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Still have Thanksgiving leftovers? Try these ideas to finish off that turkey

Turkey sliders are the perfect use for leftover turkey.
Turkey sliders are the perfect use for leftover turkey. Special to the Sun Herald

If you still have leftovers from Thanksgiving, today I’ll share a few ideas of how you can use them to make something your family will enjoy.

A turkey taco might become a family favorite and all it takes is a package of taco seasoning and any garnish you prefer.

Turkey makes a great slider when you garnish it with a simple curry mayonnaise.

And, this is the time of year, a dark-meat turkey gumbo really hits the spot.

For some reason, turkey gumbo seems to beg for brown rice, which is a great healthy addition.

You don’t have to go over the top with creativity to turn those turkey leftovers you have in the freezer into something delicious.

Give them a try, and you’ll finish off that turkey in no time.

Turkey Taco

Soft whole wheat tortillas

2 cups leftover turkey and gravy

1 package taco seasoning

Lettuce and tomatoes chopped for garnish (add a jalapeno for more spice)

Shredded cheddar cheese

Chopped green chilies

Warm the leftover turkey and gravy, then add taco seasoning a little at a time. Taste and continue seasoning as necessary. If there isn’t enough gravy, add just a little water. Simmer for a few minutes, taste again, and season as necessary. Arrange the ingredients in bowls on the table, and allow your family and friends to make their own tacos.

Turkey Slider

A turkey slider might seem a bit strange, but if roast beef and gravy works, why not turkey and gravy? If you want to make it even more interesting, use cranberry sauce as a garnish. This is about as simple as it gets.

2 cups chopped turkey and gravy

1 package King’s Hawaiian Dinner Rolls

12 slices provolone cheese

Optional roasted garlic mayonnaise

Make sure to chop the turkey, big chunks just won’t do. Warm the turkey and gravy. Taste and season with black pepper and a pinch of thyme if you like. Open the rolls, add a big dollop of turkey and gravy to each, cover with a folded slice of cheese and bake at 350 f until the cheese is melted. To make the roasted garlic mayonnaise, simply roast 2-3 cloves of garlic in a bowl with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, until tender. Remove the skins and puree into the prepared mayonnaise. Serve as a side.

Turkey Gumbo

It is hard to make a good gumbo using shortcuts, but this is a leftover dish, so a few steps can be minimized.

16 ounces Creole Seasoning (precut onion, bell pepper and celery)

1 chopped green bell pepper

1 cup chopped okra

1 cup chopped smoked sausage

2-3 cups leftover turkey

6 cups chicken stock

3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons olive oil or butter

Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

Sauté the sausage in oil until browned, remove and set aside. Add all the vegetables to the same pot (do not remove oil and drippings), season to your liking, and sauté over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Add the sausage and stock, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the turkey. Make a dark roux with the oil and flour, stirring constantly so it does not burn. Add half of the roux to the simmering gumbo, combine, and then taste. Only add the remaining roux if needed (your taste). It should be thick enough to cover the back of a spoon and have a slightly nutty flavor from the roux. Serve with brown or white rice.

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