese and broccoli…. What’s not to like?

The ham and cheese bake

Pair it with some wine in my redneck wine glass (so I can have a top so the dog won't try to drink it!)


It really was tasty if I do say so myself

OK….in case you’ve been searching for recipes, here are my two ham ones.  I think tomorrow I’ll

maybe make a turkey tetrazzini….


6 eggs, beaten

1 oz Parmesan Cheese, rated

½ tsp black pepper

Pinch of salt

1/8 tsp dry mustard

1/8 tsp paprika

1 tsp butter or margarine

1 cup ham (finely chopped)

½ to 1 cup cheddar, mozzarella or your favorite cheese

1 TBSP parsley leaves

Preheat oven to broil.

In medium bowl using a fork blend together eggs, Parmesan, salt, pepper, mustard and paprika.  Heat 12 inch non-stick oven safe skillet (I use cast iron skillets) over medium high heat.  Add butter to pan and melt.  Add ham to pan and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes.  Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula.  Cook for about 2 minutes and add cheese and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top.  Sprinkle with parsley.

Transfer the pan to the oven and broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and fluffy.  Remove from pan and cut into individual servings.  Serve immediately.  Should feed 6 (unless hubby and son in law are in your family).


8 oz chopped ham

1 large onion, minced

4 oz can mushrooms, drained

½ tsp salt

1/8 tsp dry mustard (I added this)

1/8 tsp paprika (I added this too)

¼ tsp pepper (I added this too)

2 cup shredded cheese (your choice – mozzarella, cheddar, etc)

16 oz. frozen broccoli

1 ½ cup prepared baking mix (like bisquick)

3 cups milk

6 eggs

2 oz pimento, chopped (optional) I did NOT add this…. I didn’t have any on hand.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Saute’ onion and mushroom in saucepan over medium heat.  Coat 13 x 9 baking dish with vegetable spray.  Layer ham, onion/mushroom mix, broccoli, pimento and cheese in baking dish.  In medium sized mixing bowl combine eggs, milk and baking mix until smooth.  Pour over layered ham mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 or 60 minutes or until set in the middle.  The dish may need to be covered the last 15 minutes so that it doesn’t brown more than desired.  May serve hot or cold.  Should yield 12 1 cup servings.

I realized that everything I cook looks pretty much the same lately.  I think it’s because we eat a LOT of cheese.  And once you cover it with cheese and melt it all of it pretty much looks the same! 

Are there any special dishes that your family eats to utilize leftover holiday meats?  I’d love to hear them if you do!  Bon Appétit!


About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
This entry was posted in Just Life, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Leftovers Redux

  1. Ron says:

    WOW! That ham frittata looks soooooooooooooooo good, Peg!

    And I so know what you mean about having leftovers and not knowing what to do with them. When I was a kid, my mother made so much food for Thanksgiving Day, that we ended up eating turkey FIVE different ways for DAY afterwards – HA!

    Which reminds me, a dear friend of mine gave me a WHOLE pumpkin pie as a little gift for Thanksgiving Day. I told her I could never eat it all because it was so big, therefore I didn’t know what I was going to do with the leftover.

    But guess what?

    I ended up eating the WHOLE thing – MYSELF!

    Have a great Sunday, dear friend!


  2. NikNik says:

    That ham and cheese bake looks AWESOME! I wish we would have been there to enjoy it!

  3. terrepruitt says:


    I love tortillas so I throw anything leftover in a tortilla or on a tortilla. One night I will throw it in and roll it up, the next night I might cook it like a pizza. But I love tortillas, so I just use them as left over meal fixer uppers!

    I have a yummy “recipe” for ham. I don’t have measurements, you just have to “wing” in. Sautee some garlic (a lot) in olive oil, then throw in some chopped walnuts, then throw in some chopped ham. Then toss it all with some cooked pasta (I use linguine, but I think the recipe called for spaghetti), parmesan cheese, and parsley. YUM. You use as much garlic, nuts, and ham, as you like. Depending on how much oil you have from the cooking you might want to add a few sprinkles of oil olive to the mixture. So yummy. Can use up a lot of ham!

  4. Angelia Sims says:

    My mom-in-law makes overnight casserole with the left-over turkey. I LOVE it! She has promised to show me tonight and I may blog about it. 🙂 I heart leftovers from Thanksgiving!

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