I couldn’t help reminiscing about Thanksgivings past yesterday – the people, the places, the varying menus – all of which I treasure the memories. As a child, my matriarchal grandmother would insist the entire family convene in Des Moines. These were formal celebrations we dressed up for, sang, played piano, shared the latest events in our lives, and of course had the odd squabble synonymous with large family gatherings.
Then there were the celebrations on the road, and with friends in London. One of my favorites that I sadly do not have photos of, was when Grace Jones’ mother made a Jamaican Thanksgiving feast in Belgravia while Grace was there filming A View to a Kill. I remember vividly how my taste buds jumped to life with
each bite as Nick and I throughly enjoyed the company of Grace, her mother and brother, Dolph Lundgren (her then boyfriend), Antony Price, and Manolo Blahnik – such a divine evening! Another year I got to experience Thanksgiving with a Puerto Rican twist when my friend Lisa B’s mother made drool worthy homemade empanadas, and more recently a soulful Thanksgiving in Las Vegas with my friend Nile Rodgers’ family – all so excitingly different (and tasty) to the traditional dishes I’d grown up with.
Then of course there were the Thanksgiving celebrations I myself threw in both London and Paris, and for clients when I opened The Roving Stove here in Los Angeles. So many wonderful memories, and delicious food each year. The floodgates of my past have happily opened into my present as I realize how lucky I am to have almost all of those people still in my life, thanks mostly to Facebook for hooking us all back up across the globe.
Enough of looking back – I’ll bet many of you have a ton of Thanksgiving leftovers you would like to know how to heat to eat? It is always important to know safe food guidelines, but also the Personal Chef Approach™ secrets to storing and heating your food, so it tastes as fresh as when you first made it.
1). As soon as people have finished feasting on the day – you need to cool the food completely to room temperature (quickly and safely) then package in airtight containers with a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the food to protect from freezer burn if you choose to freeze some of your goodies. Yes, you can freeze that sliced turkey in baggies or containers to defrost and eat in sandwiches for the next couple months if you like!
2). The microwave is your PCA™ friend. They are inexpensive to purchase, and the fastest at heating food back up. Microwaves got a bad rap back in the 70’s and 80’s, but they are perfectly safe today, and the only way to heat to eat a cooked piece of poultry, meat, or seafood without cooking it further. Be sure you are using microwave safe containers (metal will cause sparks to fly, and you probably don’t want to risk your great grandmother’s fine China).
Turkey Dinner Heat to Eat Instructions
Turkey: All microwaves heat slightly differently due to varying wattage’s and amounts of food you heat at once, so these are general guidelines. Heat your turkey on 50% power for 3-5 minutes, turning the slices midway to distribute the heat evenly. Heat in one minute increments if additional heating is required. If your still microwave shy, preheat a 325° F. oven. Wrap the turkey in foil, and place on a sheet pan for support, then heat in the preheated oven until the turkey reaches 165° F, but not longer or it will dry out.
Stuffing: Heat in the microwave on full power for 2-3 minutes, stirring midway to distribute heat evenly. Heat in 1 minutes increments after that if more is required; or heat in a casserole dish next to the turkey in the 325° F. preheated oven.
Gravy: is probably best heated in a saucepan over medium-low heat until hot, and beginning to boil, about 10-15 minutes; or you can vent the lid of a microwave proof container and heat for 3-5 minutes on full power, stirring midway to distribute heat evenly.
Of course there are many other great ways to replay that leftover turkey too. Think Turkey Florentine Casserole, Turkey Pot Pie, or my Curried Turkey Replay Salad. Right now you can take the Personal Chef Approach™ for a no obligation trial run, and enjoy all my recipes and menu plans. Just “like” me on Facebook, click on free sample, enter the promo code and sign-up for your first month FREE! Cancel at anytime during that first 30 days, and you will be billed absolutely nothing. So, what are some of your favorite turkey replays?
Curried Turkey Replay Salad on Cantaloupe
Curried Turkey Replay Salad
- 1 cup mayonnaise store bought or homemade
- 1/4 cup apricot preserves
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne optional
- 1 pound cooked turkey cut into bite size pieces
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 large honeycrisp apple cored and chopped
- 1/4 cup dates chopped
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup pecans toasted and chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro or flat leaf parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 medium cantaloupe melons sliced in half, and seeds removed
Curried Turkey Replay Salad
- In a large bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, preserves, curry, and cayenne.
- Stir in the turkey, celery, dates, raisins, pecans, and cilantro. Adjust seasoning to taste.