Lee Mathis
Grand Junction Free Press Food Columnist

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November 20, 2012
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FOOD: I'm thankful; now let's shop!

If you are actually reading this today (Friday), chances are you are suffering from a Thanksgiving hangover and not the kind you get from meeting your friends for ... just one!

No, your fridge is probably filled with the remnants of your primal feasting yesterday, filling pretty much all of your Tupperware containers and utilizing every nook and cranny. That is, unless you have college-aged kids that came by, whose usual college refrigerator has only some old take-out, maybe a few energy drinks and maybe some juice.

I know when I went over to Mom's house for Thanksgiving when I was in college (the first time) or was living nearby afterward; yeah, I packed up enough leftovers to last me for a few days; knowing that yes, they were leftovers, but knowing that I would be eating good for awhile.

One of the scary things about today is the evolution of the Black Friday concept. Back when I was growing up, my mom and sister used this day as one of their many bonding days. The Shore back then really did not have many shopping centers, this was pre-casino in the Atlantic City area, so they planned their Black Friday well in advance; where to hit first, starting out at the outer edges (usually The King of Prussia Mall outside of Philadelphia, over 60 miles away), then working their way back toward the Shore, hitting the Cherry Hills Mall and then the Echelon Mall, then home, the car's shock absorbers pushed to their limit with the trunk and back seats filled.

As I got older, I realized that as much as this was a shopping trip to get a lot of the holiday presents at great prices, it was just as much spending time together, no presence of me or my dad, just the two of them. Yeah, we all have a lot to be thankful for!

But back to your over-stuffed refrigerator.

We all have made the day-after-Thanksgiving sandwiches - bread, turkey, potatoes, cranberry, stuffing. And while they were tasty, I would like to think that even among the more culinary-challenged of us, we can be a little more creative! From soups (freeze some for later) to pasta to crostinis and croquettes, the list has grown.

Lee is the founder and owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Catering. He can be reached via email at decadencecheesecakes@mindspring.com, on the web at www.decadencecheesecakes.com, or by calling 970-256-4688. Also, find him on the web by searching Facebook or by visiting Twitter (@decadenceGJ).

An American classic, Waldorf salad gets its name from the majestic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, where it was first served in 1896. Crunchy, sweet, savory and satisfying, it is the perfect use for leftover turkey and all those beautiful fruits and nuts from your Thanksgiving table centerpiece. Chopped ripe pears are a great addition; this tasty salad can also be served on a bed of crunchy butter lettuce in place of the celery root.

Total Time: 20 min

Yield: 4-6 servings

2 cups shredded leftover turkey meat

2 stalks celery, sliced

1/2 cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped, plus more whole leaves for garnish

1 crisp apple, such as Gala or Macintosh, cored and chopped

1 cup red seedless grapes, halved

1/2 cup pecans, toasted, and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup non-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed

1 small celery root, peeled and cut into matchsticks

Freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, gently toss the turkey, celery, celery leaves, apple, grapes, and pecans until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until well combined. Put the celery root in a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons of the dressing, and toss to coat completely. Add the remaining dressing to the turkey mixture, season with salt and pepper, and toss gently to evenly dress the salad.

To serve, spread the celery root evenly onto a serving platter, top with the dressed salad, garnish with celery leaves and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Wes Martin, Food Network

Second-Day Fried Stuffing Bites with Cranberry Sauce Pesto

Total Time: 14 min

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Leftover stuffing

2 eggs

2 teaspoons milk

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1 cup cranberry sauce

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup walnuts

Oil, for frying

Preheat oil to 350 degrees F.

Cut leftover stuffing into bite-sized cubes and set aside. In a small bowl whisk eggs and milk. Coat each stuffing bite with this egg wash, then dredge in the bread crumbs until fully coated and set aside. In a food processor blend cranberry sauce, pepper and walnuts and set aside. Once oil is at temperature fry each piece of stuffing until golden brown about 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and serve with cranberry pesto.

Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson, Food Network

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The Post Independent Updated Nov 21, 2012 03:26PM Published Nov 20, 2012 01:53PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.