Leftover Turkey: Bright Ideas From Pro Cooks

Michele Norris speaks with three celebrity chefs, Rachael Ray, Gerry Garvin and Charlie Trotter about what to do with all those Thanksgiving leftovers.

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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

Well, maybe all those extra calories are unavoidable at this time of the year, but if you're going to load up on calories, you might as well be creative. And let's start with your refrigerator. It's probably filled with Thanksgiving leftovers. There's always turkey sandwiches; I myself had one for lunch today. They're delicious, but they're also predictable. So, if you want to gussy up all those leftovers, don't worry. Help is on the way. We've dialed up three celebrity chefs to find out what they plan on doing with the leftovers in the fridge. And first up is Gerry Garvin. He's the host of "Turn up the Heat with G. Garvin" on the TV One network. Mr. Garvin, welcome to the program.

Mr. GERRY GARVIN (Host, "Turn up the Heat with G. Garvin"): Thank you very much.

NORRIS: Now, what do you have left over in your refrigerator, and what are you planning to do with it?

Mr. GARVIN: Well you know, we got some turkey dinner brought home, of course. Of course, the ham is there. So, the first thing I want to do - actually, the first thing I've done this morning was made my daughter a, omelet, some egg whites sauteed to turkey, add a little spinach, and some dry cranberry which I had. So, I...

NORRIS: I'm liking these leftovers that start right at breakfast.

Mr. GARVIN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And my daughter loves breakfast, so I just figured I'd be creative with what we had. So, I did that omelet this morning for her. And now, you know, with the ham, there's so many great salads you can make, I'm sure that people do that all the time but I like to mix it up with like a great chopped salad because if you've got ham, you got maybe some salami, some garbanzo beans, some provolone cheese, and of course some iceberg lettuce. And then do like a lemon vinaigrette. Really, really nice and light, as you ate so heavy the day before.

NORRIS: What's your address? I may have to roll on over there. That's sounds delicious.

Mr. GARVIN: You're funny.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GARVIN: Might be a long ride for you.

NORRIS: Gerry Garvin, known as G. Garvin, is the host of "Turn up the Heat with G. Garvin." Thanks so much for sharing your recipe with us.

Mr. GARVIN: OK.

NORRIS: We turn now to the Windy City. Charlie Trotter is the owner of the landmark restaurant called Charlie Trotter's in downtown Chicago. He's also a prolific cookbook writer. Welcome to the program, Mr. Trotter.

Mr. CHARLIE TROTTER (Chef and Owner, Charlie Trotter's, Chicago, Illinois): Well, thank you very much. Delighted to spend some time.

NORRIS: Now, you have more than a dozen cookbooks, I understand. So, I'm hoping in all of those cookbooks, you can find at least one recipe that would work with Thanksgiving leftovers.

Mr. TROTTER: Well, yeah. I try to keep myself busy with these books because it keeps me out of trouble, but you know, Thanksgiving is a great time of the year and it's a time where I think you always have leftover things. You know, it could be collard greens, sweet corn - the great thing for me is to just take these leftovers, and it could be almost anything, and just make a soup or stew. And it's the easiest thing that you could possibly do with your leftovers.

NORRIS: We often have desserts left over, and they maybe don't look as pretty as they did on Thanksgiving Day because they've been cut in two and maybe they've sat out for awhile. Is there a quick bit of advice you can give us for re-purposing dessert?

Mr. TROTTER: You know, I'll give you my take on that. Sometimes you might have like a quarter of an apple pie left, for example. What I do is I take a quart of like vanilla ice cream and I'd let it soften up on the counter for 20 minutes. And then I'd just take that apple pie and I put the ice cream in a bowl, I take the apple pie, and just work it all together with a big wooden spoon and you make almost like apple-pie ice cream.

NORRIS: That sounds good.

Mr. TROTTER: And you could do the same thing with pecan pie - especially with pecan pie.

NORRIS: Hmm, that sounds good. I'm liking that.

Mr. TROTTER: I'm just trying to stretch the leftovers. Nothing more than that.

NORRIS: That was Charlie Trotter of Charlie Trotter's Restaurant in Chicago. Thanks so much for being with us.

Mr. TROTTER: Thanks.

NORRIS: And finally, we're joined by Rachel Ray, a woman with a whole lot of titles. She has a TV show, a magazine, a line of cookware and a website. But for us, the most important question right now is, does she have a killer recipe for Thanksgiving leftovers? We caught up with Rachel Ray as she's in the car driving to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family since she was on the air yesterday. Rachel, I'm going to give you the cranberry challenge. This is the kind of thing that you usually only eat during the holidays and you're left wondering, what do I do with this bowl of cranberry sauce? Do you have a killer recipe that you might share with us on cranberry sauce? And please don't mention Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish, because I think our listeners already know all about that.

Ms. RACHEL RAY (Host "30 Minute Meals"): Oh, I love cranberry relish. Yeah, you can sneak it into a lot of things. You know, you can make a lovely thickened gravy a few days later, say you're having a steak supper and you saute up a little bit of shallots or onions and you sprinkle in it a little flour, throw that around for a minute, add in some beef stock, a little bit of Worcestershire, and cranberries, you could even put that nice cracked cranberry gravy down over a light steak or a London broil or a lovely brisket. So, don't think of cranberries as being always married to turkey.

NORRIS: I'm liking that cranberry gravy. I can imagine that also over pork chops or maybe...

Ms. RAY: Oh, it's really...

NORRIS: A real fleshy piece of fish.

Ms. RAY: Beautiful over halibut. Excellent idea. And really, really nice over ham steak, too.

NORRIS: Hmm, all sounds good. Rachel Ray, safe driving to you. Thanks so much for taking time to talk to us.

Ms. RAY: Absolutely. Thanks for including me in your thoughts on a nice holiday weekend.

NORRIS: Rachel Ray is a chef, talk-show host and the author of the new cookbook, "Rachel Ray's Big Orange Book." Now, hopefully our three celebrity chefs have inspired you to do something different with your leftovers. If you're still committed to traditional turkey sandwiches, well, there's no shame in that.

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