I am sure there are many looking for recipes to incorporate leftovers from Thanksgiving. There are a few options for you. One, stockpile all of your tupperwared goods onto a sandwich, pour the gravy on top and slam it down for lunch. Sliced turkey, cranberry, stuffing, and gravy make a delicious hoagie. Second, use the leftover veggies, herbs, and turkey carcass and create a home-made broth. It’s really as easy as sauteing the vegetables (onion, celery, carrots), tossing in the bones and herbs along with about 8 cups of water. Let it simmer on your stove for about an hour. Third, if you are anything like me and do not appreciate leftovers, pawn off the food to the man of the house and freeze the leftover turkey for later meals. Turkey makes a great chicken substitute.
Even if you have enough leftovers to feed your household for one more evening, we’re in the midst of a long weekend and three more nights are on the horizon. As far as I’m concerned, its time to move on and get creative. Poultry will soon be an afterthought; in my case it already is. I feel that my American pride has been sufficiently expressed after a day full of traditional favorites and nationally produced wine. Today I woke up feeling a new fire in my spirit. I thought of a crowd pleaser that transforms taste buds from yesterday’s savory dishes to a spicy, Spanish inspired paella.
Paella is a rice based pot full of spicy peppers, fresh seafood, and sausage. Poultry can be included if desired. For those that would like to maintain an American theme this weekend, this dish is very similar to a New Orleans style jambalaya. The main difference between these dishes is the spices. In the dish below, I actually combine Indian and Spanish spices so feel free to call this meal anything you desire. I also added butternut squash in an effort to support seasonal ingredients and local produce. Keep the guests satisfied with this fiesta recipe below.
Paella serves 4-6
- 2 cups dry Basmati rice
- 4 cups turkey or chicken stock
- 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
- 2 red chili peppers minced
- 3 cups butternut squash
- 1/2 large white onion chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 cups chopped tomato
- Dry spices: salt, pepper, curry powder, coriander, cumin, ancho chili powder, smoked paprika, saffron (optional)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3/4 lb raw shrimp
- 4 links andouille sausage
- olive oil
1. Ina bowl, season the squash with salt, coriander, cumin, and curry powder. Cover and heat in microwave for 3-4 minutes. On an oil coated pan, rill for about 20 minutes or bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until bronzed and softened.
2. Heat a deep pot over medium. Toss in dry rice and tbsp olive oil and cook for a few minutes. Add minced onion and garlic. Season with dry spices above, about a tsp of each. Add broth and reduce heat to medium low. Cover. Rice will take about 25 minutes.
3. Skewer the shrimp and season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Grill shrimp and sausages until seafood is pink and crispy and links have charred marks.
4. When rice is finished, add in peppers and cook for a few minutes. Drizzle the honey to sweeten the dish a bit. In the last few minutes add tomato, cilantro, and meat. Mix all together and serve.
Wine pairing: Tempranillo/Garnacha blend from Spain. Rejadorada Rosum Joven would be a perfect accompaniment. Joven means young and generally implies no oak. The cherry and light fruit of the Garnacha help offset the dry and bold quality in Tempranillo making this a great food wine.