New life for leftovers, November/December 2017 Cape Cod LIFE | capecodlife.com

Chef Austin Peters demonstrates how to carve a turkey during a cooking class at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. Photo by Josh Shortsleeve

Creative recipes that reinvent post-Thanksgiving meals

Recipes courtesy of Austin Peters

It’s the day after Thanksgiving. You open your fridge to find it stuffed with leftover turkey and trimmings. It all tasted so heavenly, but after a day or two of eating the same thing, it’s bound to get boring. So how do you make the most of all those Thanksgiving leftovers? Chef Austin Peters, who has taught cooking classes at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, including one titled “Thanksgiving Leftovers Makeover,” has a few inventive ideas. On the following pages, we present recipes from the class—held last fall—that make for fresh and exciting post-Thanksgiving dishes. To Peters, “The leftovers are almost as good, if not better, than the original meal.”

Hearty Turkey Soup

Turkey, Cranberry and Grilled Brie Cheese Sandwich

Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Hash

Turkey tips from a pro

Chef Austin Peters has some advice for cooking holiday turkeys. The most common question he gets is how long a turkey should be cooked. “I recommend that everybody get a meat thermometer; it really takes all the guesswork out,” he says. “You put the meat thermometer into the thigh but away from the bone, and it should register at 165 (degrees Fahrenheit).”

More good advice: Don’t cover your turkey while it’s cooking. “Let it roast uncovered. You want some of the moisture to evaporate, and it allows the skin to brown up and cook more evenly,” he says.

When it comes to gravy, Peters says, always make extra. “You can never have enough gravy; it always seems to run out.”

Finally, after the big day, you can keep your leftover turkey refrigerated for three to four days. “When in doubt, throw it out. And turkey freezes really nicely too.”