If you’ve hosted the dinner, chances are you’ve got the cook’s dividend: leftovers, which are the payoff for polishing the silver, setting the table and toiling over a hot oven. Here are a couple of stellar suggestions.


This curry, which is a beautiful golden color from the curry powder and sweet potato, gets its richness from coconut milk and its heat from jalapeño peppers and lots of grated ginger. (Use the larger amount of ginger if you want to open your sinuses.) Serve over steamed basmati or jasmine rice, accompanied by a cucumber and red pepper salad and a dish of fruit chutney.

Serves 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, coarsely chopped


2 garlic cloves, minced

1 large or 2 small jalapeño peppers, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped

3 tablespoons good-quality curry powder

1½ teaspoons cumin seeds

1 can (14½ ounces) unsweetened coconut milk

1 medium sweet potato (about 10 ounces), peeled and cut into ½-inch dice


1 large tomato, seeded and finely chopped

4 cups cooked turkey, cut into 1½-inch chunks

1-2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 scallions, thinly sliced

¾ cup coarsely chopped cilantro


2 limes, cut into wedges

In a very large skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil. Add onion and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring now and then, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add jalapeños, curry powder and cumin seeds and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add coconut milk, ½ cup water, sweet potato and tomato, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add turkey and ginger and cook about 5 minutes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Can be made up to a day ahead and refrigerated.)

Reheat gently before serving, thinning with more water if necessary. Scatter with scallions and cilantro. Serve over rice, with lime wedges on the side for squeezing.


If you have leftover stuffing, substitute it for some of the potatoes. If you don’t have leftover mashed potatoes, cook 2 large peeled russet potatoes, cut in chunks, in boiling salted water until tender. Drain, mash and season with salt and pepper. Steamed or sautéed broccolini makes an excellent accompaniment.

Serves 4


5 tablespoons olive oil

3 cups chopped shiitake mushroom caps or other wild mushrooms

1 large garlic clove, minced

3 cups chopped cooked turkey meat

3 cups mashed potatoes

1 cup panko crumbs, divided


¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions

4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cranberry sauce

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté, stirring often, until mushrooms give off some liquid and are tender, about 5 minutes. Scrape into a large bowl. Add turkey, mashed potatoes, about a third of the panko crumbs, cheese, scallions and sage. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Divide turkey mixture into 8 equal portions, shape into ½- to ¾-inch thick patties, and place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to firm up patties.

Spread remaining panko crumbs out on a plate. Divide the remaining 3 tablespoons oil between 2 large skillets and heat over medium-high heat. Dredge patties in crumbs and cook until brown and crusty on both sides and hot inside, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve patties topped with cranberry sauce.

Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Chowderland: Hearty Soups & Stews with Sides and Salads to Match.” She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula, and can be contacted via Facebook at:


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