Arrow-right Camera


Leftover turkey will shine in Southwest casserole

Wed., Nov. 27, 2013

Thanksgiving leftovers meet flavors of the Southwest in this Turkey Posole Casserole with Cornmeal Biscuit Topping from Cooking Light. (Lorie Hutson)
Thanksgiving leftovers meet flavors of the Southwest in this Turkey Posole Casserole with Cornmeal Biscuit Topping from Cooking Light. (Lorie Hutson)

There’s always something of a leftover turkey tug-of-war at my house after the Thanksgiving holiday.

The hinting begins long before the wishbone has been snapped, sometimes weeks before the meal when my husband starts salivating over the sandwiches he’s planning. He’ll alternate sammies stacked with cold turkey topped by his mother’s cranberry-orange relish with toast squares topped by hot turkey, stuffing and gravy, for a week – minimum.

I’m not as enthusiastic about my turkey sandwiches. I know I’ll begin to wear out by day two of the post-holiday extravaganza. Thanksgiving 2.0 is still scrumptious, but anything beyond that is pushing it. That’s why I like to turn the leftover bird into something that doesn’t taste like Thanksgiving dinner rewarmed.

This casserole in the latest edition of Cooking Light caught my eye. It’s not so involved that you’ll balk at the thought of heading back to the kitchen. The comforting flavors of turkey and biscuits still hit that winter comfort zone, while a hint of spice from the poblano and pepper jack cheese help transport you to warmer places. Tomatillos and hominy probably aren’t on your shopping list often, if ever, so it’s the perfect way to bust out of the dinner routine without taking things too far. (Think chicken and dumplings with some flavors of the Southwest.)

This casserole was a gorgeous golden-brown when it emerged from the oven, and the smell of homemade biscuits filled the house. Recipe developer David Bonom describes the recipes as “new-timey flavors, for old-timey satisfactions” in the magazine.

Don’t worry. There will be plenty of turkey leftovers for sandwiches, too.

Turkey Posole Casserole with Cornmeal Biscuit Topping

From Cooking Light, November 2013

For the filling:

1 cup unsalted chicken stock

1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and quartered

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 cups chopped onion

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 large poblano pepper, seeded and chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 (15 ounce) cans white hominy, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons finely ground yellow cornmeal

3 cups shredded cooked, boneless, skinless, dark and light meat turkey

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Cooking spray

For the topping:

5.63 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)

2/3 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup finely chopped green onions

3 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)

1 1/4 cups fat-free buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

To prepare filling, place chicken stock and tomatillos in a blender; process until smooth. Set aside.

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, garlic and poblano; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in cumin; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add stock mixture, 3/4 teaspoon salt and hominy; bring to a simmer. Stir in 2 tablespoons cornmeal; simmer 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in turkey and cilantro. Pour into a 13-by-9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.

To prepare topping, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt) in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in chopped green onions and pepper jack cheese. Add buttermilk; stir just until combined. Drop batter by 2 tablespoonfuls evenly over filling. Bake at 400 degrees for 28 minutes or until topping is lightly browned.

Yield: 8 servings

Approximate nutrition per serving: 430 calories, 15 grams fat (6.7 grams saturated), 25 grams protein, 47.7 grams carbohydrate, 67 milligrams cholesterol, 4.6 grams dietary fiber, 699 milligrams sodium

Click here to comment on this story »