Making a Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Mac and Cheese 

We’ve all done it.  Opened the door, peered in, shut it again.  Left to wonder what exactly is in that freezer.  Despite best laid plans it’s easy to lose the plot.  Our freezer is nearly 6 feet tall so it’s really not a good idea to lose the plot!  It got to the point where we couldn’t fit anything in and I was wondering how much money we were wasting by not using what we had.  

Off I went to get clear containers to organise the meats, leaving the baskets for all our fruits and veg we had harvested.  I did have to get rid of some things but overall getting it organised and knowing what the heck was in there was a success.  

One of my finds was a vacuumed bag of leftover Thanksgiving turkey.  So this post is either well overdue or too early for Thanksgiving.  😄.  Even though we seem to be stuck back in with the sticky heat of summer we did enjoy autumn weather for a few weeks.  It was wonderful and perfect for some comfort food.  Mac and cheese would do the trick.

Would you believe this onion was supposed to be a scallion?  We planted half a raised bed of bunching onions so you imagine our surprise to find proper onions growing.

While making the cheese sauce for this dish, cook up the pasta.  Preheat the oven to 375F/200C. In a separate saucepan heat up a couple of tablespoons of butter.   Coarsely chop half of a large onion and add it to the butter.

Sauté on low until the onions soften.  Then add a couple of cloves of garlic, finely chopped.  Cook for a couple of minutes then add about a cup and a half of chopped turkey.  Season with a couple of teaspoons of fresh thyme and sage.  If you don’t have fresh sage use about a teaspoon of ground sage.  Continue to season with sea salt and pepper.  Then add a half cup/4oz of dry white wine.

To make it a roux add 2 tablespoons of flour.

Stir continuously until the flour is incorporated and cooked, about three minutes.

Next add 1 1/4 cup of milk and heat through.  Don’t boil!  Once the cheese is warm enough to melt cheese add a cup of grated cheddar and half a cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Stir until the cheese has melted,

Put the cooked pasta into a baking dish and add the cheese sauce.  Mix well. Top with more grated cheese.

Cover and bake for 20 minutes.  Uncover and brown the top of the dish.

Serve while hot.  Now we try to eat small portions in our house but with this dish we all had seconds and there weren’t any leftovers!  Guess we needed a break from salads.  😊

My Husband’s Amazing Mac and Cheeese

A great memory I have is from way back in the mists of time when I could barely see over the dining room table.  We would go to my Grammy’s for Thanksgiving and the table would be groaning with wonderful food including her mac and cheese.  And it was all at my eye level!  It is a traditional dish for us at the holidays.

I have to say my husband makes the best mac and cheese.  Full of flavour and a wonderful comfort food quality to it.  His inspiration comes from the Betty Crocker New Cookbook but he changed it a bit and added some ingredients.  And it was even more special this Thanksgiving as our daughter helped him make it.  🙂

Before the sauce is made get the pasta cooking and set aside when done. It needs about 2 cups for this recipe.

In a large saucepan melt a 1/4 cup of butter.

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Chop up some onions and garlic.  About half an onion and a few cloves of garlic.

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Saute until onions begin to soften in the butter.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Next add a tablespoon of stone ground mustard and a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to the mixture.  Stir well.

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Add a 1/4 cup of flour to make the roux.

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Once the flour is mixed in with the butter add 2 cups of milk to the roux and stir well.  Keep stirring while it comes up to a boil.

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For the cheese, shred about 2 cups of cheddar.  We also add some jarlsberg and parmesan to give it a few layers of flavour.

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Once the milk has come to a boil, reduce the heat and add the cheese.

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Once the cheese is melted and is mixed in thoroughly pour it over the cooked pasta in the baking dish.

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Top with more shredded cheese.

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This was made the day before so it was covered and left to cool down.  Once the turkey was out of the oven then we popped it in and heated it through and let the cheese on top brown.

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As I said this is my favourite and I could just eat bowls of this!